International Centre for Prison Studies
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The International Centre for Prison Studies launched its new academic partnership with the University of Essex at the House of Lords on 4 April 2011.
In July 2010 the International Centre for Prison Studies incorporated and registered as a charity with the Charities Commission of England and Wales (Registered Charity No 1136787). Between 1997 and 2010 ICPS was based in King's College London. It was launched formally by Home Secretary Jack Straw in October 1997.
It was decided from the outset that the Centre should be independent of governmental and intergovernmental agencies, although it would work closely with them. It was also decided that it needed to be located in an outstanding academic environment.
One important way of underlining the international nature of the work of the Centre has been through the composition of its Advisory Board. The Centre is able to call on 15 advisers from around the world who between them are representative of the best academic thinking on punishment and imprisonment and of the widest practical experience in the criminal justice field.
The Centre is self-funding. A number of charitable trusts gave generous grants which allowed the Centre to start work. Funds are now raised on a project basis.
Statement of Purpose
The International Centre for Prison Studies seeks to assist governments and other relevant agencies to develop appropriate policies on prisons and the use of imprisonment. It carries out its work on a project or consultancy basis for international agencies, governmental and non-governmental organisations.
It aims to make the results of its academic research and projects widely available to groups and individuals, both nationally and internationally, who might not normally use such work. These include policy makers, practitioners and administrators, the media and the general public. Such dissemination will help to increase an understanding of the purpose of prison and what can be expected of it.
- To develop a body of knowledge, based on international covenants and instruments, about the principles on which the use of imprisonment should be based, which can be used as a sound foundation for policies on prison issues.
- To build up a resource network for the spread of best practice in prison management worldwide to which prison administrators can turn for practical advice on how to manage prison systems which are just, decent, humane and cost effective.
- To carry out, organise and publish research into the purposes of imprisonment and make this available to policy makers, practitioners, administrators, the media and the general public.
- To disseminate information about the international covenants and instruments relating to detention and imprisonment in a manner which is accessible to prison personnel.
- To share experience about how the international instruments relating to detention and imprisonment should be applied in practice.
- To undertake practical prison projects, which take account of the cultural, social and financial realities in the countries involved, at the request of international agencies, national governments and non-governmental organisations.
- To develop and evaluate models of best practice.
- To build up a data base of good models of prison management and effective projects and making this available on a worldwide basis.
- To make use of an international network of individuals and agencies with a record of achievement in this field of work.
- To organise seminars, conferences and to publish reports which will further these objectives.
- International Centre for Prison Studies
- List of countries by prison population
- World Prison Population List. 8th edition. By Roy Walmsley. Published in 2009. International Centre for Prison Studies. School of Law, King's College London.
- World Prison Brief - Highest to Lowest Rates. International Centre for Prison Studies. Compare many nations. Select from menu: prison population total, prison population rate, percentage of pre-trial detainees / remand prisoners within the prison population, percentage of female prisoners within the prison population, percentage of foreign prisoners within the prison population and occupancy rate.