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“Politicians make the laws, police enforce the laws and judges stand in judgement. A prison officer is simply left with the fallout…” “Hard time” didn’t get any harder than being locked up behind the blue stone walls of Australia’s most notorious maximum-security prison. We have heard plenty of stories from the prisoners of Pentridge but what about the tales of those who served on the other side of the bars? Only a special kind of Prison Officer had what it took to manage the hardest convicted criminals in the maze of different divisions at Pentridge. As a boy, John Beeden found himself on the wrong side of the law in the tough working class streets of Birmingham and London. A judge gave him the choice of serving in the Royal Navy or going to jail. After seeing active service in the Bay of Pigs he left the seven seas behind, emigrated to Australia and became a prison officer at Pentridge. These are a collection of tales from John’s time at Pentridge. From Chopper, to riots, to dealing with mentally deranged serial killers, a Governor of Pentridge had to deal with it all. Some of these tales will make you laugh while others will bring a tear to your eye. These stories will add to the rich prison history of Australia, a colonial land built on the back of the incarcerated.
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