Institute for Criminal Policy Research (incorporating the International Centre for Prison Studies)

Legal basis (mandates) and mission

Charity and company limited by guarantee. In November 2014 the International Centre for Prison Studies merged with the Institute for Criminal Policy Research (ICPR) at Birkbeck, University of London.

The aim of the Centre is to further and promote public education particularly, but not exclusively, by undertaking or assisting in the undertaking of research into all aspects of crime and criminal justice. This includes prisons and the use of imprisonment, attitudes to crime and justice, sentencing and alternatives to imprisonment, policing and crime reduction, drug misuse and drug-related crime and allied subjects, and to publish the useful results of such research.

Topics of interest in the prison setting

  • Prison populations
  • Prison management and policy
  • Prison regimes
  • Treatment of prisoners
  • Specific categories of prisoners e.g. women, juveniles, foreign nationals
  • Prison health
  • Alternatives to prison
  • Rehabilitation of prisoners

Strategic operations

Collection and dissemination of data on prisons and the use of imprisonment, and wider aspects of the criminal justice system

Role in prisons

Mainly collection of data, but some consultancy work advising prison administrations and training prison staff on prison management according to human rights principles

Target groups

  • Policy-makers
  • Prison practitioners and administrators
  • Media
  • Academics
  • General public

Geographic region of focus