The Prison Book

Reimagining Imprisonment in Europe: Effects, Failures and the Future

Countries throughout Europe are sending more and more of their citizens to prison, yet this has no correlation with crime figures. Alongside this, people are being sent to prison for longer.

This book stems from the Scribani international conference organised by the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice which was held in Trinity College Dublin. The chapters analyse some of the key features of imprisonment throughout Europe today, including the political, social and economic forces shaping prison policy and practice. Authors explore how people in prison are treated and portrayed and what future imprisonment should look like in terms of policy, population size, prison conditions and most importantly, its use.

A unique publication, this book brings together contributors from different parts of Europe who work in different capacities in and around national penal systems: prison and probation officers, prisoner rights advocates, teachers, academics and others. A number of chapters act as conduits for the voices and opinions of people in prison. What binds together the variety of authors in this book is an immense desire to re-imagine how we respond to people who fall foul of the law, recognising them as fellow members of our society, and responding more constructively and with greater humanity.

Editors of the book

Eoin Carroll is Social Policy and Communications Co-ordinator of the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, Dublin. He was Conference Director of ‘Re-imagining Imprisonment in Europe: Common Challenges, Diverse Policies and Practice’, papers from which form this book.

Kevin Warner was Co-ordinator of Education in the Irish prison system for nearly 30 years until 2009. He chaired the Select Committee that formulated Council of Europe recommendations on education in prison (1990). He is now an adjunct lecturer in the School of Applied Social Science at University College Dublin and a board member of the Irish Penal Reform Trust.

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