Cries for Help opens a window on the closed world of Holloway, other women’s prisons and the lives of those held there in the 1970s. This was an era when personal style and charismatic leadership was the order of the day for governors and prison officers, before ideas of ‘new management’, when problems were solved using personal initiatives. It catalogues the daily lives of women prisoners, their anxieties, fears and preoccupations. The book looks at a lost segment of the population, hundreds of women who were hidden from view, lacking a voice, part of a system for men that hardly knew what to do with them. It contains stories about murderers and other serious offenders and looks at their personal correspondence, including that of moors murderer Myra Hindley.
‘Immensely readable’: Rosemary McDonald
‘I hope that [the prison] authorities in particular will read and reflect on her brutally honest, human and very relevant book’: Lord David Ramsbotham
Joanna Kozubska was as an assistant governor at Holloway Prison and other custodial establishments for women in the 1970s. She hit the news when borstal girls climbed onto the roof of Holloway demanding that she should not be transferred out and later ‘escaped notice’ after escorting Myra Hindley out of the gates of Holloway for a headline-making walk on Hampstead Heath.
With a Foreword by Lord David Ramsbotham.