World Prison Brief

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The World Prison Brief at is an online database providing free access to information on prison systems around the world. It is now hosted by the Institute For Crime & Justice Policy Research (ICPR),[1] Birkbeck College, University of London.[2][3]

It was previously hosted by the International Centre for Prison Studies (ICPS). It was a research centre at the University of Essex. It was launched at the House of Lords on 4 April 2011. Between 1997 and 2010 ICPS was based in King's College London and was launched formally by Home Secretary Jack Straw in October 1997. In July 2010 the International Centre for Prison Studies incorporated and registered as a charity with the Charities Commission of England and Wales. From the outset the Centre was independent of governmental and intergovernmental agencies, although it would work closely with them.

The Centre is self-funded and a number of charitable trusts gave generous grants which allowed the Centre to start work. The centre 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.

In November 2014 the International Centre for Prison Studies merged with the Institute for Crime & Justice Policy Research at Birkbeck, University of London.


The founding director is Andrew Coyle. The current director is Dr Jessica Jacobson. Baroness Stern is a senior research fellow at the centre.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Institute for Crime & Justice Policy Research | Institute for Criminal Policy Research". Retrieved 20 September 2022.
  2. ^ home page: World Prison Brief | an online database comprising information on prisons and the use of imprisonment around the world.
  3. ^ "About World Prison Brief | World Prison Brief". Retrieved 20 September 2022.

External links[edit]

  • Core Publications of the World Prison Brief. Such as the World Prison Population List, and the World Female Imprisonment List.
  • World Prison Brief - Highest to Lowest. A main portal of the World Prison Brief. 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. Click on any country link for detailed info.