In summer 2018, June 15 - 18, we are co-hosting the International Conference on Penal Abolition, bringing together those working for a world without criminal justice and punishment. The theme of the event is Abolitionist Futures.

About Abolitionist Futures

Over four days there will be opportunities to organise and participate in activities and workshops that seek to build and strengthen local and international movements for social justice and criminal justice abolition. 

We have invited those concerned about the harmful impacts of criminal justice to come together to debate, exchange ideas and build stronger strategies and relationships. The event will have three parts:

  • The conference will open with a public forum featuring local and international speakers on the Friday evening. PLEASE NOTE: The Friday night event will be open to the wider public so you need to register here.
  • Saturday and Sunday will be devoted to workshops, presentations, films screenings, artwork and other contributions. The workshops will involve activities focused on building the movement for penal abolition.
  • Monday will host a symposium for academic papers focused on what academics can do to support movement building.

Call for contributions

The call for contributions is now closed. We had an overwhelming response and were fortunate enough to have had a large number of diverse and high quality submissions. This also means we will not have space for half of the responses submitted. We hope that those who were not successful this time will not be disheartened.  We are taking time to ensure the schedule creates a truly inclusive and diverse event, in light of this registration for the conference will now open in early April.

Your Hosts

The conference is organised as part of the longstanding International Conference on Penal Abolition (ICOPA). In 2018, ICOPA will be hosted by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, the Harm and Evidence Research Collaborative at The Open University and the Department for Criminology at Birkbeck University of London. 

We are working in partnership with organisations, campaign groups and grassroots networks including Action for Trans Health, Bent Bars Project, Black Lives Matter UK, Empty Cages Collective, INQUEST, JENGbA, Netpol, North London Sisters Uncut, Race and Class Collective, Reclaim Holloway, Reclaim Justice Network, Smash IPP!, StopWatch and Women in Prison.

How much does it cost to book a place?

We encourage people to register at a fee that reflects their income. If you are able to make an extra donation to support the conference then that would be really appreciated - this will help cover the costs for those on low incomes. Rate A is for those who can pay through their institution; we hope that as many academics as possible will choose this option to help Abolitionist Futures support low income attendees.

  • Rate A: Institutional booking £125
  • Rate B: Higher waged / solidarity donation rate £75
  • Rate C: Waged £50 
  • Rate D: Low income plus £10 solidarity donation   £25
  • Rate E: Low income  £15

If you are on a low income and struggling to meet the costs of getting to and attending the conference and would like to apply for help please get in touch at We will do our best to help.

To help keep the conference fees as low as possible, there will be tea and coffee but food will not be included. There are supermarkets and cafes near to the conference where you will be able to buy lunch.

How about making a donation?

Whatever fee you are paying, Abolitionist Futures will be much less expensive than many events that are held in London. We have a tight budget and are looking for financial support to help us make sure we break even. We also need donations to help fund bursary places for disadvantaged activists. So if you think of your fee as very good value for money, how about adding a little extra to help us out when you make your booking or donate now to support the bursary scheme?

Venue, time and date

June 15th, 2018 3:00 PM to June 18th, 2018 5:00 PM
Birkbeck, University of London
London, WC1E 7HX
United Kingdom
Event Fee(s)
Event fee
Rate A: Institutional booking £ 125.00
Rate B: Higher waged / solidarity rate £ 75.00
Rate C: Waged £ 50.00
Rate D: Low income plus £10 solidarity donation £ 25.00
Rate E: Low income £ 15.00
Rate F: Free £ 0.00
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