Blog

A short prison sentence, a fine, or life imprisonment – all for the same offence: Exploring sentence disparities in ten countries

Sentencing people who are convicted of a criminal offence is complex business. The sentencing policy and practice of any given country has a significant impact on prison population and overcrowding rates, and is closely linked with the ability to provide safe, humane prison conditions in line with international standards like the UN Nelson Mandela Rules. […]

Catherine Heard5th August 2020

Separation and solitary confinement in the revised 2020 European Prison Rules – First thoughts

The European Prison Rules (and their Commentary) were recently revised by the Council of Europe. The most notable changes arguably concern the rules guiding prison authorities on the separation and solitary confinement of prisoners. This comes at a time where separation has become more commonplace with COVID-19 restrictions in place. The practice of solitary confinement […]

Dirk van Zyl Smit10th July 2020

Coronavirus and women in detention: A gender-specific approach missing

En español. The coronavirus pandemic has brought a whole host of responses by prisons and wider justice systems, but the plight of women has been neglected or overtly disregarded. Without a gender-specific assessment and response to coronavirus, lives of women in criminal justice systems are at risk and human rights violations will continue.  This expert […]

Olivia Rope4th June 2020

We are 30: Looking forward to the next decade

“It all started with a meeting…” 30 years ago, Vivien Stern, Ahmed Othmani and Hans Tulkens created Penal Reform International. They had in common the belief we still cherish, as stated by Nelson Mandela: “No one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails”. In other words, the health of criminal justice […]

Florian Irminger21st November 2019

UN reports mortality rates for people in prison as much as 50 percent higher than wider community

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights published a report in September 2019 on the administration of justice and human rights analysing violence, death, and serious injury in situations of deprivation of liberty. In this blog, Aldyen Krieger, PRI’s Policy Intern, evaluates the primary drivers behind the high exposure to violence and increased mortality […]

Aldyen Krieger18th November 2019

Women in Cambodian prisons: The challenges of caring for their children

In this blog, Billy Gorter from the organisation, This Life Cambodia, shares the findings of research undertaken on Why Children Accompany Women into Prison. It is particularly timely as the Global Study on Children Deprived of their Liberty is soon to be published in full, in the same week that the international community will mark […]

Billy Gorter4th November 2019

UN reports that gendered stereotypes, economic deprivation, and experiences of violence and conflict are among underlying causes for women’s imprisonment

On 15 May 2019, the United Nations Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice published a new report evaluating the root causes of women’s deprivation of liberty. In this blog, Aldyen Krieger, a member of PRI’s policy programme, reflects on the unique path of victimisation and criminalisation many […]

Aldyen Krieger24th September 2019