The Prison Reform Trust was founded in 1981 by a group of distinguished UK citizens that included a retired High Court judge whose main objectives were to help improve living conditions within the prisons, help prisoners stay connected with family and community, to help educate the public about the penal system and to create alternatives to sentencing offenders to prison.
In the words of one of the Trustees – “We have … constructed a system which by isolating prisoners from their families and friends reduces to a minimum any opportunity for rehabilitation. ” The Prison Reform Trust is working with progressive thinkers, practitioners, and policy-makers to help achieve a just, humane and effective prison system.
Too many people are sent to prison for too long, and the conditions in which they are kept are often a disgrace.
The group works directly with inmates creating daily communications to ensure that the reality of day-to-day life within prison walls can be conveyed correctly to law-making decision-makers and to the public as well.
Part of what the Prison Reform Trust aims to improve are prisoners’ human rights, helping with prisoners’ families and alternatives to custody and imprisonment. Research is conducted and applied on areas such as prisoner’s views on prison education, the mental and physical health needs of women prisoners, older prisoners’ needs and prisoners with mental illness and/or disabilities.
In addition, the Prison Reform Trust has a campaign titled, Out of Trouble, which campaigns to help keep children and young people out of prison and work on rehabilitation and prevention with this group.
The Women’s Justice Taskforce works with policymakers to help find alternatives to imprisonment for women offenders, many who have not even committed serious or violent crimes. Smart Justice for Women is working on bringing to light the huge cost that imprisoning women has on society, and campaigning for better alternatives to prison.
To read more about the Prison Reform Trust, please visit their website here.