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 £5,000. 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. Next year's prize will be awarded at the The 2017 Longford Lecture in November. The prize is now sponsored by the McGrath Charitable Trust.
The judges for the Longford Prize in 2017 were: Lord Ramsbotham (formerly Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons), Chloe Billington, child therapist, contributor to Inside Time and National Prison Radio, the journalist, Mary Riddell; Peter Stanford and a representative of the sponsors, The McGrath Charitable Trust. The panel is chaired by former prison governor and Longford Trust trustee, John Podmore.
The two winners of the Prize in 2016 were the charity Unlock. and the Shakespeare Trilogy project. Unlock, founded in 1999, is run by people with convictions for the estimated 10.5 million people living with convictions in the UK. It has the invaluable aim of countering the sometimes life-long disadvantage that can result from having a criminal record. The Shakespeare Trilogy is an outreach scheme by Clean Break Theatre Company, York Saint John University’s Prison Partnership Project and the Donmar Warehouse, developed from over four years of workshops in women’s jails.
The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Juliet Lyon.
The winner of the Longford Prize in 2015 was PACT. In their citation, the judges wrote: "“Good research and good practice have both long shown that maintaining strong family ties is one of the key factors in offenders’ rehabilitation and avoidance of re-offending.
The judges also highly commended the Thames Valley Partnership and In2Change, and made a Lifetime Achievement Award to Eric McGraw, of Inside Time.
The 2014 Longford Prize was awarded to Marina Cantecuzino of The Forgiveness Project, for her "significant contribution to reducing reoffending as well as having a wider impact in creating a more positive commitment in our criminal justice system to restorative justice".
A Lifetime Achievement Award was given to New Horizon Youth Centre. A drop-in day centre, founded by in 1968.
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.