Go to podcast
by Department of Communities and Justice
Behind the Walls

The Blue and the Green


A prison officer reveals how an inmate saved his life from a brutal bashing by a criminal gang.

In the fifth episode of Behind the Walls: The Blue and the Green, crime journalist and former author Michael Duffy talks to Long Bay’s Paul Coyne about the often surprising interactions between officers and inmates.

“Mutual respect between inmates and officers is really important and I honestly believe that it pretty much saved my life,” Paul says.

“I was being assaulted at Long Bay when an inmate heard it happening, so he stuck his head out and called for help to my colleagues.

“Then he came flying up and belted one of the inmates so hard I thought he had killed him – he went down like a sack of potatoes – and then he turned to the other two and said, ‘Don’t you ever lay a hand on Mr Coyne again’.”

Behind the Walls is produced by Corrective Services NSW, part of the Department of Communities and Justice. If you like our show, please give us a rating or a review.

Host: Michael Duffy

Technical Production and Design: Ben Cork

With thanks to the following guests: Angela Feeney, Paul Coyne, Lee Caines, Belinda McInnes, Craig Smith, Rowena Mustard, Adam Schreiber, Nick da Costa, James Duckworth and Mark Kennedy.

We are grateful for the assistance of staff at the Metropolitan Special Programs Centre, Dawn De Loas, Cessnock, Lithgow, Emu Plains and Macquarie correctional centres.

For more stories on prison and parole:

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Instagram, YouTube or Twitter

Listen on Simplecast

Contact us:



Episode 5

by Department of Communities and Justice