School hosts book launch

School hosts book launch

Pictured at the launch are L-R: Gerry Crossan, Director of Resources at Extern; Sean Conlon, Extern; Author Patricia Farren; and Professor Mike Tomlinson, Head of the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work

A new book which looks at prison life has been launched at the McClay Library at Queen’s.

The launch of Patricia Farren’s book, Show me the Prisoner and I’ll Show you the Man, was hosted by the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work and organised by Dr Nicola Carr.

Writer Carlo Gebler, who has worked with the Prison Arts Foundation, spoke at the launch and Professor Mike Tomlinson, Head of School, welcomed the guests to Queen’s.

Patricia Farren is a former prison teacher and member of the Board of Visitors at Maghaberry Prison. Her book looks at the life of Charlie Conlon, a prisoner whom Patricia Farren came to know through her prison work and who eventually took his own life. It tells Charlie’s life story and reveals many of the depredations of prison life.

Speaking about her motivation for writing the book, Patricia Farren said: “I  wrote this book to give expression not only to a voiceless and enraged young man, failed by an indifferent system, the victim of poverty, racism, sectarianism and institutionalisation, but to his family, his fellow inmates, and those who thought they were helping.”

The proceeds from the sales of the book will be donated to Extern, an organisation that works directly with children, adults and communities affected by social exclusion. The School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work has strong links with Extern as a number of social work students undertake placements in a variety of Extern projects throughout Northern Ireland as part of the Bachelor in Social Work Degree programme. 

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