Politics & Society vickypryce

Published on October 23rd, 2013


Prisonomics by Vicky Pryce

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Blurb: When economist Vicky Pryce admitted taking speeding points meant for her former husband, the ex-Cabinet minister Chris Huhne, she found herself convicted of perverting the course of justice. After a very public trial she was sent to East Sutton Park prison near Maidstone. There, she kept a diary in which she recorded her very challenging experiences and her strong views on how the prison system works, especially with regard to how it treats women. The result, Prisonomics, will provide a compelling analysis of the cost to the economy, as well as the human cost, of keeping women in prison. In it, she uses her personal experiences and professional understanding to look at how prison works, and should work, from an economist’s perspective.

(Biteback, 2013)

Eleanor Mills, The Sunday Times 

“The misery and shame she must have felt to be incarcerated are noticeably lacking. Prisonomics is written as if this little safari into the chaotic underclass of offenders (53% of the women are the victims of physical, sexual or other abuse in childhood, half are functionally illiterate) is an intellectual exercise … Where she is most persuasive is in her descriptions of the toll that imprisoning mothers takes on their children.”

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Theodore Dalrymple, The Times 

“She is not a naturally gifted writer and her experiences were unremarkable … Her opinions on penal policy are depressingly conventional … If a former economic adviser to the Government can believe that the rate of recidivism is the best measure of the efficacy of prison, it is no wonder that we are in an economic mess … The author’s belief that our system is harshly vengeful is also likewise absurd … Prisonomics confirms that there is no idiocy like overeducated idiocy.”

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