Trapped Behind Bars preview

book preview of Trapped Behind Bars by Tammy Norris


Behind Bars 


Trapped behind Bars tells
the story of the author’s life and how she became an Officer at one of
Australia’s well known Detention
The story includes descriptions of riots that took place on numerous occasions
and other interesting events.
This exposè gives a graphic account of how Prison Officers coped or didn’t
cope with such circumstances, rather than just hearing about the detainees and
how maltreated they were (as the media would have people believe).
Interspersed is romance, broken hearts and other ‘normal’ events that occur in
a person’s life.
Now, it is time the real story was told, and although names and places have
been changed to protect the innocent and guilty, this book will entertain,
shock and expose the real truths.


In Store Price: $AU22.00 

Online Price:   $AU21.00

920699 64 3

Format: Paperback

Number of pages:

Genre: Non-Fiction


Author: Tammy

Imprint: Poseidon

Publisher: Zeus Publications

Date Published: May 2003

Language: English


Read a sample


Tammy Norris was born in Brisbane, Queensland in
1976.  At the age of three her
family moved to a small mining community in the Northern Territory, based on an
island in the Gulf of Carpentaria.   She
now lives with her fiancé Alex in Brisbane. 

Throughout her life Tammy has lived not only in
Queensland, and the Northern Territory, but also South Australia. 
She has extensively traveled through Western Australia, Tasmania, New
South Wales, and overseas destinations. 

The events in this book are close to Tammy’s heart
and written in a ponderous manner because they reflect the child within her,
whilst she struggled with enormous amounts of responsibility and mayhem. 

P R O L O G U E 

Sitting in an
auditorium filled with excited, determined and enthusiastic students, I
seriously contemplated my place in this large and expansive educational
facility.  I was at university! 
My comfort zone was being stretched dramatically. As I listened to the
chatter and laughter of students arriving I felt they all belonged in this room
– but did I?

I had been accepted into a
Bachelor of Criminology at a Perth University and so I was here, in body anyhow. 
My heart and soul yearned to be in a university journalism course, had my
family not talked me out of my lifelong dream.

Ever since I was a child, I had always loved
to read and write.  I would often
write make believe stories and have my Mum type them for me. 
Mum would then take my masterpieces to work and bind them – making them
look professional.  I used to be so
proud of what I had achieved – in fact I still possess those early pieces of

My enthusiasm for writing novels and books was
somewhat squashed when my well meaning parents told me in their matter of fact
way, I would never be able to become an instant best selling author. 
I guess I would have been about eight or nine years of age when this
negative but well intentioned piece of advice was given.

On reflection I realise my great enthusiasm
for writing started to wane then and my love of reading picked up. 
I would read at every opportunity, from Enid Blyton’s Famous Five to
Caroline Keene’s Nancy Drew mysteries.  My
parents were generous in the amount of money they spent buying books for me to

As I matured, my reading horizons expanded as
did my vocabulary and writing skills.  I
could produce a very good written assignment for any subject at school and did
so with ease.  Writing was my art,
but my dream of being a famous writer had been taken away in those early years
and for many years I lost direction.

My older sister Kaitlan always knew she wanted
to be a nurse.  She was encouraged
and helped to obtain her objective – today she is a successful registered nurse,
having graduated from university with her nursing degree. 
She was never lost on her life’s journey and it’s reflected in
Kaitlan’s near perfect lifestyle compared to my hectic and chaotic life. 
My wonderful sister and I are like chalk and cheese.

Whilst Kaitlan had a clear view of her career
goal, I wavered from wanting to join the armed forces to being a counselor or
social worker to finally deciding on journalism.  After all, when in grade 10, I had always loved writing and
still do so why not combine that love and knowledge to give myself a good

With a goal firmly set I worked hard at my
studies achieving good results especially in English, one of my favorite
subjects.  It helped tremendously
that for two consecutive years I had a wonderful English teacher.

Mrs. Pauli would have no idea how much I
admired and respected her. She made English a pleasure and with her being
friendly and cool, I could equate writing with that, rather than the usual
stereotypical belief that writing was dull and boring. It’s only now as I sit
writing that I acknowledge what an impact she made in my life and the faith she
had in my abilities.  I thank her
from the bottom of my heart.

Mum and Dad later encouraged me to pursue my
dream of becoming a journalist

“That’s a wonderful idea Tammy. 
Go for it.  We’ll back you
one hundred percent.”

Initially I had their full support. However
all that changed when the time came for students to give university preferences
– what courses at which universities they would like. I naturally wanted to
attend a Perth university, as this was where I was living. 
It was home and it was my base.  However
in case my school grades were not high enough for acceptance at a Perth
university, Geraldton, located north of Perth, was my second preference and it
was where ultimately I was accepted

I was determined to move to Geraldton so I
could become a journalist and bring my childhood dream of writing to fruition.

I never did!  Even though I
was 18, I still took notice of what my parents had to say.

Their argument and reasoning was “How will
you pay for rent, food and electricity. We are not in the position to help you
out financially, and if you get a part time job – that will interfere with your
study.  We believe you’d be better
off choosing another course, one you can do in Perth.”

Having always lived at home, this prospect
provoked fear in me and for some reason I began to doubt my true calling. 
Having a long-term relationship with my boyfriend Johnathan didn’t help
matters either. He was pressuring me to stay in Perth stating a long distance
love affair wouldn’t and couldn’t survive even though Geraldton wasn’t
that far from Perth. So with combined pressures from family and boyfriend, I
abandoned my dreams to fulfill their
desires. At that point in my life I had no idea how my actions were about to
impact upon my life.

I had no idea what I wanted to do. 
I knew what I wanted to and should be
studying but considering that option was taken away, I was left in limbo. 
What was I going to do?

Quite truthfully I didn’t particularly care, my
interest in attending university began to fade quite dramatically, to the point
where I wasn’t going to apply at all. 

I began writing out job applications – after
all I had worked as a night fill worker for a supermarket whilst at school, a
job I hated with a passion and I had acquired typing and computer skills at high
school.  I was going to be a worker,
not an academic!  That was my

As my sister Kaitlan was a university student,
she and my parents were tirelessly on my back stating all the positives a degree
would give me and what a wonderful experience university life was. They harped
on how in years to come I would regret not going if I didn’t do it now. 

It became so annoying that one day I threw the
careers/university book at my sister and mother and screamed.  

“Well why don’t you two choose a career
for me, considering I don’t know what I want to do.”

They did just that!  For the next couple of days they perused the university
guide, and finally said,

“Tammy, we’ve found the perfect course for

sister’s eyes were glowing with excitement and anticipation; she spoke
quickly, tumbling her words over each other.

“You know how in school you really enjoyed
Legal Studies and all that law stuff?  Well
Mum and I have found a Bachelor of Criminology. 
It would be perfect because although you don’t want to do law, and your
grades are not high enough for that, you do love legal related material. 
This is it – this is the course for you. 
It’s not only that it’s at Perth University but also we could travel
together depending on our rosters.”

So that was how I came to be in a large
university auditorium.




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