The Howard League campaigns for meaningful change in the criminal justice system. Everything we do seeks to achieve our aim of less crime, safer communities, fewer people in prison.
As well as campaigning for fewer people in prison, we work to transform prisons for those who would remain behind bars.
We campaign to improve policing and reduce the criminalisation of children in England and Wales.
We have the only frontline national legal team specialising in the legal rights and entitlements of children and young people in custody.
Find out more about our work to improve outcomes for women
Commission on Crime and Problem Gambling
The impact of problem gambling on crime is a burgeoning area of international concern, with a scale and diversity of offending that reflects a growing national and international portfolio of gambling activities. The Commission will lead in developing our understanding of, and ability to respond to, the links between problem gambling and crime.Read more →
About John Howard
John Howard is widely considered to be the first penal reformer. He lived in the eighteenth century and his life inspired admirers to establish the Howard League for Penal Reform in 1866.
Hackney, East London.
Apprenticed to grocers and sugar merchants, near St Paul’s.
Sets off for Lisbon, captured by privateers and imprisoned in France, released later that year.
Appointed High Sheriff of Bedfordshire. Makes first tour of English prisons.
Addresses committee of the House of Commons on state of prisons.
Howard publishes The State of the Prisons.
Penitentiary Houses Act. Howard appointed as one of three superintendents to choose sites and design and build new gaols.
Resigns post and continues to tour foreign prisons.
Falls ill from fever and dies in Kherson, Ukraine.