Eric Allison was a well-known Guardian prison correspondent who was known for being an ex-inmate. He was hired as a result of responding to a newspaper ad that stated applicants without a criminal record could still apply.
Eric Allison, who spent the majority of his life in prison before becoming the Guardian’s prison correspondent at age 60, has passed away. He was 79 years old and had just received a secondary bone cancer diagnosis.
Allison was hired as a result of responding to a newspaper ad that stated applicants without a criminal record could still apply. He made an impression on Alan Rusbridger, the editor at the time, with his zeal for upholding justice and his elegant writing style.
An in-depth look at Eric Allison’s Family background and youth
The age of Eric Allison was 79. His birth year was 1943. Nellie Allison, his mother, gave birth to him. He describes his father as an army man, but once his father left the army, his father got into trading, thus he spent the majority of his youth in Gorton, east Manchester, with his mother and his three brothers among which two are alive and they are Walter and Tommy.
He had a strong conviction that the people whose cases he took up were innocent.
Eric Allison’s Prison History
He was first convicted when he was an 11-year-old heavy smoker, though he said that was just the first time the police had ever caught him. By the age of 14, he had already served four months in prison for stealing a gum vending machine. Later, he received his harshest punishment a seven-year sentence for robbing a Manchester bank and stealing million-pound checks.
He asserted that he was the only individual to have ever escaped from Manchester’s Strangeways prison. But it all came to an end when, after serving several jail terms for fraud, theft, and burglary, he was freed in 2002 or 2003 and joined Guardian.
Eric Allison’s Second Career
Allison wrote extensively for the Guardian during what he referred to as his “career change,” exposing the brutal treatment of prisoners, especially in facilities for juvenile offenders. He was hired as a result of responding to a newspaper ad that stated applicants without a criminal record could still apply. Eric made an impression on Alan Rusbridger, the editor at the time, with his zeal for upholding justice and his elegant writing style.
Although he frequently complained that his old work was far better paid, he made a commitment during his interview that he would go straight if given the position, and he honored that word for the duration of his 19-year Guardian employment.
Alongside senior writer Simon Hattenstone, he developed a close connection as well as a long-lasting working relationship. Because of their investigation of child abuse at the Medway Secure Training Center, the security juggernaut G4S lost its contract to manage the juvenile detention facility. Over 1,600 former inmates came forward to disclose claims of abuse as a result of the two’s investigation into sexual abuse at the Medomsley detention center in 2011.
Operation Seabrook was one of the largest single abuse inquiries in the UK. For their work on the story, Allison and Hattensone were recognized with an Amnesty media award.
When the 1990 Strangeways riots broke out, he was not in jail, but he used a megaphone to encourage the prisoners from the street. After going on to co-author a book about the protest, he gained the assurance to think that he would someday be rewarded for his work.
A truth that bothered him throughout his life as he used his reporting to advocate for a system that does not just punish but also renovates was the fact that he had learned early on that prison in England doesn’t work. At first, Allison viewed his freedom as a break from crime. However, as his journalism career developed, he felt compelled to uphold the law.
Hired as a prison Correspondent
The Guardian required an imprisoned reporter, according to Alan Rusbridger, the editor at the time, because so little is known about what happens inside prisons. He said, “Hiring an ex-con to be the Guardian’s prison reporter seemed a crazy notion, but Eric was the ideal candidate.” He had an outstanding resume (16 years working at a variety of institutions) and a long record of creating trouble.
Although he claimed that journalism paid little relative to criminality (with more stress), Allison made a pledge to go clean if he received the Guardian job. Allison went on to become a well-known expert on jails and a fervent opponent of injustices. He had a strong conviction that the people whose cases he took up were innocent.
Eric Allison’s wife and children
He was the father of two daughters named Kerry and caroline.