Faith Spear FRSA is a criminologist and commentator on criminal justice issues. Her writing and speaking is focused on bringing about a more humane and effective prison system.


We asked Faith Spear some fun questions—here’s what she had to say:


🍽  What person living or dead would you invite to your dream dinner party and why? 


Lady Constance Georgina Bulwer-Lytton: She co-wrote the book: “Prisons and Prisoners: Some personal experiences” with Jane Warton, published in 1914. She put herself forward as a “champion of women” in the hope that one day women would attain political equality with men. A remarkable young woman consumed by a cause which would prove to be instrumental in prison reform and votes for women, as well as tragically being a contributory factor to her death. 

I would invite her as I believe we all need a cause and not just a vision.


🌁 Where is the best destination you’ve been to and why?


San Francisco is the most eclectic city I have stayed in. From the Golden Gate Bridge to the MOMA, from Pier 39 and the discovery of salt water taffy to the noise of the sea lions. I enjoyed jumping on the cable cars and descending and ascending the steep streets and admiring the architecture. Having food on the beach as the fog rolled in was especially memorable.


🧞‍♂️ If you had one wish to improve the world, what would you change?


I think that would be people’s attitudes towards one another. There is too much hatred, envy, and violence in the world. If we could all work together, consider more and care more about others for the good of us all, our world would be a much better place in which to live. 


🌇 If you had chosen another path in life, what might you be doing now?


I would have liked to have been an architect inspired by the Mies Van der Rohe of this world.  I probably would be laying on my leather Le Corbusier chaise longue looking out of the vast expanse of windows in my awe-inspiring home office designed by myself. The single storey dwelling would be set in manicured gardens, experiencing a contemplated and, hopefully, fulfilled life.


📚 Which books do you recommend to others?


Non-fiction books written by those that have either turned their lives around or have achieved something against the odds. Examples such as Terry Waite’s “Taken on Trust”, held captive in Lebanon for more than 4 years most of which was in solitary confinement. I met him a few years ago at the Lebanese Embassy in London with John McCarthy. It was the first time they had met on Lebanese soil since their kidnap. A memorable moment. 

Another is “Redeemable: A memoir of Darkness and Hope” by Erwin James. A painful and chaotic lifestyle resulting in 20 years in prison. His book tries to elucidate how we become who we become.

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