At the tail end of the 1950s fourteen-year-old William Stokes was sentenced to Westbrook Farm Home for Boys after committing a series of petty crimes. At that time, Westbrook was the most feared institution for boys in the whole of Queensland - a brutal tyranny ruled by a sadistic warden, where boys laboured in the fields from dawn to dusk and where flogging was the answer for any misdemeanour, however minor. Inmates were systematically demeaned and cowed, in a regimen designed to break them.
Stokes' story of his years at Westbrook catalogue the horrors endured by children and young adults at the hands of the authorities, and how they managed to survive. Stokes also reveals the damaged and broken lives that resulted, and how the repercussions continue to be felt by the boys and by society long after their original sentences were served.
Brutally honest, disturbing and compelling, Westbrook will both inform and outrage readers.
- Publication Date:
- 15 / 03 / 2013
- 153 x 234mm