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Changing Prisons in Challenging Times- Revisited

Event information

START DATE 4 April 2017
START TIME 09:00am

The Boardroom, C219-20, College Building Middlesex University, The Burroughs, London, NW4 4BT

END DATE 4 April 2017
END TIME 02:00pm

A follow-up roundtable to open up the ongoing debate about the recent prison reforms

Two years ago we discussed within a roundtable forum the changes and challenges occurring within the prison system and how these were impacting on prison conditions, staffing morale, and prison governance.

Since then continuing concerns for prison reform and modernization have unfolded, culminating in the recent launch of six ‘reform prisons’ operating on devolved budgets and governor autonomy, and the publication in November 2016 of a Prison Safety and Reform White Paper.

These developments articulate ambitions for transformative change across the system. These however, are to be delivered within current resources that are severely affected by deep budgetary cuts occurring within wider economic policy. Serious financial stress placed upon the prison estate has undoubtedly affected the safe operation and management of many prisons.

While education and the importance of ‘purposeful activity’ are central propositions of the new reforms, challenges that have arguably held back the government’s vision for ‘transforming rehabilitation’ still exist.

This follow-up roundtable is an opportunity to open up the ongoing debate about the recent reforms – where changes are successfully being implemented, where progress is being hindered and where these reforms can go even further. Can the prison service bring about positive change within the current prison population, within current resources, and within wider challenges that come with the changing physical landscape of the prison estate?

We are bringing together a panel of speakers concerned with the running of prisons, prisoners’ health, care and welfare, and rehabilitation and sentencing policy.


Professor Nick Hardwick, Chair of the Parole Board and Professor of Criminal Justice, Royal Holloway University of London

Professor Philip Leach and Natalie Gray, Middlesex University - both members of Middlesex University's Prison Research Group

Mr Ian Bickers, Executive Governor of HM Wandsworth Reform Prison

Dr Jenni Ward, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, Middlesex University

Dr Amy Ludlow and Dr Ruth Armstrong, Learning Together, Institute of Criminology, Cambridge University

Dr. Rachel Seoighe, Lecturer in Criminology, Middlesex University

Mr. Erwin James, Editor of ‘Inside Time’ and Guardian Newspaper Journalist Chair: Jenni Ward

The event commences at 9:00am with coffee and pastries and opportunity for networking with presentations and discussion commencing at 9:45am. A buffet lunch will be provided.

Advance questions for panel discussion can be submitted via email to the roundtable convener Natalie Gray or Matt Cracknell.

The event is free to attend, but must be booked in advance via Eventbrite

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