Review: The Prison Doctor – Dr Amanda Brown

My rating: 4/5 stars

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Dr Amanda Brown treats the inmates in the UK’s most famous prisons. From miraculous pregnacies and drug addictions, from violent attacks on inmates to heartbreaking acts of self-harm, she has really witnessed it all from her patients. In this eye-opening memoir Amanda tells her stories of the patients and cases that have shaped her career helping those in need.

My thoughts

I bought this novel on a whim when I saw that it was only £3 on Amazon. I tend not to go for non-fiction as it never tends to keep me interested, but I am trying to work on that. As non-fiction books go, this was right up my alley. Although I have no interest in becoming a criminal law solicitor, I am fascinated by the prison system and by crime in general so this seemed like a great place to start within the realm of non-fiction.

I found this book so interesting a was a different perspective on prison life. I am a person who hates blood and can get really squeamish. Parts of this book had me squirming while I was reading it because of some of the injuries that were sustained. I had assumed that prison life was violent but it was the details of some of the incidents of self harm that were the most gruesome and hard for me to read.

The novel was well written and had more description in it than I would have guessed a non-fiction memoir would. I can’t remember what I had for breakfast yesterday so I always find it odd when people can remember such details from their past but it really did help to get a feel for the prison. I think in these types of books they are needed as there aren’t many people who have been inside a prison so the descriptions really helped me to visualise it.

I liked how brutally honest this book was about what it was like to work in a prison. The highs and lows were not sugar-coated and it made for an interesting read. I only wish that the last part of the book in the women’s prison was longer as it feels like they open up more to the doctor and so the stories had more emotion behind them.

Overall I would recommend this book if prison life interests you. I learnt a lot, like why you can’t take chewing gum into a prison, this was something I had never thought about before. It was a well written book and I found all aspects of it interesting.


  1. I don’t read nearly as much nonfiction as I do fiction, but I fully admit I listened to a nonfiction title on Audible simply to hear the narrator, and it was a revelation: Theater of War, by Bryan Doerries. It connects Greek tragedy to our current era, and although it focuses for a good part on the impact of war on our military and their families, it also looks at other intense institutionalized systems, including the prison system. (I’m sure reading it would also be insightful, but as the book includes snippets of Greek tragedies such as Ajax, listen to the Audiobook if you can.)

    Liked by 2 people

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