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 correctional and parole leader Michelle Carpentier; psychologist, Executive Director of Restart Centre for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence and Torture and Vice-President of the United Nations Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture Suzanne Jabbour; and economist and financial expert Erika Marseille.
PRI Four new Board members: Catherine Appleton (first from left), Michelle Carpentier, Suzanne Jabbour, Erika Marseille (first from right).
With the crisis in which criminal justice systems around the world are being made more visible now than ever with the COVID-19 pandemic, and the prospect of the virus ‘rampaging through places of detention’, PRI is needed now more than ever. These new appointees will strengthen the organisation’s ability to continue to lead a human rights-based approach to criminal justice at national, regional and international levels.
PRI’s Board is its highest decision-making body. It determines in general terms PRI’s policy and provides supervision, oversight and control over the activities of the organisation.
We are delighted that the following four members were elected to PRI’s Board, to help us achieve PRI’s ambitions for 2020-2023:
Dr Catherine Appleton
Dr Appleton 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.
Dr 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 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.
Dr Catherine Appleton: ‘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.’
Michelle Carpentier brings extensive experience to PRI of working in criminal justice settings and promoting fair and effective corrections worldwide. Ms Carpentier’s 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 Carpentier: ‘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.’
Suzanne Jabbour 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. Her experience as Executive Director of Restart Centre for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence and Torture will also bring valuable insight to PRI’s governance and strategy.
As a member of the United Nations Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture, and currently serving as its Vice-President, Ms Jabbour will further 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. Ms Jabbour has also been member of the Board of the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT), which she chaired from 2012 to 2016.
Suzanna Jabbour: ‘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.’
As an economist, Erika Marseille brings to PRI a strong financial and economic background, 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. Ms Marseille will be a huge asset in supporting PRI’s financial management across its programmes in Europe, Central Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and North Africa and South Caucasus, and contributing to the organisation’s long-term strategy.
Ms Marseille 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 Marseille says: ‘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.’
PRI is delighted to appoint these four members and their unique perspectives and experience, who share PRI’s vision of safe societies worldwide in which fair and effective criminal justice systems are non-discriminatory and protect the rights of disadvantaged people.