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Researching the history of the Howard League

The Howard League for Penal Reform is the oldest penal reform charity in the world.

It was established first as the Howard Association in 1866.  Its founding aim was the “promotion of the most efficient means of penal treatment and crime prevention” and to promote “a reformatory and radically preventive treatment of offenders”. In 1921 it merged with the Penal Reform League to form the Howard League for Penal Reform. Then, in 1948, it incorporated the National Association for the Abolition of Capital Punishment.

The University of Leicester, together with the Howard League as a collaborative partner, has secured funding for an ESRC Doctoral Studentship to produce the first history of the Howard League for Penal Reform.

An objective of the research is to enhance the Howard League’s understanding of itself as an organisation. This will be achieved through research into the relationship between its campaign work, the larger economic and social context, and the trajectory of penal reform, at specific moments in the past.

The research will be undertaken by Jess Kebbell.

Supervision team: Professor Clare Anderson, Professor Steven King and Anita Dockley.

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