Diary of a

Prison Officer

Available now

Audible book

now available


"I cannot recommend it enough. Aside from everything that is happening around ‘Black Lives Matter’, I would say this book is a must read. "

Preetha Leela Chockalingam

Author and Creative Writing Lecture 

Shortlisted for the Pen to Print Award 2020

Keyboard and Mouse

Book Summary 

In 2003 a shy loner from Hackney, Amber Campbell, joins the prison service searching for purpose. Behind the walls of a women's prison Amber is determined to prove that she has what it takes to become a specialist riot officer.  


Amber makes a pact with two friends to support each other. However, the three Black women struggle when they experience discrimination and disappointment at every turn.


Amber reflects on the prison system in her blog and takes an emotional journey off the beaten track through Africa to find love.

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I could not put down ‘Diary of a Prison Officer’.


Set in Holloway prison in the early part of the 21st century, ‘Diary of a Prison Officer’ is essentially a story of women directing their lives through the racism and sexism of the prison environment. Amber Campbell, a young black prison officer in her early twenties is the main character and protagonist.

The present centres around Amber travelling through places like Nairobi, enjoying herself, being on the road and becoming horrified at the reactions of her fellow tourists towards certain aspects of local African culture. The past centres around her journey in the prison, her friends, the welfare of the prisoners, falling in love and trying to prove herself amidst a world that is highly prejudiced and often very stark. I enjoyed reading the back stories of the prisoners and couldn’t wait to see what developed between Amber and her main love interest Mr King.

The chapters in the prison as well as the travelogue contained so many relatable instances for me that I found myself in a reflective mood long after I had read the book. I really loved this book. I cannot recommend it enough. Aside from everything that is happening around ‘Black Lives Matter’, I would say this book is a must read. You will want to read further to see what develops. When you read a book, you like, you want the world to discuss it with you. I want my friends and family to read this book. 

Preetha Leela Chockalingam

Author and Creative Writing Lecturer 


book Launch event

Lyn Brown MP, Shadow Government  Minister for Prisons

Dr Patrick Veron OBE, expert in Black British history

Councillor Sanchia Alasia, expert in equalities

Councillor Sara Hyde, campaigner and advocate for women in prison

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