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(Un)comfortably Numb: A Prison Requiem

(Un)comfortably numb

A Prison Requiem

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£8.99

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Told in documentary form, this is the story of the tragedy of Yvonne Gilmour's death in Cornton Vale prison. Yvonne was one of eight inmates to take their own lives in a short period of time at the prison and her story is representative of many women in prison today.

There has been a steady increase in women prisoners since 1991, most of these women are not criminals (only 1% are convicted for violent crimes) and two-thirds are between the ages of fifteen and thirty. Yvonne was one of these vulnerable young women.

The book asks relevant questions about the nature of society and shows that an alternative to prison is needed for vulnerable girls.

This is a powerful and moving indictment of 21st century Britain, told in the real voices of women behind bars, by a solicitor and teacher of many years experience.

Title (Un)comfortably numb
Subtitle A Prison Requiem
Author Maureen Maguire
ISBN 9781842820018
Binding Paperback
Author Bio

Maureen Maguire was born and bred in Glasgow. She obtained her honours degree in Russian and Modern History at Glasgow University in 1971. She subsequently went on to take a teaching diploma at Jordanhill College of Education in Glasgow in 1972 and then PhD research in Modern History at Glasgow University and received her degree in 1994. In between these qualifications she travelled widely and worked all over the world: Lebanon, Singapore, New York and Germany, as a teacher of history and English, and has spent a lot of time involved in voluntary youth work.

Previously published in academic journals, this is her first book. She started researching suicide in women's prisons in 1997. She speaks 5 languages, is married with 2 teenage children and is now working as a freelance translator for business, technical and internet companies.

Back Cover Text

"People may think I've taken the easy way out but please believe me this is the hardest thing I've ever had to do."

It was Christmas Eve, the atmosphere in Cornton Vale prison was festive, the girls in high spirits as they were locked up for the night. One of their favourite songs, Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb, played loudly from a nearby cell as Yvonne Gilmour wrote her suicide note. She was the sixth of eight inmates to take their own lives in Cornton Vale prison over a short period of time.

[Un]comfortably Numb follows Yvonne through a difficult childhood, a chaotic adolescence and drug addiction to life and death behind bars. Her story is representative of many women in our prisons today. They are not criminals (only 1% are convicted for violent crimes) and two-thirds are between the ages of fifteen and thirty. Suicide rates among them are rising dramatically. Do these vulnerable young girls really belong in prison?

This is a powerful and moving story told in the words of those involved: Yvonne and her family, fellow prisoners, prison officers, social workers, drug workers. It challenges us with questions which demand answers if more deaths are to be avoided.

Reviews

(Un)comfortably Numb is not a legal textbook or a jurisprudential treatise - it is an investigation into something our sophisticated society can't easily face - AUSTEN LAFFERTY

(Un)comfortably Numb: A Prison Anthem is a powerful and moving indictment of 21st Century Britain, told in the real voices of women behind bars. Yvonne’s story is representative of the many women in prison today, of whom only 1% are convicted for violent crimes - SUNDAY POST MAGAZINE

BIC Subject Crime & criminology
BISAC Subject SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology
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