The General Board
The General Board comprises of members elected from and by the members of the association. Its composition aims to reflect the different regions of the world and meets once a year to set the policy of the association and approve the audited accounts, the budget, the appointment of the auditor and the elections. Board members are unpaid. Only actual expenses, such as travel expenses to attend Board meetings, are reimbursed.
The Executive Board
The General Board elects from its members an Executive Board, consisting of the Chair, the Secretary General, the Treasurer. The Executive Board meets at least three times a year. The Executive Director reports to and is evaluated by the Executive Board and takes part in its meetings.
PRI Board Members
Professor Dirk van Zyl Smit (Chair)
Board member since 2010, Executive Board member since 2013
Dirk van Zyl Smit is Professor of Comparative and International Penal Law at the University of Nottingham. Until the end of 2005 he was Professor of Criminology at the University of Cape Town, where he was also Dean of the Faculty of Law from 1990-1995.
In South Africa Professor van Zyl Smit was actively involved in law reform as the primary consultant for the Correctional Services Act 1998 and a member of the National Council on Correctional Services from 1995 to 2004. He was also project leader of the committee of the South African Law Commission investigating sentencing and author of its report and draft legislation: A New Sentencing Framework (2000).
Internationally, he has advised the governments of Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Malawi on new prison legislation and Malaysia on legislation on the international transfer of prisoners. He was expert adviser to the Council of Europe on the European Prison Rules (2006), the European Rules on Juvenile Offenders subject to Sanctions or Measures (2009) and the Recommendation on the Foreign Prisoners (2012). For the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime he prepared its Handbook on Alternatives to Imprisonment (2007) and, with Roisin Mulgrew, the Handbook on the International Transfer of Sentenced Persons (2012).
Professor van Zyl Smit has published extensively on all aspects of sentencing and punishment, including their international and comparative applications. He is currently leading a research project on life imprisonment worldwide, funded by the Leverhulme Trust. The first book related to this project, Life Imprisonment and Human Rights, edited with Catherine Appleton, was published in December 2016.
David Fathi (Secretary-General)
Board Member since 2016, Executive Board member since 2020
David Fathi is a lawyer who has devoted more than 20 years of his professional career to the representation of prisoners and the struggle for a criminal justice system that is humane, progressive and rehabilitative.
From 2007 until 2010 he was the Director of the US program at Human Rights Watch where he supervised research and advocacy on the death penalty, prison conditions, racial discrimination, the rights of immigrants and other human rights issues. Since 2010 he has served as Director of the National Prison Project of the American Civil Liberties Union and from 2012 to 2015 he represented the American Civil Liberties Union in the negotiations leading to the adoption of the United Nations Revised Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the ‘Nelson Mandela Rules’). The ACLU National Prison Project leads Stop Solitary, a national (and increasingly international) campaign to end the abuse of long-term solitary confinement.
David has published and lectured extensively on criminal justice and human rights issues, and wished to become a Board member of PRI to be able to share learning with colleagues in other countries, particularly to help colleagues advocate against the kind of punitive policies that have made the US criminal justice system a human rights disaster.
David considers that PRI’s leadership role in the revision of the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners was invaluable, and has no doubt that the resulting Nelson Mandela Rules are significantly more protective and progressive thanks to PRI’s leadership.
Professor Anton van Kalmthout (Treasurer)
Board Member since 2010, Executive Board member since 2012
Prof Anton van Kalmthout obtained his doctoral degree at Tilburg University, and holds the position of Professor in Criminal and Migration Law, also at Tilburg University. He has played an active role in a number of institutions, including the Dutch Probation and Legal Aid organisations, and he was Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Tilburg Prison for 15 years.
Prof van Kalmthout has been active as an expert since 1993, for the Council of Europe, the Netherlands Helsinki Committee, the Open Society Institute and the European Union. In this capacity, he was a member of delegations to Armenia, Romania, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Lithuania, Estonia, Croatia, Russia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, White Russia, Bulgaria and Macedonia. Under the authority of the above-mentioned organisations he has provided written comments on the Criminal Code, Code of Criminal Procedure and Penitentiary Regulations of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Croatia and Slovakia. On behalf of the European Union he has written about human rights in Hungary. As an expert for the Council of Europe he was one of the authors of the European Probation Rules. He is a member of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment of the Council of Europe.
