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A Presumption Against Imprisonment? Part 3

In July 2014, the British Academy published a report, 'A Presumption Against Imprisonment: Social Order and Social Values' arguing that we should not rely so heavily on imprisonment as a form of punishment: we should not be imprisoning so many people, or for such long periods of time. The report also suggests some strategies for significantly reducing the prison population.

During the discussion, invited experts examined the findings and policy recommendations of the report, and offered their views on whether we are right to rely so heavily on this mode of punishment, especially given its financial and human cost, and how we may go about reducing our reliance on imprisonment.

The panel included:

Lord Woolf FBA, former Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales (Chair)
Alison Liebling, Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice and Director of the Prisons Research Centre, University of Cambridge
Andrew Coyle, Emeritus Professor of Prison Studies, King’s College London
Mike Hough, Professor of Criminal Policy and Associate Director of the Institute for Criminal Policy Research, Birkbeck University of London
Juliet Lyon CBE, Director of the Prison Reform Trust
Nick Hardwick CBE, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons

For more information about the event, please go to

To access the British Academy report, 'A Presumption Against Imprisonment: Social Order and Social Values', please go to

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