Community sentences cut crime
Community sentences make a person take responsibility and live a law-abiding life in the community. Our community sentences cut crime campaign aims to raise the profile of, confidence in and use of community sentences. Our community programmes awards celebrate best practice in community sentencing.
Fewer people in prison
Prison is an ineffective way of reducing crime. Our high prison population is untenable. Prisons do little to help people make amends for what they have done and change lives. Short prison sentences are detrimental. Our weekly prison watch section provides up to date figures on the number of people held in custody.
We pioneered and developed the idea of real work in prison, setting up and running a design studio in Coldingley prison where prisoners earned a real wage and were taught real skills.
We are often consulted when policy makers need expert advice, we provide submissions to government's and other public bodies' policy consultations.
Children in the criminal justice system
We campaign for justice for children. We want to raise the minimum age of criminal responsibility and ensure that society engages the child behind the crime. We believe that too many children are in prison.
- Through our legal work and projects such as U R Boss we give children a voice and work to improve the treatment and conditions for children in custody.
- We publish a range of reports on children in the penal system. These can be purchased online and some are available to download for free.
- Find out basic facts and figures about children in the penal system.
- Read our submissions on consultations on children.
Children and the police
Our work on police and child arrests forms the Howard League for Penal Reformís objectives to stem the flow of people into the penal system. It specifically follows our strategic aim to reduce the number of children coming into contact with the police and to improve the quality of contact between young people and the police.
Young people aged 18 to 24 are amongst the most vulnerable groups in society yet the needs of these young people in custody are largely ignored. We aim to improve the care and treatment of young adults in custody and on release. Through our research and our legal work with young adults we aim to ensure their needs are met and they lead crime free lives.
'Access to Justice Denied: Young Adults in Prison' report by the Howard League for Penal Reform for the Transition to Adulthood (T2A) has found that young adults aged between 18 and 21 in prison are an abandoned generation and reveals considerable unmet legal need and a lack of awareness of rights.
Through our work, we aim to highlight our concerns about women in the penal system. We set up an All Party Parliamentary Group on women in the penal system, chaired by Baroness Corston and we are campaigning to ensure that the recommendations of the Corston report are implemented.
The Howard League for Penal Reform has consultative status with the United Nations and the Council of Europe. We aim to share best practice and to ensure that lessons are learnt at national and international level.