Prof van Kalmthout has published extensively on alternative sanctions in Europe, pre-trial detention in the EU, foreigners in European prisons, probation and probation services in Europe, sanction systems in the Member-States of the Council of Europe, and juvenile criminal law.
Erika Marseille (Deputy Treasurer)
Board Member since 2020, Executive Board member since 2020
Erika Marseille is an economist currently working as an independent. She brings a strong financial and economic background to PRI, as well as an understanding of the legal context in which PRI operates, which will be fundamental to promoting the financial resilience of PRI and its ability to promote fair and effective justice long-term.
Erika combines her passion for human rights with her financial expertise by holding roles on boards or internal financial oversight mechanisms of civil society organisations, including in the past Amnesty International, Netherlands Helsinki Committee, and Transparency International Netherlands. As a Dutch organisation, PRI also welcomes Ms Marseille’s practical and legal understanding of the operations of international non-governmental organisations registered in The Netherlands.
Erika, when elected to the Board, said: ‘From my early years on, human rights have appealed to me. Being a financial expert, usually my “domain” is in the management of the organisation, financially as well as otherwise. For NGOs to attract people willing to give their time to shape the public debate and publicly advocate the cause, the organisation must be healthy and managed properly. This is where I come in. Status quo is something that does not attract me, I like change, and more so: improvement. As I am now doing a master in law, focusing on mediation and alternative dispute resolution, I am delighted to join PRI and help the organisation grow and flourish.’
Dr Catherine Appleton
Board Member since 2020
Dr Catherine Appleton is Senior Research Fellow at the School of Law, University of Nottingham. Her publications include: ‘Life Imprisonment: A Global Human Rights Analysis’ (2019); ‘Life Imprisonment and Human Rights’ (2016), co-authored and co-edited with PRI chairperson Professor Dirk van Zyl Smit; and ‘Life after Life Imprisonment’ (2010), awarded the British Society of Criminology Book Prize.
Catherine brings to PRI her experience as a researcher and advocate on issues of human rights in prisons, most notably her ground-breaking research examining the use of life imprisonment worldwide. Dr Appleton’s extensive experience as a prison researcher and networks in the field will be a significant asset to PRI’s policy and international advocacy work. Catherine Appleton has worked closely with PRI on the issue of life imprisonment alongside PRI in Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan, and contributing to international advocacy efforts carried out by PRI.
Catherine, when elected to the Board, said: ‘As a PRI Board member I believe I will be able to provide expertise, experience and a relevant global network when shaping the long-term strategic direction of PRI. I look forward to being part of an impressive and global team, strengthening PRI as a leading organisation driving penal reform worldwide and impacting positively on many people’s human rights and lives.’
Board Member since 2020
Michelle Carpentier is the outgoing Executive Director of the International Corrections and Prisons Association (ICPA), former correctional and parole officer and leader at the Correctional Service Canada.
Michelle brings extensive experience to PRI of working in criminal justice settings and promoting fair and effective corrections worldwide. Her experience in corrections will be an asset to PRI’s work with prison and probation staff globally and the skills and knowledge developed in her roles within the leadership of the Correctional Service Canada, the International Corrections and Prisons Association (ICPA), and as a corrections advisor with the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Haiti, will be an invaluable contribution to strategic decisions at PRI.
Michelle, when elected to the Board, said: ‘I share the same values of those of the organisation and I will use the experience gained in my 36 years career in corrections, from frontline officer to senior executive. I saw first-hand the devastating effects of imprisonment, especially in poor conditions where human rights sometimes appears to have been forgotten. This is the main reason why I love to join PRI’s Board and because I truly believe that every individual regardless of where they come from or what they have done deserves to be treated fairly, with humanity and needs opportunities to better themselves. I am about to start retirement and I believe it is time for me to give back, including through joining PRI.’
Board Member since 2020
Suzanne Jabbour is Executive Director of Restart Centre for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence and Torture and Chair of the United Nations Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture. She has also been member of the Board of the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT), which she chaired from 2012 to 2016.
Suzanne will bring important technical expertise to PRI on prison health, mental health in prisons, as well as on preventing of torture and ill-treatment in places of detention and strengthen PRI’s policy and accountability work, and its engagement with international and regional mechanisms, at a time we need the United Nations and regional systems to pay attention to criminal justice more than ever. Her experience as Executive Director of Restart Centre will also bring valuable insight to PRI’s governance and strategy.
