For most people, reading is a form of escapism, a way of imagining ourselves in a different position, place, or even another world. There are, however, some situations where the power of literacy and stories to transport the reader is even more important.

Prison can be a desperate place for men and women serving custodial sentences, but for some it can also be a space for reflection and change. This event brings together two men who have experienced the reality of the prison system and have come out on the other side through the transformative power of reading.

Join Peg Alexander as she delves into the astonishing experiences of Pete White and Noel ‘Razor’ Smith, their time both in prison and out and how literature has helped to change their lives. This is a true tale of redemption through reading.

About The Speakers

Noel Smith

Noel Smith entered the prison system at the age of 15 where he taught himself to read and write. He set up a prison magazine which won 3 Koestler Awards, gained an A-level in law and an Honours Diploma from the London School of Journalism, and began to write short stories. Released in May 2010 he has now written 6 books and works as the commissioning editor at the national prisoner’s newspaper Inside Time.

Pete White

Pete White is an ex-prisoner and now the originator and Chief Executive of ‘Positive Prison? Positive Futures’, a Scottish charity representing people with lived experience of punishment, working to reduce the harm caused by offending and re-offending in Scotland. He also sits on a number of Scottish Government committees relating to justice and prisons.

About The Chair

Peg Alexander

Peg Alexander is a double award-nominated TV and radio presenter, event host, speaker and occasional writer. She came to broadcasting after over 20 years in campaigning, public policy, charities and regeneration, with a short spell in national politics.