•  Public Speaking

a life inside

Chairing NEON conference Central Hall Westminster alongside HM Inspector of Prisons Anne Owers

“Erwin James was an engaging and effective host.”

Keynote Presentation

EPEA conference, Brunstad, Norway

a life inside

“The message of hope from Erwin James was inspiring.”


               Delivering Keynote Speech

NFWI Annual Conference Liverpool Echo Arena

Since his release from prison in August 2004 writer and journalist Erwin James has endeavoured to inform the debate on how our society uses imprisonment through his writing and as a motivational speaker in seminars and conferences in a variety of spheres including business and education as well as criminal justice. James believes that a prison is a valuable community resource, “As valuable as a school or a hospital.” He believes society’s failure to acknowledge this is the main reason that prison fails to serve victims of crime well, and fails to bring the rewards that society has a right to expect from its massive investment in the prison system both in financial and human terms. In his presentations James challenges the stereotypical image of the people who inhabit our prisons and in doing so provides inspirational testimony to the untapped potential that the effective use of imprisonment can offer.

Erwin has given presentations to organisations, associations and schools in the UK, Europe and Australia, including the Royal Society in Edinburgh, the European Prison Education Association in Dublin and in Norway, the Prisons and Probation Union at the Danish parliament in Copenhagen and the Sydney Opera House.

“Erwin is a passionate advocate of rehabilitation policies. He praises the army of teachers, trainers, facilitators and counsellors trying to help break the cycle of offending and imprisonment.” David Lammy MP


                                          Delivering Keynote Speech

                 for the Greater Manchester Probation Trust Conference 

                                           "Opportunity for Change"

                                              Manchester United Football Ground

  "Really excellent and exactly what I wanted! Your story and delivery were captivating"

                                                     Chris Noah Deputy Chief Executive GMPT

                                                                                                                                   NUS FE Seminar Manchester University



'Erwin was a truly inspirational speaker with an

absolute wealth of experience. We can't wait to

hear from him again!' Oliver Williams,

President of the Law Society, Salford University

"Thank you so much for letting us have the privilege to

meet Erwin James as it was extremely inspiring and very

motivational. It was definitely a great insight into the other 

side of criminal justice. It was the best experience i have had 

at Derby University and a great end to our third year!  

Student, Derby University 

"A great insight into how prison does and does not work" Mark Pettigrew, Lecturer, Derby University

 "Very enjoyable, informative and a real benefit to students" Julia Giaramita, Programme Director, Derby University

“Erwin James was outstanding! All power to his elbow in spreading the message. Erwin stole the

show!!” Delegate feedback H M Prison Service Perrie Lecture

"Very inspirational and engaging talk..." NOTA Conference Delegate

"You remind me that in everyone’s life there is a “secret good” and we have a duty to seek that out and foster it." NOTA Conference Delegate   

"OUR FAVOURITE! Interesting, fab talker, captivating, hard hitting message..." Students, Cardinal Newman College

"Confident and captivating. Best session." Student, Cardinal Newman College

"The best talk I've had in my time at college..." Student, Victoria College, Jersey

                                                                Literary Events


             With Carlo Gebler                                 South Bank                                 York English PEN


                                       Harrogate Crime Writing Festival

            Duncan Campbell, Cass Pennant, Jonathan Aitken, Erwin James


My favourite Forum presenter was Erwin James. I found his story so inspiring that I bought his book.

If he managed to work at passing his exams in prison, then there is no way I should quit…”  Student

“Thanks for arranging the fantastic talk of Erwin's.” Teacher                   

“We are so lucky to have people like Erwin James spreading

a bit of sense around…” Student

“The honesty and power with which he spoke about his experience kept the audience spellbound and compelled them to confront some difficult but important issues. It was one of the best talks we have had all year and, for some, will be an abiding memory of school.” Teacher


"I would like to thank you for teaching me to be determined for what I want and to follow what I am good at. Thank you.” Student letter                                                                                          

If you would like Erwin James to speak at/Chair your event please click:CONTACT