Suzanna, when elected to the Board, said: ‘With an extensive career in human rights, specifically, the rights of persons deprived of their liberty and torture victims, I am interested in being involved with the esteemed Board of PRI, where I can deliver value through my technical expertise. I am delighted to offer my professional and international experience to contribute to PRI’s Board and help the organisation achieve its 2020-2023 strategy.’
Board Member since 2016
Roselyn Karugonjo-Segawa is a human rights lawyer in Kampala, Uganda. She holds a law degree (with honours) from Makerere University in Kampala and a post graduate diploma in law. Roselyn also holds a master’s degree (LL.M) from the University of Pretoria, in which she specialised in human rights and democratisation in Africa.
Roselyn worked for the Uganda Human Rights Commission from 2000 in several posts, and from 2007 to 2013 she held the post of Director of the Directorate of Monitoring and Inspections at the Uganda Human Rights Commission. She currently works as an independent human rights consultant, providing consultancy on numerous issues relating to human rights, the rule of law and good governance. Some key assignments have included working as team leader of the consultancy to support the development of the Uganda National Action Plan on Human Rights, drafting of the Uganda Police Force Human Rights Policy and capacity building on human rights issues for human rights defenders, government officials and members of parliament, among others. She is also a part-time Lecturer at the Faculty of Law, Uganda Christian University, Mukono.
Roselyn joined the Board of PRI because she wishes to contribute towards: the creation of efficient criminal justice systems; access to justice; prevention of torture and ill treatment; juvenile justice; abolition of the death penalty; and promoting a gender sensitive and a human rights based approach to detention. She considers the promotion of a human rights based approach to detention invaluable.
Dr Natalya Khutorskaya
Board member since 2010
Dr Natalia Khutorskaya has previously held academic positions at educational and research institutions under the Ministry of the Interior and the Federal Service for the Execution of Sentences, Russian Federation. From 2006 until 2011 she was a member of the Council of Penological Cooperation of the Council of Europe (PC-CP), and from 2012 until 2015 served as a member of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture of the Council of Europe (CPT). She has written extensively, both in Russian and English, and her research interests concern criminal law, international practices regarding the execution of sentences, and human rights.
During 2016 Natalia was a member of the working group drafting a model criminal execution code of the Russian Federation, which was based on the academic research and analysis of the Nelson Mandela Rules and European instruments.
Board member since 2016
Paula Litvachky is Executive Director of the Argentinian NGO, Centre for Legal and Social Studies . She trained as a criminal lawyer, and has extensive research and project coordination experience in criminal justice issues. Paula has overseen research, public policy advocacy and litigation relating to citizen security, police and prison violence, and criminal justice policy.
Paula has worked for a number of years on the promotion and implementation of the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (OPCAT) in Argentina, both nationally and provincially, as well as on the development of national prevention mechanisms in the region. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in human rights at the Universidad de Lanus, Argentina.
Dr Dmitry Nurumov
Board member since 2018
Dr Dmitry Nurumov is Director of the Legal Policy Research Centre Kazakhstan. He is a licensed defence lawyer. He serves as key expert in multiple EU-funded projects in Kazahkstan and has occupied a number of positions with the United Nations, OSCE, the Council of Europe and other international bodies, as well as non-governmental organisations.
Professor Robert van Voren
Board member since 2016
Prof Robert van Voren is the Chief Executive of Human Rights in Mental Health-FGIP (formerly Global Initiative on Psychiatry). His work as a human rights activist began with defending political prisoners in the former Soviet Union, particularly those detained in psychiatric hospitals. In 1980, he co-founded the International Association on Political Use of Psychiatry and became its General Secretary in 1986. That organization is now called Human Rights in Mental Health.
Robert holds a number of positions on boards of organisations in the fields of human rights, mental health and prison reform. He has written extensively on issues related to mental health and human rights. He is particularly interested in the fields of prison mental health and forensic psychiatry, but also in human rights abuses within the penitentiary system.
Robert joined the Board of PRI because he feels that he can contribute to the goals of the organization with his specific expertise, and thus help to make the world a better place, including for those who find themselves behind bars.