This book gives an accurate account of events as I recall them and sadly illustrates the dilemma all Northern Ireland Prison Service staff had to endure over the years of Long Kesh and Maze. It also highlights the folly of trying to operate a prison establishment like The Maze, with its highly dangerous convicted criminal population, while ignoring the views of prison professionals.
The narrative presents an excellent case study of how not to repeat this mistake in the future and clearly illustrates that Prison Rules should be enforced without external interference in all establishments. The Maze became different because the Northern Ireland Office felt unable to support staff in enforcing the rules; this led to staff feeling they were totally unsupported. I found events in the latter years of Maze almost unbelievable and, in my opinion, some decisions made at the highest level at that time seem to amount to gross mismanagement! However, I expect that when this book is published the same senior civil servants will still be in denial.
I commend the book.
You can also read Alan Longwell’s review of The Maze Prison.