Registration is closed for this event
This conference will examine the United Kingdom’s record on meeting its international obligations to prevent the mistreatment of prisoners and others held against their will. It will draw on research carried out by the Centre as part of a pan-European Union project on promoting better practice in custodial settings.


At this event we will here findings from recent UK research on the UK National Preventive Mechanism by the European Prison Observatory and also a report back from human rights consultation events in HMP Grendon and HMP Barlinnie.

The event will be an opportunity to discuss the effectiveness of the National Preventive Mechanism in the UK and how the UK is meeting its commitments under The Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment adopted in 2003.

There will also be an opportunity to network at a buffet lunch.

The speakers at the event will be:

Dr Roger Grimshaw, research Director, Centre for Crime and Justice Studies

John Thornhill, President of the Independent Monitoring Board

Will McMahon, deputy DIrector, Centre for Crime and Justice Studies

The conference forms part of the Centre's contribution to the European Prison Observatory project.

Who should attend?

The conference will be of interest to:

  • those who have been in the prison
  • those working in the criminal justice system
  • voluntary sector organisations concerned with criminal justice matters
  • those working in organisation that are part of the National Preventive Mechanism
  • those working in or concerned about immigration detention, secure accommodation for children and mental health institutions


The Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT) is an international human rights treaty designed to strengthen protection for people deprived of their liberty. It recognises that such people are particularly vulnerable and aims to prevent their ill-treatment through establishing a system of visits or inspections to all places of detention.

The OPCAT was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in New York on 18 December 2002 and it entered into force on 22 June 2006. It requires states to designate a National Preventative Mechanism (NPM) to carry out visits to places of detention, to monitor the treatment of and conditions for detainees and to make recommendations regarding the prevention of ill-treatment. By July 2014, 75 countries around the world had signed up to the OPCAT.

The United Kingdom ratified the OPCAT in December 2003 and designated its NPM in March 2009. The NPM is made up of some 24 bodies across the United Kingdom. They visit places of detention such as prisons, police and courts custody, immigration detention centres, military custody, children’s secure accommodation and mental health institutions.

The NPM is coordinated by HM Inspectorate of Prisons.

Venue, time and date

December 16th, 2014 11:00 AM to  2:00 PM
Centre for Crime and Justice Studies
2 Langley Lane
London, SW8 1GB
United Kingdom
Show large map
Optional donation
I like what you do. Here's a donation £ 20.00
Here's a contribution to event costs £ 10.00
Here's a one-off donation £ 5.00
Maybe next time £ 0.00
Event terms and conditions
Enable terms and Conditions Acceptance
Checkbox Position
Checkbox text
Terms and Conditions File
Link Label

Help spread the word

Please help us and let your friends, colleagues and followers know about our page: Preventing mistreatment in detention: How is the UK doing?

You can also share the below link in an email or on your website.