It is wrong to assume that because someone is in prison they do not have the potential to be positive and active members of their communities. We at the African Prisons Project believe that prison can be, and should be, a place of positive transformation, and the work that APP has done over the past decade has proved this belief to be true. I will speak of what led to our work, the stories of those we have worked with, and what needs to be done to make prisons a place of dignity, hope and transformation.
Alexander McLean studied law at Nottingham University and went on to do an LLM with the University of London. He was called to the Bar in 2010 as a Lord Mansfield and Hardwicke Scholar at Lincoln’s Inn, London. Since 2006 he has sat as a magistrate on the Nottingham Bench. His experience is in prisons and he sits on the legal committee of the International Corrections and Prisons Association. He has a particular interest in education and through the charity he founded, the African Prisons Project, has developed primary, secondary and tertiary education programs in prisons in Africa.
He has given lectures at Harvard, Cambridge, LSE and Eton and is the youngest person to have preached at Liverpool Cathedral. He was the ‘UK Graduate of the Year 2007′ and the first ‘University of Nottingham Alumni Laureate’. He has received the Beacon Prize for Philanthropy and fellowships from Vodafone, Tearfund, Ashoka, The Clore Duffield Foundation, TED and in 2008 was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
In December 2013 TIME Magazine named Alexander one of 30 under 30s changing the world.