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The Prisons Research Group holds roundtable seminars that bring together panels of expert speakers and invited audiences to discuss prison issues, key challenges facing the prison system and ideas for prisons policy and sentencing reform.   

Click on the soundclouds to listen to the range of talks from these  events.

‘Criminal Court Sentencing: Thinking about Reform’ 2020

This roundtable seminar included speakers engaging with topics on sentencing and the enduring strain of severity in sentencing law and policy, radical changes to probation service supervision under the ‘Transforming Rehabilitation’ framework and what it meant for short sentenced prisoners, the increase in Joint Enterprise prosecutions and the benefits of ‘problem-solving’ and sentence review approaches in youth justice.


Rory Stewart -Previous Prisons Minister, London Mayoral Candidate

Nick Hardwick -Professor of Criminal Justice, Royal Holloway University of London

Nicola Padfield -Professor in Criminal and Penal Justice, University of Cambridge

Quentin Goodman -Operations Manager, Northamptonshire YOT

Matt Cracknell –Criminology Lecturer, Middlesex University

Junior Smart (OBE) Founder of SOS Project, St. Giles Trust

‘Changing Prisons in Challenging Times: Revisited’ 2017

The ‘Changing Prisons in Challenging Times’ roundtable included speakers discussing the prisons reform agenda set out in the 2016 Prison Safety and Reform White Paper and the six dedicated ‘reform prisons’ designed to model change through devolved budgets and with governor autonomy, insights from the Joint Committee on Human Rights inquiry into mental health and deaths in custody, the problems with risk assessment and Indeterminate Public Protection sentences, the ‘Learning Together’ prisons university education partnership and the closure of Holloway woman’s prison.


Erwin James- author, Guardian Journalist and 'Inside Times' editor

Nick Hardwick- Chair of the Parole Board

Phillip Leach -Specialist Adviser to the inquiry on mental health and deaths in prison by the Joint Committee on Human Rights) & Natalie Gray Middlesex University

Amy Ludlow & Ruth Armstrong- Institute of Criminology, Cambridge University

Nick Pascoe- Executive Governor HMPs Coldingley and High Down

Rachel Seoighe- Criminology Lecturer, Middlesex University

Changing Prisons in Challenging Times 2015

This round table seminar discussed challenges within the prison system, impacts on prison officer and the role of rehabilitation prison, findings from the independent panel on deaths in custody, the human rights of people in prison and the prevalence and needs of alcohol dependent people entering prison custody.


Nick Hardwick -HM Chief Inspector of Prisons

Erwin James – Journalist for The Guardian and author of A Life Inside: A Prisoner’s Notebook and The Home Stretch: From Prison to Parole

Pamela Taylor- Chair in Psychiatry, Cardiff University

Anastasia Karamalidou – Criminology Lecturer, Middlesex University

Toby Harris - Chair of the Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody

Kimmett Edgar-  Head of Research at the Prison Reform Trust.

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