Cries for Help opens a window on the closed world of Holloway, other prisons and the lives of those held there in the 1970s. This was an era when personal style and charismatic leadership were all the rage, before the days of 'new management', when problem-solving meant staff relying on convention and initiative. The book follows the preoccupations of women prisoners, their anxieties and fears: a hidden segment of the population, lacking a voice, lost in a system designed for men that needed to change. They include murderers, prostitutes and those in prison from misplaced loyalty whose stories of survival, relationships, remedies and sometimes regret, are told through their own letters and conversations (including those of moors murderer Myra Hindley who the author supervised).
'I hope that [the prison] authorities in particular will read and reflect on her brutally honest, human and very relevant book': Lord David Ramsbotham
Joanna Kozubska was as an assistant governor at Holloway Prison and other custodial establishments for women in the 1970s. She hit the news when borstal girls climbed onto the roof of Holloway demanding that she should not be transferred out and later 'escaped notice' after escorting Myra Hindley out of the gates of Holloway for a headline-making walk on Hampstead Heath.
Illustrated by Graham Savage.