After graduating with a Social Science degree, Alison started her career working at the National Council for Civil Liberties (now Liberty) in the legal section, working on prisoners’ rights and complaints against the police. She left to study law and train as a solicitor, specialising in legal aid cases in private practice and as a community lawyer for a Citizens Advice Bureau. She left practice to work for the Legal Aid Board when they started to introduce a quality assurance system for lawyers; subsequently leaving to become head of quality assurance and training for a not-for-profit company providing residential care for old people. She later gained a Master’s degree in Business Administration and worked in senior management in the charity sector. Before joining Penal Reform International in June 2007, Alison was Director of the Legal Action Group, a UK charity that promotes access to justice through legal aid.