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THE 2020 FESTIVAL OF SOCIAL SCIENCE
DIGITAL-FIRST EVENT 7-15 NOV 2020
FoSS and ESRC logos

The Future of Prisons?

12th November 2020 20:00 - 21:30
Panel debate

About this event

There is wide agreement that the system of imprisonment is expensive and ineffective. Those who go into prison are overwhelmingly raised in disadvantage; most lack the skills needed to succeed after their imprisonment. In prison, on current figures, each week there will be almost 600 incidents of self-harm; at least one suicide; and 350 assaults, including 90 on staff. A staggering three quarters (75%) of ex-inmates reoffend within nine years of release, and more than a third (39.3%) within the first twelve months (a figure that rises to 60% for those on short sentences). The total cost is estimated at £13 billion each year. Although these problems are recognised by politicians and academics alike – and have been for some time – there is surprisingly little agreement on what to do. Punishment and prisons seem to exercise a hold on our collective imaginations such that we cannot conceive of a society where they take different forms, and maybe even radically different forms. This panel debate will bring together an international group of academics, criminal justice practitioners, and an ex-offender to discuss how to reform punishment and prisons.