After prison

Our long-term project guided by a simple proposition: there is always a better use for a piece of land than as a place for a prison.

Across the United Kingdom, nearly 150 prisons occupy hundreds, if not thousands, of hectares of land; land that could be used for homes or hospitals; community gardens or community centres; business hubs or green energy power stations. There are so many ways that the land currently occupied by...

Coronavirus in prisons in Europe

The majority of those infected with coronavirus are likely to experience mild symptoms and make a speedy recovery.

It is, though, known that certain population groups – particularly the elderly and those with underlying health conditions – are more vulnerable to a serious illness and, in relatively rare cases, death. Being able to take appropriate action to limit one’s exposure to coronavirus, such as regular...

Electronic monitoring: legitimacy, rights and innovation

We are working with the Howard League on a project on the future of electronic monitoring (EM) in criminal justice.

At the forefront of the project are the issues of legitimacy and rights which should be addressed in the evaluation of any particular EM system. Initially the project has sought advice and evidence from experts in EM research, in ethical criminal justice intervention, and in human rights. It has...

Is it a crime to be poor?

We are working with partners on the theme: Is it a crime to be poor?

The aim of this strand of work is to share knowledge and research, and to discuss how we, as academics, practitioners and penal reformers, can act to end this endemic abuse of the criminal justice system. There are many examples of ways in which the criminal justice system criminalises poverty...

Joint enterprise

Joint enterprise refers to legal principles on the use of the law of complicity.

Through these principles, multiple individuals can be convicted for an offence without taking into account their differing roles or even whether some individuals were present. The support charity JENGbA (Joint Enterprise Not Guilty by Association) estimates it is currently in contact with around 1,...
15 June 2021

Short prison sentencing

This project aims to identify the options, impacts and issues for impactful sentencing reform intended to reduce the use of short prison sentences.

There has been a lot of recent interest in this policy area. Last year, Scotland extended its presumption against short prison sentences. In England and Wales, plans to restrict sentencers' access to short term imprisonment were mooted but failed to progress. The case for reform has been made on...
12 February 2020

The future of probation

We are working with a network of professional groups, trade unions and civil society organisations to press for an improved structure and working arrangements for the probation service.

Led by the Probation Institute , and with the informal title of the Probation Alliance, the initiative is pressing for the reunification of probation, and the recreation of of publicly-owned service, following the disastrous part-privatisation under the former coalition government. The Alliance...

Transgender prisoners

We have been working to encourage calm, respectful dialogue and discussion on the practical challenges of housing transgender individuals in the prison system.

Since the autumn of 2018, our Director has written a number of think pieces for our website and made various media interventions. In February 2019 the Centre's Trustees lead a process with the staff team, which resulted in the publication of a formal statement on transgender prisoners. It concluded...

UK Justice Policy Review

UK Justice Policy Review is a programme of activities, including reports and events, which the Centre has been running since 2010.

Under this programme, the Centre assesses year-on-year criminal justice developments across the UK. The programme is made possible through the generous support of The Hadley Trust. UK Justice Policy Review is a programme of activities, including reports and events, which the Centre has been running...