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The Prison Teacher

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“The best book I’ve read this year” Rachael, Goodreads reviewer ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
“Fantastic” Rachel, Goodreads reviewer ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
“Funny, insightful, heart-breaking” NetGalley reviewer ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
“A magnificent book” Jo, Goodreads reviewer ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Step inside one of Britain’s most renowned prisons…

During her time as a prison teacher Mim Skinner met people from all walks of life – what united them, was that they had committed a serious crime. But Mim’s job was not to judge them, it was to teach.

In this compelling, inspirational memoir Mim takes you behind the bars. From drugs and violence to pregnancy and heartbreak, Mim’s classroom saw it all. With high drama but also candid humour The Prison Teacher is full of eye-opening stories of those without a voice, revealing the human side of our country’s most controversial institution.


‘Shocking, poignant and darkly funny’ Woman & Home
‘Full of nitty-gritty details of life inside’ The Guardian
‘Humbling, hopeful and wryly hilarious’ The Herald
‘Very real and powerful account’ Kate Paradine, CEO of Women in Prison
‘A humane, sometimes humorous, and always perceptive account of prison life’ Ken Loach
‘Very funny and important’ Pandora Sykes, co-host The High Low Show


Jailbirds is a very real and powerful account of living and working in a women's prison - with all the complexities, pain, frustrations and hope to be encountered there. It's a really accessible, engaging read and we will be recommending it to new staff as part of their induction.
Kate Paradine, CEO of Women in Prison
I've never read a book like Jailbirds before - which shows quite how much we need it. It is very funny and very important and reminds us that women in jail are still women worth listening to. I'm only grateful - for them, and for us - that Mim was listening.
Pandora Sykes
Mim's warmth and understanding make for a humane, sometimes humorous, and always perceptive account of prison life. This book is a fine achievement.
Ken Loach
Skinner's book is full of nitty-gritty details of life inside, and peppered with stories (some tragic, some funny, some poignant, all real) of the women who make up Britain's female prison population.
Joanna Moorhead, THE OBSERVER
Skinner's warmth and empathy radiates from the pages in this eye-opening read. Humbling, hopeful and wryly hilarious in equal measure, it serves as a powerful reminder about the importance that women's voices - even behind bars - deserve to be heard.