Erwin James has been a Guardian columnist and contributor since 1998. Currently he is Editor in Chief of Inside Time, the national newspaper for people in prison. He became a writer in prison where he served 20 years of a mandatory life sentence. He has been a consultant for Ian Duncan Smith MP on prisoner rehabilitation and a Commissioner on the panel of the Westminster Commission on Miscarriages of Justice alongside Lord Edward Garnier and Baroness Vivien Stern. Erwin is the author of three books: A Life Inside – A Prisoners Notebook, (Atlantic, 2003), The Home Stretch – From Prison to Parole, (Atlantic, 2005) and Redeemable – a Memoir of Darkness and Hope (Bloomsbury, Feb 2016). He has been a Trustee of the Prison Reform Trust and the Koestler Trust and is now a patron of the charities: Create, Human Writes, and the Prison Phoenix Trust. He is a Fellow of the RSA and an Honorary Master of the Open University.