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SPOTLIGHTS: What are prisons for?

  • Date: 11 Jun 2024

  • Location: Online


  • Book your place : Free (donations welcome)

  • Book now

    Buckling under the weight of chronic overcrowding and staff shortages, the prison system in England and Wales is in turmoil.

    From reports of drugs, violence and self-harm to people spending hours on end locked inside their cells and being released with nowhere to live, hardly a week goes by without a new concerning story emerging from a prison.

    So why do we have them? What are prisons for?

    Join our Chief Executive, Andrea Coomber KC (Hon.) and two experts who have written books on these fundamental questions.   

    • Bill Keller is an American journalist. He was the founding editor-in-chief of The Marshall Project and is a former columnist for The New York Times. His book What’s Prison For? examines the ‘incarceration’ part of ‘mass incarceration’. 
    • Hindpal Singh Bhui OBE is Visiting Law Professor at the Centre for Criminology, University of Oxford, and an Inspection Team Leader at HM Inspectorate of Prisons. His book What are prisons for? argues that we need to look at who is sent there and why, to disentangle reality from ideology and myth. 

    This event will take the form of a panel discussion, so please be ready to share your ideas and ask questions. 

    Book your place for this free event, on Tuesday 11 June at 2pm, online via Zoom. 


    About the Howard League Spotlights series 

    Howard League Spotlights is a series of events aimed at lifting the lid on prisons and finding more effective ways to reduce crime and keep communities safe. Each event will focus on a particular theme and bring together experts to approach the issue from different perspectives. Spotlights events are free of charge, but if you would like to support our work, please consider becoming a Howard League member. 

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