Is criminal justice reform obsolete? Academic roundtable

At this roundtable event Dr Bree Carlton (Monash University, Australia) and Dr Erica Meiners (Northeastern Illinois University, USA) will speak about local abolitionist struggles in Australia and the USA to consider the relationships between reform, decarceration and the longer term goals of achieving structural change and ending the use of imprisonment and criminal justice.

In partnership with

The Harm and Evidence Research Collaborative at The Open University.


About the event

The Centre for Crime and Justice Studies will be hosting an academic roundtable seminar with Dr Bree Carlton of Monash University, Australia and Dr Erica Meiners of Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, USA. 

There are many examples where campaign demands have been taken up by governments that have led to their subsequent mutation into principles and practices inconsistent with the original campaign demands. In recent decades in UK, the US, Canada and Australia we have seen a revival of therapeutic and rehabilitative practices in penal reform that have been implemented with concurrent net widening and expansion.

In this seminar Bree Carlton and Erica Meiners will raise questions about the paradoxes posed by investing in state allegiances and how we manage reform in reductionist campaigns. This will be followed by short contributions from respondents (listed below) and discussion. Bree's online comment piece, calling for radical strategies for resisting the harms for reform, is available here.


This event will be of particular interest to academics and researchers. A larger public discussion event organised by the Reclaim Justice Network and The Open University will take place in will take place in the evening, details available here.


  • Dr Bree Carlton, Monash University, Australia
  • Dr Erica Meiners, Northeastern Illinois University, USA


  • Dr Deborah Drake, The Open University
  • Dr Sarah Lamble, Birkbeck University 
  • Andrew Neilson, Campaigns Director, The Howard League for Penal Reform
  • Professor Joe Sim, Liverpool John Moores University

Questions for discussion

  • What lessons can we learn from penal reform responses triggered by campaign work?
  • What is the relationship between reform and decarceration and criminal justice reductionism?
  • What if any can government reform agendas play in reproducing net widening and institutional harm?
  • How can we work to reduce the harm and violence that happens in prison without reproducing the conditions that produce new institutional harms?
  • How can we balance campaign and advocacy efforts to achieve both immediate and long-term transformative change?
  • How have the strategies of the neoliberal state re-shaped the politics of incorporation in relation to abolition campaigns?
  • What are the conditions for producing reform in prisons and criminal justice which have transformative potential and effects?

Venue, time and date

November 19th, 2015 1:00 PM   to   4:00 PM
United Kingdom
Phone: 020 7840 6110
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: Is criminal justice reform obsolete? Academic roundtable

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