Today, PRI launches its annual flagship publication, Global Prison Trends 2018, at the UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.
Global Prison Trends 2018 is the fourth edition in PRI’s annual flagship Global Prison Trends series, and is published in collaboration with the Thailand Institute of Justice. It identifies topical developments and challenges in criminal justice and prison policy and practice over the past 12 months, and also provides 25 recommendations for states to review and improve their penal systems. The report features a foreword by the Rt Hon Helen Clark, Member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, Former Prime Minister of New Zealand and Former Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme.
Global Prison Trends 2018 explores:
- Trends in the use of imprisonment
- Prison populations
- Developments and challenges in prison management
- The role of technology in criminal justice and prison systems
- Alternatives to imprisonment
A Special Focus section looks at the rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders in the era of sustainable development, exploring how the rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders back into their communities can incorporate a broader developmental perspective, contributing to the goals set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
‘Our annual flagship report shows that generally prison populations are increasing, leading to human rights violations and a lack of rehabilitation in overcrowded prisons. One of the reasons for this increase is that states continue to apply punitive responses to behaviour that is deemed as criminal, discriminating against the poor and vulnerable members of our societies,’ says Olivia Rope, PRI’s Policy and Programme Manager.
‘The report also highlights some promising trends, including reform of drug policies to reduce unnecessary imprisonment for minor offences, a focus on rehabilitation and reintegration efforts, and creative ways to meet the needs of specific prison populations. We hope the report and recommendations made will assist criminal justice stakeholders in assessing and reforming their systems to promote peaceful societies, based on human rights standards.’
The Rt Hon Helen Clark, who wrote the foreword to the report, says that every year, ‘Global Prison Trends…provides us with a global view on the state of prisons. And, every year, this report is, unfortunately, hardly a surprise – we read about the degrading conditions in which people are imprisoned, and about their growing number. Yet the level of crime in most societies is constantly decreasing. The question that remains unanswered, therefore, is why our societies focus their response to unlawful behaviours so often on prison? Where is the proportionality in sentencing when we punish nonviolent offences with lengthy prison sentences? Is this the only response we can offer?’
Read the report
Click here to read Global Prison Trends 2018.