News

News

COVID-19 response: UN must seize opportunity to protect rights of people in prisons

Today the highest human rights body of the United Nations starts in session as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to hit countries around the globe and presents threats to the health and life of people in contact with criminal justice systems. First on the agenda is a presentation of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, […]

News

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, […]

News

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 […]

News

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 […]

News

Justice – in all senses of the word – will only come through hearing and learning

An effective and human rights-based approach to law enforcement requires legitimacy, non-discrimination, and public scrutiny. Trust in law enforcement agencies must come from commitment to the law and international standards, respect for all people and tolerance to those who come into contact with law enforcement, and exemplary in behaviour of law enforcement agents. Police can […]

News

Webinar: Launch of Global Prison Trends 2020

Prisons and justice systems are facing unprecedented challenges brought by the COVID-19 global pandemic. At this launch event for PRI’s new report Global Prison Trends 2020, international leaders and experts will address chronic issues that have led to this human rights and public health crisis with people in prison being so vulnerable – and critically, […]

News

We want to prevent COVID-19 ‘rampaging through places of detention’

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 reminds us of the very essence of PRI’s existence. At this time, our mission is to ensure that no one is left behind and PRI is working to ensure that prison management, criminal justice authorities and governments around the world are informed, equipped and supported to slow and […]

News

PRI convenes event at UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs on women and drug policies – implementation of the UN Bangkok Rules

2020 marks ten years since the UN Bangkok Rules on women prisoners and non-custodial measures for women were adopted by the UN General Assembly, which called for alternatives to imprisonment for the case of women, particularly for minor offences. Yet, drug policies continue to disproportionately impact women and female prison populations continue to rise in […]

News

Working with police, magistrates and lawyers to promote fairer criminal investigations and trials in Uganda

Penal Reform International (PRI) is taking important and effective steps towards preventing ill-treatment and promoting the application of fair and effective criminal investigations and trials of people detained in Uganda. At PRI’s pioneering police training course in November 2019 on investigative interviewing and international human rights standards it was revealed that only two of the participants […]

News

Civil society mobilisation for penal reform

In Central African Republic, the government adopted a strategy for the demilitarisation of the penitentiary system, at the initiative of Penal Reform International (PRI) and with the support of the United Nations peacekeeping mission (MINUSCA). As part of the implementation of the national strategy for the demilitarization of CAR’s penitentiary system, an important place is […]