Since its launch in September 2000, the World Prison Brief (hosted and published by the Institute for Crime & Justice Policy Research, at Birkbeck) has become a gem of a resource – a completely unique database, giving open access to a wealth of information on prison systems worldwide. It now provides data on almost every country in the world. With a website visited over a million times a year and data relied on by policy makers, journalists, researchers, international agencies, NGOs and activists across the world, the Brief has gone from strength to strength.
It’s 20 years today since the World Prison Brief (WPB) website was launched.
Sentencing people who are convicted of a criminal offence is complex business. The sentencing policy and practice of any given country has a significant impact on prison population and overcrowding rates, and is closely linked with the ability to provide safe, humane prison conditions in line with international standards like the UN Nelson Mandela Rules. In this blog, written for Penal Reform International, Catherine Heard, Director of the World Prison Research Programme at the Institute for Crime & Justice Policy Research, explores sentencing trends (and disparities) based on a study of ten countries.
Well over three million people are held in pre-trial detention and other forms of remand imprisonment throughout the world, according to the latest edition of the World Pre-trial/Remand Imprisonment List (WPTRIL), published today by the Institute for Crime & Justice Policy Research at Birkbeck, University of London.
We are compiling a list of news articles, guidance and other resources from around the world on COVID-19 and prisons. This will be updated regularly.