Life Behind the prison walls in fiction and non-fiction books. The Prison Doctor by Dr Amanda Brown.

Horrifying, heartbreaking and eye-opening, these are the stories, the patients and the cases that have characterised a career spent being a doctor behind bars.

Violence. Drugs. Suicide. Welcome to the world of a Prison Doctor.

Dr Amanda Brown has treated inmates in the UK s most infamous prisons first in young offenders institutions, then at the notorious Wormwood Scrubs and finally at Europe s largest women-only prison in Europe, Bronzefield.

From miraculous pregnancies to dirty protests, and from violent attacks on prisoners to heartbreaking acts of self-harm, she has witnessed it all.

In this eye-opening, inspirational memoir, Amanda reveals the stories, the patients and the cases that have shaped a career helping those most of us would rather forget.

Despite their crimes, she is still their doctor.


I wanted to read and review this book because Prison Service Staff are rarely remembered when we thank our public servants and prisoners rarely thought of, when we turn our attention to the most vulnerable members of our society.

In The Prison GP she details how she came to work in prison’s after becoming dissatisfied with the direction community practices were going in. Less time to see patients and the loss of the relationship she had developed with them over the years.

Now it can’t be under estimated how brave the decision was to quit the world she was familiar with and plunge into life as a prison GP. Life behind the walls of any jail is at the best of times challenging, it noisy, stressful, the humour is dark and the personalities complex. Yet as the book reveals, she made a career choice that was as rewarding as it was tiring. She settles into life dealing with violent and deeply disturbed people, comes to terms with the prison environment and yet never loses her sense of humanity and the reasons she became a Doctor in the first place. She never seeks to judge the patients, refusing to know their charges, so that the care she offers is never compromised by the crimes they have committed.

I liked that there is no political subtext to her writing, she is simply telling her story and that of the prisoners and fellow staff she came into contact with. It has a sense of understanding that life behind those walls is often deeply miss understood and judged from a place of ignorance. She acknowledges that working in the prison estate changes a person. She talks of the pressure staff are under, of the terrible lives most prisoners have lived and the often harrowing path that led to a prison sentence. This is not a rose tinted tale, but she never loses sight of the humanity of all those she comes into contact with.

The Prison Doctor by Dr Amanda Brown is an honest, often shocking look of healthcare provision behind the walls of one of the countries most notorious jails. It gives an insight into the stresses, strains and human costs, for both the prisoners and staff of a life behind a prison wall. She never claims that it is a life suited to all and that often staff are not saints, but that if you look past the exterior they coat themselves in, you will find people who have had to develop a coat of armour to survive. This is balanced out by not assuming that prisoners are all misunderstood victims, nor are they all excessively violent, but a complex mix of both.

I would recommend this book to all looking for an easily accessible look at life behind the walls of a British prison.

You can purchase this book from Amazon or Waterstones. You can also order it from your local independent bookshop!

About the author

Dr Amanda Brown is a GP at the largest women-only prison in EuropeBronzefield. Before transferring to work in prisons, Amanda was a regular NHS GP but gave up her practice because she disliked the way the job s focus has shifted.

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