Prison abolition in the UK

A major two day conference discussing the past, present and future of prison abolition across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

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About the conference

Over two days, researchers, practitioners and activists will come together to discuss the development of abolitionism across the UK over the past half century, debate current approaches and map out future possibilities for abolitionist research and practice in the UK.

The first day will bring together a number of key thinkers to draw out the contributions and tensions within abolitionist arguments as they have historically developed across the UK. The role of the prison as it is politically and discursively constructed and constituted in the framing, policing and regulation of particular populations will be a key theme of this day.

The second day will consider where we go from here, exploring the trajectories, steps forward and steps back from, prison abolition across the four nations and regions of the UK at the current political and social conjuncture. The contributions on day two will consider where each nation and region is starting from and, given such starting points, how abolitionist ideas and practices can gain increased momentum, tapping into current socio-economic, political and public opinion contexts. Overall, the day will aim to ask what does or can prison abolitionism look like and mean today, what are its future prospects and challenges across the UK.

Conference organisers

The conference is being hosted by the Harm & Evidence Research Collaborative at The Open University and the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, in partnership with Professor Joe Sim of Liverpool John Moores University.


Registration will open in early 2019.

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Venue, time and date

May 23rd, 2019 10:30 AM   to   May 24th, 2019 3:30 PM
The Open University
Walton Hall Campus
Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA
United Kingdom
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