Behind these Doors

Our Rating
Reader Rating

Author: Alex South

Category: Business & management , Economics , Finance

Book Format: Paperback / softback

Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks

ISBN: 9781399707596

RRP: $26.99


0 0 votes
Reader Rating

*A Radio 4 Book of the Week*

‘Powerful’ Observer

‘Superb’ Daily Mail

‘Brilliant’ Radio Times


Few people leave prison unchanged. It’s a place heavy with suffering, a place where you will find dangerous, vulnerable, and forgotten people. But for Alex South, it was a place where she also found hope.

In this powerful and moving memoir, Alex attempts to make sense of her experiences in prison by confronting the harsh reality of life on the inside and examining them from different angles. In an overwhelmingly masculine environment, where strength and aggression are routinely on show, Alex’s view is particularly important.

Capturing the confusion and contradictions of prison, Alex presents a life that is often hidden from the public. Changing our perceptions, Behind These Doors shows the many devastating, but often inspiring, consequences prison can have.


‘I was completely gripped whilst reading it – it’s such a powerful memoir and one that shines a light into a world most of the public rarely see.’ Nikki Smith, author of The Beach Party

‘A true, compassionate and honest account of what it is to work in our prisons.’ Dr Gwen Adshead, Sunday Timesbestselling author of The Devil You Know

‘This is a beautifully written account about hope and optimism, of humanity, realism, resilience and the complexity of people.’ Professor David Wilson

Alex South is a former Prison Officer with ten years’ experience working for Her Majesty’s Prison Service. She has worked at HMP Whittemore, HMP Wormwood Scrubs and HMP Belmarsh as an Officer, Senior Officer and Custodial Manager. During her time at these prisons, Alex was deployed to numerous live incidents in her capacity as a trained riot commander and hostage negotiator.

In 2017, Alex was awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship to travel abroad and research the impact on prison officers of their working environment. Alex has a BSc in Psychology and Criminology and a Masters in Forensic Psychology, both with the Open University. In 2020, she won first place in the Beechmore Life Writing Competition. Her entry considered the effect prison has on a 21-year-old prisoner at the beginning of his first sentence, and an experienced officer on the brink of burnout

Reader Reviews

Notify of
Your Rating
0 Reviews
Inline Feedbacks
View all reviews

The Latest List