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Missed out on a London Marathon place? Why not run for us?

The Howard League celebrates its 150th birthday in 2016 and, to mark the occasion, we are giving our supporters the chance to take part in the Virgin Money London Marathon and other challenge events. 

Find out more

The Howard League is celebrating its 150th birthday!


The world's oldest penal reform charity, the Howard League for Penal Reform, celebrates its 150th birthday this year with a busy programme of events and fundraising activities. 

The charity has led a host of successful campaigns since it began life as the Howard Association back i 1866- including drives to abolish the death penalty; to set up the probation; to scrap corporal punishment; and, more recently, to repeal the criminal courts charge and overturn the restrictions on sending books to prisoners. 

Celebrities including actor Emily Mortimer, historian Bettany Hughes and journalist Donal MacIntyre have agred to 'donate their birthdays' to the Howard League, asking friends to make donations to the charity instead of giving presents. Many Howard League members are also donating their birthdays.

Would you like to join in our birthday celebrations? Find out how


Photo: Prison Image

How your membership helps

Your membership, quite simply, enables us to exist. The Howard League for Penal Reform is an independent charity and so relies upon the support of its members and donors to continue its work towards less crime, safer communities and fewer people in prison. We need our members to achieve real change and give added authority to our campaigns for a less costly and more effective criminal justice system.

Thank you for your support. Our impact over the last year could not be achieved without your help.

Howard League report reveals rising levels of punishment in prison

Almost 160,000 days or 438 years of additional imprisonment were imposed on prisoners found to have broken prison rules last year, a report published by the Howard League for Penal Reform reveals today.

Punishment in Prison: The world of prison discipline looks at how jails in England and Wales operate disciplinary hearings called adjudications, where allegations of rule-breaking are tried.

Read more about the report here

Victory for the criminal courts charge campaign

The Howard League for Penal Reform has secured another major campaign victory after the Secretary of State for Justice, Michael Gove, announced that the criminal courts charge is to be abolished.

The charge was introduced in April, and the Howard League has led the opposition to it ever since, highlighting dozens of cases from across England and Wales that illustrate why the policy is unfair, unrealistic and unjust.

Please read more about the campaign here. 


Read our Annual Report online. If you require a hard copy please email

Our newspaper The Howard, comes out twice a year. Stay up to date with our news, research and events, by reading the latest issue.

The Howard League produces a variety of research briefings and publications each year. Download publications.

All members have online access to the Howard Journal of Criminal Justice.  Please email to register.

Member testimonials

Read some of the reasons other members have joined.

Member FAQs

Frequently asked questions about membership.

If your membership is due for renewal you can renew here.

If you have moved to a new address or changed your email, please let us know by emailing

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