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.