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After Strangeways: The past, present and future of prisons - 1 April 2020

Please note that this event has passed.

Registrations are open from 10:00 Tuesday 17 December.


On 1 April 2020 – 30 years to the day from the start of the protest – we will be holding a major conference in central London to discuss the past, present and future of prisons.

The root causes of the protests lay in many years of unjust and abusive prison policies and practices that affected not just Strangeways, but the British prison system as a whole. The conference will consider the deep history of British prisons, using the Strangeways protests as a signal moment in a wider history of problematic and abusive institutions.

Thirty years on, the dysfunctions and problems of the prison system that gave rise to the Strangeways protest are as pressing as ever. Indeed some would argue they are worse. Many prisons across Britain appear locked in a terminal spiral of decline and decay. The conference will take stock of the present state of prisons across the UK, and what current conditions say about British society and the way it treats some of the most vulnerable and marginalised groups.

The conference will also look forward, at the potential futures of prisons. Do prisons protect prisoners and the wider society? If not, do we need to think differently about the meaning of protection and safety in the twenty-first century?Are prisons eternal and immutable institutions, destined forever to be a feature of British society? Is it possible to think about different futures, including ones where far fewer people are imprisoned, or where prisons are no longer a mainstay of our response to crime?


Speakers include:

  • Stephen Akpabio-Klementowski, The Open University
  • Eric Allison, The Guardian
  • Jamie Bennett, HMPPS
  • Rex Bloomstein, Film maker
  • Eamonn Carrabine, University of Essex
  • Deborah Coles, Inquest 
  • Dr Mary Corcoran, Keele University
  • John Crilly, JENGbA Inside/Outside Campaigner
  • Diane Curry, POPS
  • Richard Garside, Centre for Crime and Justice Studies
  • Alan Lord, One of the Strangeways protestors
  • Gloria Morrison or Jan Cunliffe, JENGbA
  • Kate Paradine, Women in Prison
  • Elaine Player, King’s College London
  • Colin Prescod, Institute of Race Relations
  • David Scott, Open University
  • Joe Sim, Liverpool John Moores University
  • Patrick Williams, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Carolyne Willow, Article 39


Image by Ichigo121212 from Pixabay 


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