Blog

Proving who I am: the plight of people in detention without proof of legal identity

This expert blog by human rights expert and commentator, Vicki Prais, examines the issues faced by people in prison without proof of legal identity. Vicki explains how the absence of ID can in itself lead to detention for some people, and also causes a range of problems for those detained or leaving prison impacting on […]

Vicki Prais9th October 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

PRI’s approach: as needed as ever

Earlier this month, Florian Irminger joined Penal Reform International as its new Executive Director. In his first blog for PRI, Florian reflects upon the organisation’s practical approach to penal reform, which has enabled PRI to play a key role in implementing international standards and provide effective and tailored solutions to criminal justice problems worldwide. It […]

Florian Irminger13th September 2018

Why are women prisoner numbers rising so rapidly?

Today, the fourth edition of the World Female Imprisonment List is published by the Institute for Criminal Policy Research (ICPR). Catherine Heard, Director of the ICPR’s World Prison Research Programme, discusses the latest data. This week at ICPR we release the most comprehensive global dataset ever produced on women prisoner numbers. The fourth edition of […]

Catherine Heard9th November 2017

HM Inspectorate of Prisons for England & Wales marks Nelson Mandela International Day

On Nelson Mandela International Day – the second since the UN agreed the revised set of Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, known as the Nelson Mandela Rules – Peter Clarke, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, explains how HMI Prisons has incorporated the Rules into their latest edition of Expectations, which sets out the detailed criteria used to inspect […]

Peter Clarke18th July 2017

Much ado about nothing? The Global Commission on Drug Policy assessment of UNGASS

Pavel Bém is former Mayor of Prague and a member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, Czech Republic. Here he gives his assessment of April’s UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on the world drug problem. The United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on “the world drug problem” was an important moment for the international […]

Pavel Bém18th May 2016

Scaling up harm reduction in prisons: a role for prison monitors and new tools

Harm Reduction International has published a new tool for use by prison monitoring mechanisms (national, regional and international) to monitor the management of communicable diseases and harm reduction in prisons and prevent human rights violations in this context. Gen Sander, Human Rights Analyst at Harm Reduction International, introduces the tool here. Last October, I wrote […]

Gen Sander11th May 2016

UNGASS on Drugs: on expectations, coherence and sustainable development

The UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs (UNGASS) took place New York on 19-21 April. Javier Sagredo is Regional Democratic Governance and Citizen Security Advisor for Latin America and the Caribbean for the UN Development Programme (UNDP). In this expert blog for PRI, he examines whether the outcomes of this UNGASS meeting, as well […]

Javier Sagredo, UNDP4th May 2016