Penal Reform International (PRI) is an independent non-governmental organisation that develops and promotes fair, effective and proportionate responses to criminal justice problems worldwide.
We believe that in criminal justice systems that are fit for purpose, offenders are held to account, sentences are proportionate, and the primary purpose of prison is rehabilitation, not retribution.
Over 10 million men, women and children are in prison around the world, a large proportion for minor, non-violent offences. Around 3.2 million people in detention are awaiting trial. We advocate for the rights of defendants to a fair trial without delay, and an end to the unnecessary use of imprisonment. We promote alternatives to prison which support the rehabilitation of offenders and reduce the likelihood of re-offending.
We promote the rights of detainees to fair and humane treatment. We campaign for the prevention of torture and the abolition of the death penalty, and we work to ensure just and appropriate responses to children and women who come into contact with the law.
We work with inter-governmental organisations to bring about reforms that balance the rights of offenders and of victims, and we provide practical assistance to national policymakers, criminal justice authorities and civil society to reform legislation, policy and practice.
Our Head Office is in London. It leads and coordinates cross-regional programmes, international policy and advocacy activities, and is responsible for organisational and financial management. Our regional offices in the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia and the South Caucasus implement practical programmes and provide technical assistance at a national and regional level. We also work with partner organisations in other regions.
We have consultative status at the United Nations (ECOSOC), the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and the Council of Europe.
PRI is an independent organisation, with no religious, political or governmental affiliations.