The Longford Prize is an annual award presented in the United Kingdom to an organisation or individual working in the field of social or penal reform. The award was established in 2002 in honour of Lord Longford, a lifelong penal reform campaigner, and has been sponsored by both The Independent and the Daily Telegraph. It is organized in association with the Prison Reform Trust and is presented at the annual Longford Lecture.
The winner is presented with a cheque for £1,500. Additional prizes are awarded by the judges to highly-commended individuals and organisations, and occasionally a lifetime achievement award is made, usually to someone who has made a difference by their own initiative and resourcefulness in prisoners' lives.
The judges were initially chaired by Lord Longford's daughter, the poet Judith Kazantzis. Current judges include Lord Ramsbotham (formerly Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons), Juliet Lyon (Director of the Prison Reform Trust), and Peter Stanford (Director of the Longford Trust).
The 2010 prize was awarded to Circles UK. Circles helps newly released sex offenders. A Lifetime Achievement Award was made to Peter Kilgarriff
The 2009 prize was awarded to Inquest. This charity helps people bereaved by a death in custody. The judges praised it for its "remarkable perseverance, personal commitment and courage in an area too often under-investigated by the public authorities."
The 2008 prize was awarded to HMP Grendon. The judges were impressed in particular by the prison's proven track record in cutting reoffending and promoting the principles of rehabilitation. A Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Lucy Gampell, director of Action for Prisoners' Families
The 2007 prize was awarded to Prisoners Abroad, a UK charity which supports Britons who are imprisoned overseas. The judges praised "its courage, persistence and humanity, over almost three decades, sometimes in the face of public and official indifference and even hostility". Special mention was also made of The Forgiveness Project and Joe Baden and the Open Book Project.
In 2006 the Longford Prize was given to FPWP Hibiscus, a small charity, working with female foreign national prisoners. Special mentions went to Chance UK; Roma Hooper; and Lucie Russell and Smart Justice.
The 2005 prize was awarded to Steven Taylor, Director of the Forum on Prisoner Education, for promoting the rehabilitation and re-integration of prisoners into society.
Christopher Morgan was awarded the prize in 2004 for setting up the Shannon Trust in 1997 which trains prisoners to teach their fellow inmates reading and writing.
Barbara Tudor was awarded the Longford Prize in 2003 for her work in restorative justice.
The winner of the first Longford Prize was Audrey Edwards, in 2002. After her mentally-ill son, Christopher, was murdered in Chelmsford Prison, Edwards campaigned to improve mental health care for offenders.
The Longford Trust Administers the Prize and the Lectures and offers scholarships.
The Longford Lectures Prestigious Lecture series held annually in the field of prisons, criminal justice and society.
Earl of Longford The Trust was set up to promote and continue the campaigning work of Frank Pakenham, Earl of Longford.
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- "The Longford Prize". Longford Trust. Retrieved 2007-12-03.