There are 86,047 men, women and children in prisons and young offender institutions in England and Wales.
As the holiday season approaches, Socialist Worker asks readers to write to political prisoners and those who have suffered at the hands of the system.
When you write to prisoners, please enclose a stamped addressed envelope so they can reply if they wish to.
Edward Woollard was jailed after taking part in an occupation of Millbank during student protests in 2010. Write to Edward Woollard, c/o Chris Rawlinson, Student Union, Brockenhurst College, Lyndhurst Road, Hampshire SO42 7ZE
Richard Craig was sentenced to 20 months in prison after being arrested in connection to last year’s riots. Write to him at A9989AH, HMP Wandsworth, PO Box 757, Heathfield Road, London SW18 3HS
Elijah Smith is serving the remainder of a three year sentence for alleged violent disorder from the 26 March 2011 TUC demo. He wants to hear about ongoing activism while he’s inside. Write to Elijah Smith, A3186AM, HMP Dartmoor, Princetown, Yelverton, Devon PL20 6RR
Colin Norris was working as a nurse and was convicted on 3 March 2008 of four charges of murder and one of attempted murder by the injection of large doses of insulin. The alleged crimes were said to have taken place in hospitals in Leeds, over a six month period. Colin is now serving life in HMP Frankland high security prison. He has always maintained his innocence. Write to Colin at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dale Lockin was wrongly convicted for the murder of John Lockwood on 9 December 2010. Dale told police he removed a drunk man, who turned out to be Lockwood, from outside his home on 31 May that year. He was tried for murder and found guilty despite there being huge gaps in evidence. Write to Dale at email@example.com
Norman Grant was given an indefinite sentence in July 2011 for an armed robbery he says he did not commit. He also says evidence was planted at the scene to secure a conviction. Write to Norman Grant, A8832AM, HMP Whitemoor, Long Hill Road, March PE15 0PR
Brendan McConville and John Paul Wootton are serving life sentences for the murder of a police officer in Northern Ireland in 2009. They deny the murder and say they were convicted on the basis of corrupted evidence. Write to John Paul Wootton, HMP Maghaberry, Old Road, Ballinderry Upper, Lisburn BT28 2PT. Write to Brendan McConville, HMP Maghaberry, Old Road, Ballinderry Upper, Lisburn BT28 2PT
John Bowden was arrested for muder in 1980, convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. He’s been in and out of the criminal justice system since the age of nine and says he’s been brutalised by the system. Write to him at John Bowden, 6729, HMP Shotts, Cantrell Road, Shotts ML7 4LE
Kevan Thakrar is a relentless fighter against the prison system. He has complained on over 150 occasions about interferences with his access to the courts, access to a legal advisor and ability to communicate confidentially with a legal advisor. Write to him at Kevan Thakrar, A4907AE, HMP Woodhill, Milton Keynes MK4 4DA
Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan were extradited to the US in October this year accused of terrorism offences. Both maintain their innocence. They have never stood trial in Britain. The Metropolitan Police sent information on them to the US government. Write to Syed Talha Ahsan, 393183, Northern Correctional Institution, 287 Bilton Road, POB 665, Somers, CT 06071, USA. Write to Babar Ahmad, 393184, Northern Correctional Institution, 287 Bilton Road, POB 665, Somers, CT 06071, USA
Bradley Manning has spent more than 900 days in detention. He is charged with leaking more than 250,000 diplomatic cables and classified documents to Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks website. Manning was tortured in detention. Write to Commander, HHC USAG Attn: PFC Bradley Manning, 239 Sheridan Ave, Bldg 417, JBM-HH, VA 22211, USA