A convicted murderer, turned newspaper columnist, will give a talk in Edinburgh entitled "Unlocking Potential".
Erwin James is to deliver this year's Drummond Hunter Memorial Lecture, run by the Howard League for Penal Reform Scotland, during which he will talk about how the prison system fails society and ways in which it could work more effectively.
He said: "The only measure of success that should count on the scale of a prison's effectiveness is how it reduces the rate of re-offending by those it has held.
"Everyone in prison, bar only a handful, will one day be released. They could eventually be your neighbour. It is in all our interests that we strive to ensure that as many people as possible who are released from our prisons are able and motivated to be good neighbours. The financial and human investment in our prisons is huge - we deserve more for that investment than failure."
The lecture will take place from 6-8pm at the Royal Incorporation of Architects of Scotland, 15 Rutland Square on December 1.
E: firstname.lastname@example.org. See www.guardian.co.uktheguardian2009apr24erwin-james-monahan-guardian.