S&B – Alexander McLean is not a normal son
In the early years of Alexander McLean’s life, while he was volunteering at a hospice in Uganda, building a prison library in Kenya and founding a charity that has now helped thousands of people across four African countries, his father asked him a question: “Why can’t you just be a normal son?” McLean is still not normal.Read More
PR Newswire – 2020 Wise Awards Winners Announced
WISE, an initiative of Qatar Foundation (QF), has announced the winners of the 2020 WISE Awards, recognizing and promoting six innovative projects from across the world that address global educational challenges.Read More
News Break – Alexander McLean named 2020 Grinnell Prize recipient
President Anne Harris announced on Wednesday that Alexander McLean, the founder and director general of international nonprofit organization Justice Defenders, has won the 2020 Grinnell College Innovator for Social Justice Prize.Read More
The Sunday Times – The story of the Londoner bringing justice to East Africa
Justice Defenders enlists lawyers, prison officers, judges and British universities to provide legal training to inmates — some barely educated — so they can become their own advocates.Read More
Tuko – Kamiti Prison: 10 inmates graduate with law degrees
At least 17 inmates, police officers and former convicts graduated from the Kamiti Maximum Prison in Nairobi with law degrees from the University of London on Thursday, October 31.Read More
The Spectator – Why former prisoners make the best lawyers
Having set up a UK charity, McLean persuaded authorities in Uganda and later Kenya’s Kamiti Maximum Security prison to let him support bright prisoners, and also their warders, to study for London university’s distance-learning law degree.Read More
Forbes – Our world becomes rich when we don't write people off
In this Q&A, McLean talks about the project’s work, the loneliness of leadership and what we can learn from those living in poverty.Read More
CNN – How Kenya replaced the 'baton with the pen' and transformed prisoners' lives
When Peter Ouko was sentenced to death for murder 20 years ago, he was sent to Kenya's Kamiti maximum security prison, notorious for being one of the worst jails in the world.Read More
An inside look into how we launched our work in The Gambia
Our Director of Growth Matteo Cassini how we launched our work in a new country, with new partners, during a pandemic.Read More
The transformational power of legal education in prison.
Our law degree programme is trailblazing. Education Leads Milly and Brenda explain how we’re unlocking talent and educating a new, unlikely generation of justice defenders.Read More
A break in the clouds: silver linings from 2021
Justice Defenders Founder and CEO Alexander McLean reflects on the successes from our year. He shines a light on how the team inside and outside of prison have overcome adversity through bravery, humility and solidarity.Read More
Carol Service 2021
A virtual Christmas celebration with our communities in Uganda, Kenya, The Gambia, UK and USA. Watch the service below. Then learn how you can help us expand to respond to the global awakening for justice.Read More
Celebrating Black academic excellence
This month, as we celebrate with our 28 University of London students who have recently received their exam results, it gives us pause to reflect.Read More
Our manifesto: responding to the grassroots need for justice in the US and beyond
As we respond to the mandate of the people, we remain grounded by our values of solidarity, humility, and bravery. To navigate the immense opportunities to scale our work, we are listening deeply to the grassroots need.Read More
Voices from our paralegals: “Justice means to me…”
Ahead of World Day for International Justice on Saturday 17 July 2021, we asked our trained paralegals in prisons across Kenya and Uganda what justice means to them.Read More
An update on our work during Covid-19
With Covid-19 cases on the rise in East Africa, Justice Defenders Country Directors Karen Saidi and Miriam Wachira provide an insight into how our work has been affected.Read More
Catching up with paralegals in The Gambia one year on.
Hear from three of our paralegals in The Gambia, as we celebrate a year of our work in the country.Read MorE
Reforming the Sexual Offences Act: securing proportionate sentencing.
Success as Justice Defenders paralegals ensure judges are able to use their discretion to sentence people convicted of sexual offences.Read MorE
The unlikely activists. Reforming the criminal justice system from behind prison bars.
Success as Justice Defenders paralegals secure rights for suspects with mental disabilities.Read MorE
Fighting for the rights of mothers with postpartum depression.
Rose, like many mothers across the world, experienced depression. With a lack of medical care, she was treated unfairly by the law. Thanks to our work, she is reunited with her daughter.Read MorE
From death row to presidential palaces. One woman’s incredible fight for justice.
Having graduated with a law degree while incarcerated, Susan now travels the world campaigning against the death sentence.Read MorE
Punitive sentencing for petty offences; vestiges of colonial times.
In East Africa young people are persistently caught up in drug trafficking, loitering and pickpocketing charges, resulting in long periods in prison. Here Draconian laws still apply, yet to be reviewed for the 21st Century. So laws often criminalise and marginalise the people with least in society.Read MorE
“My 13-year imprisonment was a setup. They never wanted us to get married.”
Despite having the paperwork to prove Emily’s age and his innocence, Simon was convicted of aggravated defilement. No court would hear his appeal, so Simon spent 13 years in prison for a crime he, and Emily, says he didn’t commit.Read MorE
The law: Enforcing it, breaking it, studying it. One man's journey
When he used to work as a police officer, Gilbert would take people to prison with little thought about fair trials or sentencing. Until he found himself in conflict with the law he once administered.Read MorE