Latest Issue

The prisoner

I am on a ward full of violent criminals, including three murderers. Yet I feel love for these men, and will recall my days here as having been full of bitter sweetness

By CAR Hills   September 2007

On ward three at Belmarsh prison, we have all committed crimes of violence. In my case I solicited murder, being incapable of the act, but three of the others actually carried it out.

It has broken one of them. Ahmad, a gentle middle-aged Asian man, killed a stranger with a pair of broken scissors in a moment of cannabis-induced psychosis. Now he paces the ward endlessly, wondering aloud whether he will eventually go to a mental hospital, as he hopes, or whether he must face a prison sentence. He has become a hunchback during his 11 months here, and shakes,…

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