Shotts book requests reveal highbrow high security cons


HIGHBROW inmates at a maximum security prison have been requesting the world’s greatest works of literature to read in their cells.

Murderers, drug dealers and rapists serving time at HMP Shotts have asked to read books by the likes of Cervantes, Dante, and Hilary Mantel.

The list, revealed through Freedom of Information, details the surprising requests made by inmates for books to be stocked at the establishment.

And it shows that the notorious prisoners, known in the past for riots and unrest, also possess the urge to further their academic knowledge.

The records were from HMP Shotts

Some of the books included in the request list include The Teachings of Don Juan by Carlos Castenada, Don Quixote, translated by Peter Motteux, and Introducing Genetics by Steve Jones.

Also on the list are Gaelic language books, psychology literature, cosmology manuals and Winston Churchill biographies.

2012 Man Booker Prize winner Bring Up The Bodies, by Hilary Mantel, was requested as was How Late It Was How Late, by Glasgow-born James Kelman, which won the same prize in 1994.

Banged-up mathematicians asked for a teach-yourself guide to differential calculus and Physics for Dummies.

Non-fiction works include A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking and The Fall of the Roman Empire published by Edward Gibbon in 1776. Poetry fans at Shotts requested a selection of Wordsworth classics and Dante’s The Divine Comedy.

Some of the more amusing titles comprise We’re All Doing Time: A Guide to Getting Free by Bo Lozoff, and The Oxford Handbook of Criminology.

The Encyclopedia of Body Building by Arnold Schwarzenegger also featured.

The Freedom of Information data also revealed books requested at HMP Cornton Vale and HMP Low Moss.

Female inmates at Cornton Vale have made requests for “something on origami”, “books on animals” and “various books in Punjabi”.

They have also asked for Nelson Mandela’s The Long Road to Freedom and The Five Tibetans Yoga by Susan Westbrook.

Requests made by male prisoners serving short sentences at Low Moss span a range of genres.

Inmates have asked for Sir Alex Ferguson’s biography, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams and Pakistan on the Brink by Ahmed Rashid.

They have also requested two copies of the Oxford Rhyming Dictionary and meditation manuals.

Another Freedom of Information request detailed the top ten most popular borrowed books at HMP Perth.

It includes The Official Theory Test for Car Drivers, Quit Smoking Today and Harry Hill’s Whopping Great Joke Book.