**Winner of a Koestler Trust Silver Award*** and the only book of its kind by a serving lifer. Contains a Foreword by Tim Newell, former Prison Goverr life-sentence expert. A snapshot of the most severe sentence available in the UK which treats key topics in 40 easy to read sections. Alan Baker's personal selection and treatment of topics of concern to life-sentenced prisoners looks at subjects across the life-sentence regime. Ranging from the realisation which 'kicks in' after being sentenced in the dock - shock, numbness, hopelessness - to the intrinsic nature of long-term imprisonment, it is an explanatory handbook and survivor's guide. Life Imprisonment looks at aspects of long-term imprisonment from inside the head of a lifer: daily preoccupations, the uncertainty about when he or she will be released, the long years ahead, time for reflection, work towards release, setbacks and coping mechanisms and staying out of trouble. It tells about how a life sentence leads to risk assessments, courses, reports, psychological tests and possibly a period in a therapeutic community and/or a resettlement prison. To this first-hand kwledge, Alan Baker adds his thoughts on the state of the prisons, having experienced first-hand the impact that the justice system has on have on someone serving a sentence with fixed end date. The result is a book packed with useful information as well as an insider's perspective on the major concerns of life-sentenced prisoners, whether about their sentence, future, their victims or the (often greatly magnified) minutiae of prison life.
Alan Baker has spent over 20 years in prison (despite a tariff of just nine years) having received a discretionary life-sentence for the attempted murder of another prisoner. He has spent time in some 30 prisons and youth custody centres (as they were known when he was a younger man) and experienced maximum security segregation several times. He received a Koestler Trust Silver Award for the manuscript of Life Imprisonment: An Unofficial Guide.