Dead or in Prison by Yahu

(1 customer review)

Original price was: $25.00.Current price is: $18.00.

The untold reality of some young people labeled as ‘At Risk’ – Their story. Their world.

Only 2 left in stock

Add to Wishlist
Add to Wishlist


Through the book you will feel anger, pain, and hear the voice of these young people’s stories.

These times were hard, and extreme behaviours required an extreme response.

‘It was six am. I wanted to be early on my first day of the job. Through the big steel doors, out of nowhere, I saw a foot come flying towards my head! (just missed). I could hear my heart pumping; in front of me stood a young guy and he greeted me with these words:

“You must be a boxer G.”

I don’t remember the next couple of hours, but I do recall sitting at the table with a group of high risk young people having breakfast. I thought to myself, why isn’t anyone finishing or getting up?

That day was spent breaking up fights between two young people, one who used homemade push up blocks and another chair. I was not restraint trained at the time, and neither were the other staff. This was my introduction to youth lock up, no training, sink or swim.

1 review for Dead or in Prison by Yahu

  1. Margaret Craigie

    Dead or in Prison is essential reading for anyone and everyone in NZ.
    It may not have the same descriptive language of Dickens or Shakespeare, but it is definitely still a gripping read.  It is one of those books that you can’t put down, and left you wanting much more.

    The book is written from the perspective of Yahu, a social worker who has himself lived through the trials of the people he is trying to help and is a reminder to society of what happens behind closed doors.   In all the circumstances that Yahu describes, I’m left wondering where the parents are.
    Whereas Alan Duff’s book, ‘Once Were Warriors’, was fictional, ‘Dead or in Prison’ is of real stories, real people.

    I found the following particularly hard-hitting:
    [Bart pointing at a picture he drew.]  “This is me when I got locked in cupboards and hit in the head with a hammer.”


    [Yahu] – “The kids actually looked after the babies while the adults smoked synthetics and weed and drank until they got evicted.”

    These two passages in particular re-affirmed my opinion that some people simply do not deserve the privilege of having children.   We need to do more as a society to prevent unwanted offspring.  The aftermath is not a pretty sight.

    It is worrying that Yahu’s postscript is a forecast of worse to come.  The cost to society will be huge in the prisons that it builds and staffs, and the circumstances of individuals already beyond what any one person should have to endure.
    An excellent read.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *