How many people are imprisoned across the globe? What factors can help explain variations in the use of imprisonment in different countries? What ethical considerations should apply to the way imprisonment is used? Providing a comprehensive account of prison populations worldwide, this new work links prison statistics from the last 15 years with considerations of how prisons and prison populations are managed. With commentary from its well-known, respected authors on what is meant by an ethical approach to the use of imprisonment, and how this can be sustained in ever more challenging social, economic and political environments, this book is a major contribution to the knowledge of those currently debating prisons and the use of imprisonment, whether from academic, policy, practitioner, activist or lay perspectives. Its accessible, informative infographics also make it an engaging read and a valuable teaching resource for undergraduate and postgraduate courses in criminology, law, political science and public policy.
Professor Andrew Coyle CMG, is Emeritus Professor of Prison Studies, University of London, and was founding Director of the International Centre for Prison Studies in King’s College London. He previously worked at a senior level in the prison services of the United Kingdom. He has been a prisons adviser to a number of United Nations bodies as well as the Council of Europe and several national governments. His handbook A Human Rights Approach to Prison Management has been published in two editions and translated into 18 languages.
Helen Fair is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Criminal Policy Research (ICPR) and was previously a Research Associate at the International Centre for Prison Studies (ICPS). She undertakes research on prisons and the use of imprisonment around the world and has contributed to a number of publications including the key text A Human Rights Approach to Management: Handbook for Prison Staff.
Dr Jessica Jacobson is Co-Director of the Institute for Criminal Policy Research and was formerly a Senior Research Officer for the Home Office. She undertakes research and publishes widely on many different aspects of the criminal justice system including prisons, sentencing, and the work of the criminal courts more widely. Her recent publications include Inside Crown Court: Personal experiences and questions of legitimacy (Policy Press, 2015).
Roy Walmsley established and is Director of the World Prison Brief, a comprehensive online database of information on the prison systems of the world. He also researches and produces the World Prison Population List, the World Female Imprisonment List and the World Pre-trial/Remand Imprisonment List. Formerly deputy head of the Home Office research department, he has published studies of the prison systems of central and eastern Europe for the European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control (HEUNI) and conducted assessments of prison systems for the Council of Europe. As an expert on prisons data worldwide, he acts as an honorary consultant to the UN.
Section I: Prisons and the use of imprisonment: numbers and trends;
Numbers of prisoners worldwide;
Composition of prison populations worldwide;
Prison population trends;
Section II: An ethical approach to the use of imprisonment;
What constitutes an ethical approach to the use of imprisonment?;
Features of an ethical approach to the use of imprisonment;
Challenges to an ethical approach to the use of imprisonment;
Section III: An alternative future;
Rethinking prisons and the use of imprisonment;
"In this timely book, the authors outline a moral framework stating clearly and succinctly what needs to be done. Sustainable justice requires less emphasis on
imprisonment and more on human and social development." Alison Liebling, Cambridge University
"Imagine a world with more and more prisons. Imagine failing prisons, brutal and broken prisons. This is the world of Coyle and Co’s book. It shouldn’t be an easy read, but it is eminently readable. It asks urgent questions about the ethics of imprisonment that challenge us imagine something else, something better." Rod Earle, The Open University
"A lovely little book. A great resource for anyone who wants the key information on imprisonment around the world." Richard Garside, Director, Centre for Crime and Justice Studies
"The welcome publication of this excellent and thought provoking book will inform governments and parliaments worldwide about the limited role of imprisonment." Lord David Ramsbotham, Member of the UK House of Lords and former Chief Inspector of Prisons for England and Wales
“At a time when we are expecting significant change to public services including the criminal justice system, this vital tool for practitioners, academics and students provides a source of inspiration and a substantial body of evidence from around the world.” Frances Crook, CEO, The Howard League for Penal Reform
"Comprehensive, concise, ethically informed, and attuned to future possibilities—A must read for penologists the world over." Robert Johnson, Professor of Justice, Law and Criminology, American University