Latest Issue

The prisoner

August was early release month. At Stocken prison it took an unexpected form

By Peter Wayne   October 1996

The minister of Finkin Street Methodist Chapel, Grantham, is a truly Victorian character in the grand oratorical mode. One morning, early in August, he was waxing as long as ever. I was sitting at the organ console wondering whether my choice of Sullivan’s Brightly Gleams Our Wedding Morn as an introductory voluntary had been the most appropriate start to the day’s proceedings. Still, there were always the coffee and biscuits to come.

As the prayers came to a close, the back doors of the prison chapel flew open. “All inmates back to the wings immediately,” a security screw announced to…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect