Tuesday, 15th of October 2019
Venue: Open Society Foundations, 224 W 57th St, New York, NY 10019
Refreshments at Noon, with the panel from 12:30-2pm
Download the event flyer here.
Penal Reform International’s Global Prison Trends 2019, published in collaboration with the Thailand Institute of Justice, found that prison populations continue to rise for a number of reasons including a steady growth in the number of life-sentenced prisoners around the world. It also found that international human rights standards on the treatment of prisoners are frequently unmet, in particular for those who serve life or long-term sentences, such as inadequate health care and a lack of rehabilitation programmes.
At this event trends in the use and practice of life imprisonment in the United States and globally will be examined by an expert panel.
Life imprisonment is allowed in law in at least 183 countries, often as the ultimate penalty for the most serious crimes. As of 2014, there were roughly 479,000 persons serving “formal life sentences” around the world, compared to 261,000 in the year 2000, representing a rise of nearly 84 per cent in 14 years. In the US a record 206,268 people were serving life with parole, life without parole, or virtual life sentences in 2016 — 1 of every 7 people in prison.
This upward trend will persist unless penal policies and practices are changed to limit the use of life imprisonment. Life imprisonment has replaced the death penalty in many systems. However, unlike capital punishment, relatively little is known about the sanction.