A MERIDEN ex-con has used his time spent at Her Majestys Pleasure to write a prison survival guide for other first-timers.
Frankie Owens had a loving family, a masters degree and a successful career in hospitality but it all came tumbling down when he split from his wife following the birth of twin daughters.
He descended into drink and drugs while suffering from the condition hypomania and after 30 arrests within a few months, was sentenced to six months behind bars.
While there he penned The Little Book of Prison: A Beginners Guide to help other novice lags like himself get through those tough first few weeks inside.
As a first-time offender, youre completely clueless about life inside and its frightening for both the person going in and the family and loved ones you leave behind, said the 37-year-old.
The worst thing wasnt the officers, it wasnt the other prisoners. It was not being able to see my six year-old daughter.
The book gives five golden rules to serving behind bars: keep your head down, its nice to be nice, dont believe everything you hear, pay your bills if you borrow and never lose your cool. It also includes tips on everything from getting extra blankets to what to wear to fit in.
The Little Book of Prison costs s8.99 and is available from Amazon and most bookshops.