Saturday 18 January 2020

Conference: After Strangeways

The past, present and future of prisons

Thirty years to the day from the start of the protest at Strangeways Prison, a major conference is being held at Kings College's Strand Campus 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?"

For registration and a list of confirmed speakers go to the KCL event page.

A black and white photograph looking into a prison cell from outside, focused on the metal bars blurring the background which appears to be a bed, sidetable and possibly an occupant in the centre.
Prison Jail Cell, free photo by Ichigo121212 via Pixabay


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