Before I went to prison in 2007 I was a printer by trade, a publican in London and spent many years living in South Africa. I took an Open University Openings course in 2008. This coincided with meeting the Howard League for Penal Reform and Prison Smart UK and thus set me on a path self discovery and re-invention via Academia. I became a mentor and Listener, working with various stakeholders. In 2012 I delivered a speech at Stormont to the Justice Minister and around one hundred and twenty people involved with rehabilitation in Northern Ireland and was then returned to my cell. I intend to dedicate the rest of my life to the betterment of society in showing by example what good and positive outcomes can come from using one’s time in a purposeful manner during a prison sentence. I have a BA in Criminology and Psychological studies and a MSSc in Criminology. I have submitted a PhD proposal concerning the long term effects of imprisonment on society. I won Listowell writers competition 2012 for Poetry and 2nd for short story (Prisons). I also write my own blog micsirwin.wordpress.com on many issues concerning life pre and post prison.

I am a member of:
The European Group for the study of Deviance & Social Control
The British Society of Criminology
British Convict Criminology
The Howard league for Penal Reform
The Irish Penal Reform Trust
The Northern Ireland Prison Arts Foundation
The Art of Living Foundation Northern Ireland


3 Responses to About

  1. Rod says:

    Michael – Rod calling you from across the water – I’ve lost your email and want to invite you to the CC symposium in London. Can you get in touch with me. r.earle@open.ac.uk.
    Lovely writing here! Blog On!


  2. Sophie says:

    Hi Michael, I have just come across your blog and find in truly fascinating and inspiring. You have been through so much and I have recently come across far too many cases where Judges / Prosecutors or the Justice System in general have ‘got it wrong’ in the way they deal with cases and the decisions they make are beyond any sort of comprehension.

    I am starting a petition based on improving the conditions and lives of babies who are unfortunate enough to be in the justice system. I was just wondering if you might sign this petition with the hopes of some change starting to occur in the justice system. The link to my petition is: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/214719/sponsors/new?token=dSXb3wxY8eHREj3quf1

    The info/background of the petition is:

    Title – Save the lives & improve the lives of babies when considering the prison system.

    Background – There are 3,901 women in prisons (approximately 16% of these women are on remand). Within the prison system there are on average 100 babies born each year, and those women who have been sentenced (not on remand) usually have their babies separated from them. Why should that happen to a baby?
    There are 13 female prisons in the UK & only 6 of them have Units for Mothers & Babies. Those 6 Units only provide a total of 54 places. It is only when a mother enters prison that she can apply for a place at one of those Units. This can be changed! The legal system is there to protect individuals, it can provide a caring attitude to pregnant women as early as when they go to court. Circumstances can be considered and options can be taken to put an unborn baby at the heart of the legal system.

    Best wishes,


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