supports and befriends prisoners on Death Row throughout the United States, through
letter writing. It is the first established organisation of its kind, and has
spread both nationally and internationally, with members all over the world.
LifeLines began in
1988 when its founder Jan Arriens watched the BBC documentary Fourteen Days in
May. Jan was so moved by the words of the condemned prisoners who were interviewed,
and by the dignity of the man who was to be executed, Edward Earl Johnson, that
he wrote to three of the prisoners. They all replied, saying how much his letter
had meant to them and how pleased they were to have their voices heard beyond
the prison walls. We are delighted to have the renowned human rights lawyer, Clive
Stafford-Smith O.B.E., as our patron.
in the Media
LifeLines was the
subject of a BBC programme in the Everyman series in 1992. It's also featured
on Songs of Praise, in many newspapers and magazines from the Observer to Cosmopolitan,
and most recently one of our writers, Jan Hall, appeared on Saturday Live on Radio
4 with Fi Glover.
are held twice a year at which members can hear a guest speaker with expert or
first-hand knowledge of issues related to the death penalty. The conferences take
place in London every autumn and at a different regional venue each spring. They
are a great way for members to get to know one another and meet like-minded people,
and are always very sociable and inspiring gatherings.
Wing of Friendship
of keeping in touch is with the LifeLines quarterly newsletter The Wing of Friendship.
Members and prisoners alike are encouraged to submit material for publication
and we are happy to say that many do.