My twelve riotous years working behind bars in some of Canada's toughest jails
Download the book
Line Screw is now fully available online as PDF in five parts.
Praise for Line Screw
"A powerful, insightful, moving, honest, humourous, totally absorbing, remarkable account of the prison system by an extraordinarily gifted writer who clearly describes what prisons are all about from his unique role as a prison guard. It is genuine literature." — Edward L. Greenspan, Q.C.
"Line Screw is a fascinating book. Sometimes it reads like a crime novel, at others it resembles Fielding's Tom Jones. But most of all, it's J. Michael Yates at his best." — Al Purdy, poet and novelist
About the Book
J. Michael Yates has been many things in his life—poet and novelist, university professor and publisher, even logger and powder monkey. But the best job he's ever had, he swears, is the one he held for more than a decade—that of prison guard, or line screw.
Line Screw is his account of life on both sides of the bars. Yates takes us on a unique tour of three very different jails, representing the best and the worst of the Canadian penal system. And, like life in jail itself, Line Screw is rude, tough, and riotous.