TICKETS AVAILABLE: As part of the Justice Gap, series we are teaming up for a second year with the Prisoners Advice Service to host their annual debate.

  • You can read a conversation between Jonathan Aitken and Frances Crook promoting last year’s debate in the Guardian HERE.
  • You can read about that event also in the Guardian HERE.
  • If you want to come to this year’s event, email

This year’s debate will ask: is prison ‘too soft’ and does it ‘work’? We aim to sort the realities from the myths of prison life.

The panel debate will again be chaired by Erwin James from the Guardian.

It will feature :
·       Deborah Coles, co-director, INQUEST;
·       Dr Ben Crewe, deputy director of Prisons Research Centre, Cambridge University;
·       Rachel Halford, Director, Women in Prison;
·       Leroy Skeete, ex-client of PAS;
·       Lord Taylor of Warwick, Conservative peer; and
·       Closing speech: Lord Ramsbotham, ex-Chief Inspector of Prisons

When: Monday May 28th, 630pm
Where: Hogan Lovells, Atlantic House, London EC1A2FG (
Tickets: Tickets are free, but this year we are asking people to support PAS by sponsoring Dan Holmes who’s running the Brighton Marathon.
Booking: Book in advance by emailing We need your name; address; organisation & contact number. Max two tickets.

PAS ( is a charity providing free legal advice and information to prisoners. It is independent and receives no Home Office funding. On the night, there will be an opportunity to make a donation to PAS.

Author: Jon Robins

Jon is editor of the Justice Gap. He is a freelance journalist. Jon’s books include The First Miscarriage of Justice (Waterside Press, 2014), The Justice Gap (LAG, 2009) and People Power (Daily Telegraph/LawPack, 2008). Jon is a journalism lecturer at Winchester University and a visiting senior fellow in access to justice at the University of Lincoln. He is twice winner of the Bar Council’s journalism award (2015 and 2005) and is shortlisted for this year’s Criminal Justice Alliance’s journalism award

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