The O’Rourke Interviews: Counselling a Prison Officer with a Tough Story to Tell!
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 alarming 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, and 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 marginalized and unsung of our first responders. With a compassionate ear, Perham listened and argues that prison officers need better backup, post-trauma support, and community acknowledgment for what they do on our behalf.
“Another prison officer suggested I purchase a copy of Code Blue – Prison Officer in Danger. I had also listened to the podcasts on the Let’s Talk Differently website ,which I really enjoyed and could truly relate to.As I read Code Blue,much of what Bruce reflected on was very relevant and experiences I too have been through.
It was an incredibly useful resource for me personally and a great resource for my fiance to read and understand the job I do. Thanks for respectfully and honestly displaying the job inside out Bruce.I encourage all my colleagues and their families to give the podcasts a listen and the book a read.”
Molly, Prison Officer
Bruce interviewed Neil, their children John, Pat, and Liz O’Rourke early in 2021. While excerpts of these interviews were included in Code Blue – Prison Officer in Danger a substantial portion of these interviews was not able to be included. Encouraged by reader response to Code Blue, Bruce decided to publish the full interviews with the O’Rourkes. While this provides a richer insight into Neil’s life as a prison officer it also provides greater depth into his family’s experience of his work with Neil and themselves.
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.
Grab both books now!
Book Bundle: Code Blue + The O’Rourke Interviews
By Bruce Perham