During his time behind bars, Emmanuel went from dangerous illiterate criminal to degree educated inspirational motivator.

His words and actions have helped hundreds of people in and out of prison to turn their life around.

Killing Time is an incredible human story of a man desperate to better himself, and those around him, against the odds.

“I aim to inspire people, especially prisoners, to build confidence, self-esteem and show them what is possible. If I did it so can you!"

Emmanuel De Silva II

Aged 38, Emmanuel found himself facing a 23-year sentence in a AA category institution.

He started his journey as an illiterate and dangerous criminal, but has used his time to gain knowledge and wisdom. Whilst serving his sentence, he has completed Open University degrees in Social Science and Religion, and he is currently working towards a BA Honours degree in Arts and Humanities. It has been quite a turnaround!

Like many other young men in his position, Emmanuel had a choice, he could either give up and give in, or turn his adversity into an opportunity. In this honest account of his experiences, he shares his despair, his battle against negativity, and the confidence his new education has given him. This book is designed to inspire fellow prisoners and aid prison education professionals. In his words, "Free your mind, your soul will follow."



Looking to channel their time behind bars into improving their education, employability and quality of life after prison

Prison staff

Who can learn from Emmanuel's ideas especially those working in education who can inspire students with his story.

Prisoners' Families

That want to gain a better understanding of how prison time can be used to bring about positive change.


Needing inspiration and motivation to overcome their obstacles and achieve success. 

“Don't count the days, make the days count. Anything is possible."

Emmanuel De Silva II


  • He taught himself to read while he was in solitary confinement.
  • He took his GCSEs at the same time as his daughter, and they helped each other revise.
  • He went on to achieve 5 A-Levels and is currently working towards his third degree.
  • He channeled the street skills he had: planning, execution and determination into studying, and encourages others to do the same.
  • His education proposals that were originally seen as a direct attack on his prison’s education team have now been embraced and implemented with great success.


Details of the ANKH Life program and various worksheets for History Culture & Heritage and Knowledge of Self


“David Cameron was very impressed with what you had to say on ways to try and find solutions to gun crime and the knife crime together with some of the issues that lie behind it."

Jenny Stoker

Office of the Leader of the Opposition

“The work you are doing is of immeasurable value not just for you but for others too and I commend you for it."

Edward Garnier 

Shadow Minister for Home Affairs

“As gripping as it is eye opening - a powerful testament to the life-changing power of literacy and a vivid insight into prison life. He takes the reader on an educational quest against the odds: written with passion, dry humour and a sharp eye for detail."

Oliver Harris

Author of the 'Nick Belsey' series of crime novels


If you have any queries for Emmanuel specifically regarding issues relating to the book, website or his courses please use this contact form.