The British Empire Library

Life in the Colonial Prison Service

by S. E. Hutchings, G.M.

Courtesy of OSPA

Review by D.C.
Mr. Hutching's book will be of interest to all those who have served or are serving in the Prison Service, either at home or abroad, and should also open the eyes of the ordinary reader who has little idea of the difficulties faced by a Prison Officer.

That Mr. Hutchings well deserved the immediate award of the George Medal is patently obvious. I think his whole attitude can be summed up by the following:-

"One day while I was on my usual wanderings in the prison, a very elderly prisoner approached me, stopped, smiled then said in a most serious manner, "In this prison you are our father, you must treat us as you would your own family at home. If one of the family is bad, you punish; if good, you treat with kindness and understanding, then the family is happy, and so will your family be in here." This really shook me, never had I heard such sound advice. Neither had ! thought that I could be looked upon as such a man, especially by such a large family of misfits. They were words I acted upon, and will remember and cherish for the rest of my life."

This advice he certainly followed, as will be seen throughout his book. I also started my Prison career at Borstal at Feltham, and agree that the grounding there concerning discipline and the way to treat prisoners was of great value, although I had to deal with a very different type of offender in my part of the world (East and Central Africa), our outlook is very similar, but I rather think Mr. Hutching's duties were more difficult than mine.

British Empire Book
S. E. Hutchings
Arthur H.Stockwell Ltd


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