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Reformed gangster turned preacher asks jail - why have you banned my books?

A reformed gangster turned preacher, who's held workshops for prisoners around the globe, has spoken of his shock after Lewes Prison banned his books.

John Lawson's given talks in some of the world's most dangerous prisons in the hope of transforming people's lives. Yet, when his books were requested by Lewes Prison's chaplain, they were rejected on the grounds of security.

With prison libraries containing books on the Krays, among others, John says he fears he's being discriminated against - either as a former prisoner or a Christian. Andy Dickenson reports.

Lewes Prison told to improve

Lewes prison has been told it needs to improve safety and reduce violence.

The prisons' inspectorate found a higher number of assaults at the sussex jail compared to others.

And almost a quarter of prisoners said they felt depressed or suicidal.

Lewes Prison has ben told it needs to reduce violence Credit: ITV Meridian

"Despite the prison's age I am pleased that the Chief Inspector has recognised that there are a number of strengths at HMP Lewes.

"It is a testament to the hard work of staff that the prison is clean, and decent, and that relationships between staff and prisoners are positive, and that resettlement support for prisoners is a strength.

"Improving safety is a priority and the Governor has put plans in place to address each of the inspectorate concerns, including provision of additional training for staff to better support vulnerable prisoners".

– Michael Spurr, Chief Executive of the National Offender Management Service


Former policeman found hanged in cell

A former detective jailed for life for murdering his partner and fellow officer whose body was discovered in a shallow woodland grave in West Sussex has been found hanged in his cell.

Peter Foster's death at Lewes Prison in East Sussex comes just three days after a man who knifed his controlling stepfather to death was found hanged at the same jail.

Foster, a 36-year-old former detective constable, was jailed for life and told he must serve at least 17 years at Lewes Crown Court last month after admitting murdering his partner.