Many former prisoners that came out of prison as a better person, who made radical steps in starting a new life, publish their memoirs. Breakfast at Bronzefield by former public schoolgirl Sophie Campbell is the first one I read that gives an insider’s view in the UK female prison system. HMP Bronzefield is the largest, notorious for sexual assaults, drug abuse, and staff that looks the other way. Despite signing an NDA, Sophie took the risk of maintaining a diary throughout her imprisonment to document her experiences.
An extensive narrative, in my opinion, way too detailed is the result. Breakfast at Bronzefield starts on the day of entering the prison and ends with the process of getting finances for a bachelor’s degree university career as a kind of Sophie 2.0. The book is more than just a memoir. It’s backed up by research and statistics on recidivism, substance abuse, medical prescribing, prostitution, etc.
Backed up by recent research and statistics, Breakfast at Bronzefield offers a powerful glimpse into a world few see: riots; unethical medical prescribing; and prison barons – key figures behind prostitution and drug-smuggling. Sophie defies the stigma of female prisoners as being uneducated women of color, willing to compensate lack of finances with prostitution with inmates or guards, chanceless in the outside world.
About the author
Sophie Campbell is the winner of the Arts Council England Time to Write grant, the Koestler Flash Fiction and Short Story award, and an Associate Member of the Society of Authors. This is her first book.
I received a free review copy from the author through Netgalley in exchange for my personal, unbiased opinion upon reading.