Enter your search into one or more of the boxes below:
You can refine your search by selecting from any of the options below:
A Bit of a Stretch: The Diaries of a Prisoner
Foyalty 51

A Bit of a Stretch: The Diaries of a Prisoner (Hardback)

Usually despatched within 2 days.


'Shocking, scathing, entertaining.' Guardian

'Incredibly compelling.' The Times

'Heart-breaking.' Sunday Times

Where can a tin of tuna buy you clean clothes? Where is it easier to get 'spice' than paracetamol? Where does self-harm barely raise an eyebrow?

Welcome to Her Majesty's Prison Service. Like most people, documentary-maker Chris Atkins didn't spend much time thinking about prisons. But after becoming embroiled in a dodgy scheme to fund his latest film, he was sent down for five years. His new home would be HMP Wandsworth, one of the largest and most dysfunctional prisons in Europe.

With a cast of characters ranging from wily drug dealers to senior officials bent on endless reform, this powerful memoir uncovers the horrifying reality behind the locked gates. Filled with dark humour and shocking stories, A Bit of a Stretch reveals why our creaking prison system is sorely costing us all - and why you should care.

BiographyMemoirsHistory & PoliticsPolitics & governmentPhilosophy, Psychology & Social SciencesCrime & criminologyPenology & punishmentPrisons Publisher: Atlantic Books Publication Date: 06/02/2020 ISBN-13: 9781838950156  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
Availability: Usually despatched within 2 days. Add to Basket

Chris Atkins is a BAFTA-nominated filmmaker. His documentaries Taking Liberties and Starsuckers were critically acclaimed and made front-page news. He has also worked extensively with Dispatches for Channel 4 and BBC Panorama. Following his release from prison, he is now back in North London, filming documentaries and writing.

More books by Chris Atkins

Customer Reviews

This is a harrowing read in which Chris Atkins tells of his experience inside HMP Wandsworth. As a documentary maker he took to writing a journal as a way of passing the time in his cell. There are many stories within this book which tell of others he encountered during his sentence. There are dark tales, heartbreaking stories and even a dash of humour as Chris adjusts to his new life. Many of the diary entries are shocking beyond belief. I have so many thoughts on the issues raised in this book however I am still working my way through the helpful footnotes. Final point, the epilogue lists the changes Chris would wish to introduce if he was given the opportunity to become justice secretary. It is clear from this that the immediate changes required are fundamental, straightforward and make good sense. We know there is no chance of him being appointed justice secretary. However, is there anyone in power who will read this book, take onboard what is being said and act on this information? I'm hopeful, yet doubtful. What is good to see is there has been a lot of talk regarding the release of this book on TV this week so maybe, just maybe.... I feel that this is a book which could change lives. It could be the start of something! My review can be read in full on my book blog momobookdiary

- 05/02/2020
Report this Review
Leave Review


Delivery Options

All delivery times quoted are the average, and cannot be guaranteed. These should be added to the availability message time, to determine when the goods will arrive. During checkout we will give you a cumulative estimated date for delivery.

Location 1st Book Each additional book Average Delivery Time
UK Standard Delivery Free Free 3-5 Days
UK First Class £3.75 £0.00 1-2 Days
Delivery to a Foyles Bookshop Free Free From 2 hours
Click and Collect Free Free From 2 hours - Individual item delivery times given at checkout
UK Courier £7.95 £0.00 1 Working Day
Western Europe**Airmail £9.00 £1.00 7-8 Days
Rest of World Airmail £12.50 £1.00 7-10 Days

** Includes Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Irish Republic, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Click and Collect is available for all our shops; collection times will vary depending on availability of items. Individual despatch times for each item will be given at checkout.

Special delivery items

A Year of Books Subscription Packages 

Delivery is free for the UK. Western Europe costs £60 for each 12 month subscription package purchased. For the Rest of the World the cost is £100 for each package purchased. All delivery costs are charged in advance at time of purchase. For more information please visit the A Year of Books page.

Animator's Survival Kit

For delivery charges for the Animator's Survival Kit please click here.


Delivery Help & FAQs

Returns Information

If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase*, you may return it to us in its original condition with in 30 days of receiving your delivery or collection notification email for a refund. Except for damaged items or delivery issues the cost of return postage is borne by the buyer. Your statutory rights are not affected.

* For Exclusions and terms on damaged or delivery issues see Returns Help & FAQs

You might also like

The Most Dangerous Man in America:...
Steven L. Davis; Bill Minutaglio
Incarcerating Children: Understanding...
Tim Bateman
Power on the Inside: A Global History...
Mitchel P. Roth
The Murder of Mr Moonlight: How ...
Catherine Fegan
© W&G Foyle Ltd
Foyles uses cookies to help ensure your experience on our site is the best possible. Click here if you’d like to find out more about the types of cookies we use.
Accept and Close