Going Straight

Paperback
Going Straight was the flagship publication for the launch of Unlock, the National Association of Ex-Offenders in 1999 and comprises interviews with people who have 'succeeded' after being in prison, often having had what is often described as 'a criminal career'. All royalties are paid to Unlock. The book looks at a range of criminals who have changed their way of life. They include famous, notorious, creative and ordinary people who were prepared to talk about the turning point in their lives (some people don't, of course) - the events which caused them to leave crime behind. The central part of the book comprises interviews with people whose experiences have been raw, demanding and sometimes 'close to the edge'. Their candid explanations about how they rebuilt their lives - often full or remorse for their victims and determined to repay something to their communities - are challenging, illuminating and a cause for some optimism.They include ex-burglar John Bowers (now an editor of the prison newspaper Inside Time ), former violent criminal Frank Cook (a sculptor and author), ex drug-dealer Peter Cameron (a successful artist: see his work on the cover of Going Straight and also of the Waterside Press publications Introduction to Youth Justice , The Longest Injustice and Human Rights and the Courts ), Great Train Robber Bruce Reynolds, actor Stephen Fry, former gangland gunman Bob Cummines (and now Chief Executive of Unlock) and Cameron Mackenzie (Glasgow villain turned minister of religion), as well as several women offenders, a self-made millionaire, a one-time compulsive gambler, someone involved in The Troubles in Northern Ireland - and a number of other people who preferred to safeguard a precious new life by using a pseudonym. Going Straight has been reprinted several times: it has proved to be of interest to a wide range of practitioners as well as to both serving prisoners and wholehearted ex-offenders.