The International Centre for Prison Studies was established in 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. Between 1997 and 2010 the Centre was based in King’s College London. In 2011 ICPS entered into an academic partnership with the University of Essex.
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 expert 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-supporting and raises specific funds for all its research and projects activities.