Wednesday 5 June 2024

Book review: ‘Time After Time’ by Chris Atkinson

Rating: ★★★★★ out of 5!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It followed on from Chris’ first book ‘A Bit of a Stretch’ where he documented and wrote about his time in prison serving a sentence for tax.

In Time After Time Chris gives an inside look into why people reoffend and go back into prison. From issues such as mental illness, lack of support following release from prison, addiction, needing money so they return to crime as a means to make money, the lack of a person’s education or employability, homelessness, enjoying being in prison and other reasons. 

Chris gives a detailed look into each of these issues by each chapter following one person’s own story of reoffending and why. Chris also asks why the person chooses to reoffend and also asks the individual what they think could stop them from reoffending.

Following on from this last point Chris explores the failures in the criminal justice system to stop reoffending. Such as poor relationships with parole officers or multiple changes in parole officers and issues with housing following release from prison. Like one person featured in the book what released from prison and one of the terms of his release was not to mix with other criminals yet he was housed in a bail hostel full of other criminals!

In the book Chris also speaks with people to see what changes could be made to reduce reoffending and what other countries are doing within their own criminal justice system and briefly brings in statistics of reoffending in the UK compared with other countries. 

The reason why I gave this book a 5 star rating was I loved the narration done by Chris himself. The book is very lighthearted and funny in many places in the manner that Chris goes about to investigate for this book and the people he interviews for the book too. I enjoyed the fact that it was an insider’s perspective on reoffending and included those at the heart of the matter. It was an extremely interesting and insightful book I learnt a lot as well as laughed at Chris’ and the people he interviews antics throughout the book. I’d highly recommend listening to it for the narration.