Eric Allison was a tireless investigative journalist, shedding light on one of the least understood corners of British life: its prisons (Eric Allison, Guardian’s prison correspondent, dies at 79, 2 November). The Howard League was grateful to work with him throughout what he called his “second career”, helping him whenever we could in his endeavours. I particularly recall Eric’s sympathetic reportage of the late Pauline Campbell’s campaign in protest at her daughter’s death in custody, his exposures with Simon Hattenstone of abuses in youth detention, and his immensely sensitive coverage of the death of 14-year-old Adam Rickwood in terrible circumstances.
Eric was also one of the most polite and warm people I have had the pleasure to work with. “How are you? I hope things are good,” I’d often find myself saying to him when he was in touch about a story, impressed as I was that he kept on writing throughout his 70s. “I’m OK, thanks,” would be Eric’s invariable response. “I only wish I could say the same about the prison situation.”
Howard League for Penal Reform
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