Justin Rollins’ acclaimed The Lost Boyz traced the author’s early life on the streets. Ten years on, this new book describes how he did time in adult prisons and experienced other challenges including trauma, associated fears, flashbacks and fixations. It traces the origins of his anxiety, obsessive compulsive behaviour, complex post-traumatic stress and other life-limiting conditions. It tells of the violence and abuse in his past and explains how this drove many of his actions.
Fast paced and readable as any novel, the book describes how the author overcame ‘locked-in’ thinking and a violent lifestyle to become not just law-abiding but an acknowledged expert on street crime, gangs, drugs and youth culture.
It will be of interest to a wide range of people working with disadvantaged young people and those confronted by mental health issues and/or affected by ‘ghosts’ from the past.
Confronts topical mental health issues. Based on hard won first-hand experience. For general readers and experts alike. Ideal for youth training, development, debate.
‘A searing, page-turning, roller coaster ride through one of the darkest jungles in the Criminal Justice System’– Jonathan Aitken
‘This book is truly outstanding! Justin provides a gritty picture of living with extreme mental health problems within the brutal conditions of the UK prison system. He outlines the systematic failures of prison that does little to rehabilitate inmates or protect them in any meaning full way. Justin paints a detailed picture of how prison traumatises and compounds problems for those who have already experienced significant trauma in their life. He describes the mental and physical horror of life in jail and returning to life on the outside; PTSD, OCD, extreme paranoia, self-harm, suicide, it is all there. The book is gripping. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry. A must-read for anyone interested in the criminal justice system or mental health and is highly useful for students and practitioners alike.’– Dr Mark Berry, Bournemouth University
‘Hits you right in the gut with the power of a knock-out punch from a heavyweight boxer … should be required reading for those who run our criminal justice system … A great, but quite harrowing, read … not to be missed.’– Noel ‘Razor’ Smith (from the Foreword)
As featured in Inside Time.
About the author
Following publication of his acclaimed The Lost Boyz (Waterside Press, 2011) the author became well-known in university and media circles making him a ‘go to’ expert on youth, gang and knife crime. He has for many years worked to divert young people from the criminal process. His struggle to overcome his own mental health challenges (resulting from abuse as a child and imprisonment) is the central theme of this captivating and informative new book.
The author of the Foreword
Noel ‘Razor’ Smith’s best-selling books include A Few Kind Words and a Loaded Gun: The Autobiography of a Career Criminal (Penguin, 2005). As a journalist he has contributed to the national press and works for the highly respected prison newspaper Inside Time.