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Webinar: Accelerate release of children from detention in times of COVID-19

To protect children deprived of their liberty during the COVID-19 pandemic, states must take urgent action to release children from detention and to implement non-custodial measures to ensure children’s safe reintegration into families and communities. To support professionals working in this field, the Global Initiative on Justice with Children produced a range of resources, including […]

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Florian Irminger resigns from PRI as Executive Director

Penal Reform International (PRI) regrets to announce that Florian Irminger has chosen to resign as Executive Director from the end of October 2020. Florian will be taking up the position of Secretary General of the Green Party in Switzerland. Florian Irminger commented: ‘I have a high esteem for PRI’s work, am grateful to have been […]

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Winners of the ‘Capstone Project’ research competition announced

Finalists of the ‘Capstone Project’ research competition, implemented by Penal Reform International (PRI) with the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Kazakhstan, presented their research projects on 14 July 2020. This year, due to the COVID-19 related restrictions in Kazakhstan, students of M.Utemissov West Kazakhstan State University presented their research […]

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Commentary to the Criminal Procedure Code of the Kyrgyz Republic is now available online

In the framework of the project “Supporting the State and Civil Society efforts in combating torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in Kyrgyzstan” funded by European Union, PRI in cooperation with the UNICEF in Kyrgyzstan and PF “Legal Centre” prepared Commentary to the Criminal Procedure Code. The development of the Commentary […]

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People in detention are forgotten or ignored in COVID-19 responses, says new PRI briefing

A new briefing, Coronavirus: Preventing harm and human rights violations in criminal justice systems, highlights the impact of responses to COVID-19 on people in detention – amounting to 11 million people – who have been left behind, ignored or forgotten. Penal Reform International exposes a lack of systematic testing and data collection in prisons across the globe, which means unknown numbers of people in detention and staff are falling ill and dying […]

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Revised European Prison Rules provide greater human rights protection for people detained across the continent

Yesterday marked an important milestone for prison systems across Europe: the revised set of European Penitentiary Rules (EPR) were adopted by the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers. The Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) and Penal Reform International (PRI) welcome this important revision of the rules (and their commentary). It is instrumental that […]

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Provision of Procedural Penal Code in Kyrgyzstan, a threat to rights of suspects

The Parliament of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan adopted amendments to the Procedural Penal Code. One of the provision is particularly worrisome, as it deletes a reference to findings of international mechanisms as a source to reopen a case. Penal Reform International (PRI) and the Centre for Civil and Political Rights (CCPR Centre) raised concern with […]

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Life imprisonment in a constitutional democracy

On 4 June 2020, Professor Dirk van Zyl Smit gave the ‘Roger Hood’ Lecture at the University of Oxford. Titled ‘The People Strike Back? Life imprisonment and other ultimate penalties in a constitutional democracy’ the lecture looked into the fight of penal reformers to make ultimate penalties more humane. Penal reformers ‘sought, with some success, […]

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UN Human Rights Council takes action to tackle racism and police brutality

George Floyd’s killing in the United States city of Minneapolis in Minnesota has shed light on systemic racism within law enforcement agencies across the US. Such discrimination is a global problem, as we have documented in Global Prison Trends 2020, minority groups are over-represented in many criminal justice systems, seeing higher rates of arrest, pre-trial […]

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Four new PRI board members elected to support our response to the crisis in prisons worldwide

Penal Reform International (PRI) is delighted to announce the election of four new members to its Board to strengthen the organisation’s expertise, networks, strategic vision and financial resilience. The newly elected members are: senior criminologist and advocate Dr Catherine Appleton from the University of Nottingham; outgoing Executive Director of International Corrections and Prisons Association and former […]