LONDON -- There were few surprises when it came to the medals table at this year's Olympics, although the host nation was particularly proud of its performance, and in hosting the Olympics in general. More was invested in hosting the games than the GDP of many of the countries participating. However, if we compare medals won with GDP, a different picture emerges, and many of the world's poorer countries performed unexpectedly well, including West Indian and African nations, despite their relative inability to invest in the training and development of athletes. The world's wealthiest countries, led by the United States, invest huge amounts on criminal justice and imprisoning their citizens. The prison budget in the United States in 2009 was $60 billion, Uganda's GDP in 2009 was estimated at $41 billion. Continue Reading →
Alexander McLean is founder and director general of the African Prisons Project. The APP is a rapidly growing charity, run primarily by volunteers and young professionals. Its administrative base is in London, and its African headquarters in Uganda. The organization works with and empowers prisoners and penal staff to improve conditions by refurbishing and constructing prison hospitals and libraries and provides legal aid, mental health support and general welfare improvement to inmates and staff. Alexander received his Master of Laws from the University of London in March 2009. He was called to the bar of England and Wales as a barrister in 2010. He is currently writing a PhD on issues relating to the death penalty.