The Howard League for Penal Reform - Conference

Post date: Apr 12, 2016 9:45:43 AM

GPRN Member Sacha Darke organized a panel at the Howard League conference this year, with scholars contributing to the Prison Service Journal special issue about prisoner self-governance in Latin America.

International three-day conference

16–18 March 2016

Keble College, Oxford

This was a timely conference. Western societies are grappling with how to manage social institutions, not least those impacting on the penal system, in a time of austerity. The same jurisdictions are also experiencing the potentially conflicting phenomenon of crime drops while supporting policies of penal expansion.

This conference formed part of the symposium What is Justice? Re-imagining penal policy which is charged with generating intellectual debate that can act as a springboard to contest the conventional role of the penal system, ultimately promoting a new, achievable paradigm that will deliver a reduced role for the penal system while maintaining public confidence, fewer victims of crime and safer communities.

Part of the Howard League’s 150th anniversary celebrations.

Conference programme

Three days of plenary sessions with keynote speakers, ample opportunity for questions and debate, a range of parallel sessions covering leading academic research and practice, exhibition and networking opportunities. The sessions themes included among others: inspection as a catalyst for penal reform, public perceptions of penal reform, economics and impact on penal policy, human rights law and penal reform, terror and penal reform and beyond mass incarceration.

Conference programme


Dr Tim Bateman, Office of the Children's Commissioner

Professor Mary Bosworth, University of Oxford

Professor Neil Chakraborti, University of Leicester

Peter Clarke CVO OBE QPM, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons

Dr Todd Clear, Rutgers School of Criminal Justice, Newark NJ

Tom Gash, Senior Fellow, Institute for Government & Visiting Senior Fellow at the LSE

Michael Jacobson, CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance

Professor Alison Liebling, University of Cambridge

Phillippa Kaufmann QC, MatrixChambers

Professor Lisa L Miller, Department of Political Science, Rutgers University

Dame Anne Owers, Chair, IPCC

Yvonne Roberts, journalist and Chair of Women in Prison

Dame Glenys Stacey, HM Chief Inspector of Probation (taking up the post on 1 March)

David Strang QPM, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland

Professor Dirk van Zyl Smit, University of Nottingham

Professor Dr Tom Vander Beken, Ghent University

Professor Richard Wilkinson, University of Nottingham

Sir Thomas Winsor, HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary

Professor Lucia Zedner, University of Oxford

See the full list of keynote speakers and expert contributors.