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From prisoner to PhD student – how one woman turned her jail sentence into an opportunity

Kerry Tucker seemed to be a typical suburban mother of two, but she had a terrible secret: she had been stealing money from her employers.

When her offence was discovered it was reported to be the biggest white-collar crime committed by a female in Victoria, and she was sentenced to seven years in a maximum-security prison, alongside the state’s most notorious criminals. Being incarcerated with drug dealers and murderers, however, was not nearly as daunting as having to tell her two young daughters why she was leaving them. The shame was almost unbearable.

As Kerry adjusted to life behind bars, she began to see her fellow inmates as more than simply ‘murderers’ and ‘drug dealers’ – they became real people with names and broken dreams. And as they opened up to her, she realised that many of these women had violent home lives and were not getting parole simply because they couldn’t fill out the paperwork. Horrified, Kerry set about using her skills to represent them. She also began to study.


Today, Kerry has a PhD, advocates for women prisoners, and has been reunited with her daughters. In her inspiring memoir, filled with fascinating stories of life behind bars and shot through with wry humour, she reveals how one woman’s darkest hour can become a turning point in her life. And how, just perhaps, it can even be the making of her.

Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback

    9780143793977

    April 2, 2018

    William Heinemann Australia

    RRP $34.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9780143787396

    April 2, 2018

    Random House Australia

    320 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
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Article
The First Night

Kerry Tucker’s traumatic first night behind bars.

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