“I started reading and couldn’t put it down. I also couldn’t sleep that night.”

SIMON BROWN, former prison offender services counsellor.

Book cover of Code Blue Prison Officer in Danger by Bruce Perham

This book will have you on the edge of your seat!

“So, in the early days, your husband comes home covered in blood and you’d be shocked. But we become blasé about it. Then, not that many years ago, he went through six shirts in a day. He started by spilling a cup of coffee on himself. That’s one shirt. Then he got a bloody nose. That’s two shirts. Then he got into a fight, and got prisoner blood on him. That’s three shirts. Then he got a cup of urine thrown at him. That’s four shirts. Then he got a handful of faeces thrown at him. So, we’re at five shirts. Then he got chunks of flesh flicked at him. So, we are at six shirts!”

ANNE O’ROURKE describes a bad day at work for her husband, prison officer Neil O’Rourke.

New Release

Code Blue: Prison Officer in Danger

By Bruce Perham


Bruce Perham spent more than a decade going in and out of Victoria’s prisons. A visiting social worker he dealt not with inmates but with hundreds of prison officers who told him confronting stories of their day-to-day workplace experiences, and of how they were left to pick up the pieces after recurring traumatic incidents had hardened some, but left others psychologically or physically scarred.

Perham began to see he was dealing with professionals expected to run towards unpredictably dangerous situations and prisoners, but who remain the most marginalised and unsung of our first responders. With a compassionate ear, Perham listened. In this book, he documents accounts from men and women who walk the perilous line that keeps our prisons operating, and who he argues, need better backup, post-trauma support, and community acknowledgement for what they do on our behalf.

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208 Pages



Bruce Perham


Bruce is a Social Worker, Family and Narrative Therapist. After thirty years of working in the not-for-profit sector, Bruce left the sector in 2008 and established his own business Let’s Talk Differently. In 2021 Bruce published his book ‘Code Blue-Prison Officer in Danger’ which captures his experiences of working in the prison system for more than ten years. 

Managing Stress and Dealing with Trauma

by Bruce Perham

Prison Officer Training Program 2015/2016, by Mental Health Social Worker, Family and Narrative Therapist, Bruce Perham.

“Rarely is there any recognition for the risks we take or the danger we put ourselves in.”

Female prison officer