Sun 11 Nov, 2023

Rory Stewart delivers Longford Lecture on National Prison Radio

The former Prisons Minister turned podcast star delivered a barnstorming lecture to an audience in Westminster, with National Prison Radio listeners tuning in from their cells.

The Longford Lecture is a key date in the criminal justice year. Hosted by the Longford Trust, who support people in prison to engage in education, a keynote speaker is invited to deliver the annual lecture.

This year’s was given by the former Prisons Minister Rory Stewart.

He was a Minister of State in the Ministry of Justice between 2018 and 2019 before being kicked out of the Conservative parliamentary party by Boris Johnson. He now co-presents the smash hit podcast The Rest is Politics.

The programme was presented by Zak Addae-Kodua, presenter of our award-winning podcast Life After Prison and Paula Harriott, head of Prisoner Engagement at the Prison Reform Trust and the co-host of our podcast The Secret Life of Prisons.

The Longford Trust runs a programme of scholarships for young people who have been in prison. They are awarded to people who want to rebuild their lives through education after release.

85% of scholars go to university, graduate and move forward to have careers. A handful of those scholars tell their stories during this broadcast.

Frank Longford was a politician and prison reform campaigner who was passionate about standing up for the unpopular and those on the margins of society.

Rory Stewart’s lecture discusses the relationship between democratic politics and the problems with reforming prison. He explains why the nature of democracy in an age of populism is ill-suited to address the problems in prisons.

The programme also highlights some extraordinary work by people in the criminal justice sector, including this year’s Longford Prize winner, JENGbA who campaign against joint enterprise convictions.

Rory Stewart’s Longford Lecture will be available to listen to soon on The Secret Life of Prisons podcast feed.