We believe that in a fair and effective criminal justice system, offenders are held to account, sentences are proportionate, and the primary purpose of prison is rehabilitation not retribution. We want to see:

  • a reduction in unnecessary imprisonment through greater use of non-custodial alternatives
  • the improvement of prison conditions and the prevention of torture and ill-treatment
  • child-friendly criminal justice systems which use detention only as a last resort
  • proportionate and gender-sensitive responses to women offending
  • the abolition of the death penalty and the introduction of humane alternative sanctions.

About us


Dr Lillian Artz, University of Cape Town 
24th Oct 2014

No escape from violence: childhood abuse, offending and women in prison

Why do so many women in prison have histories of childhood abuse and abusive adult relationships? Dr Lillian Artz, author of a South African research project on this issue, says we need to know much more if we're ever to achieve parity of rights for women offenders.

Read the blog