Penal Reform International is an international non-governmental organisation working on penal and criminal justice reform worldwide.
PRI has regional offices and programmes in the Middle East and North Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the South Caucasus. We also work with partner organisations in other parts of Africa (the Great Lakes office closed in December 2010) and, using a variety of approaches, on penal reform issues in Asia, North and Latin America and the Caribbean.
What we want to achieve
PRI seeks to achieve penal reform by promoting:
- The development and implementation of international human rights instruments in relation to law enforcement and prison conditions
- The elimination of unfair and unethical discrimination in all penal measures
- The abolition of the death penalty
- The reduction of the use of imprisonment throughout the world
- The use of constructive non-custodial sanctions which support the social reintegration offenders whilst taking into account the interests of victims.
Who we work with
PRI works with penal reform activists, NGOs and governments, as well as inter-governmental organisations such as the United Nations.
Working with civil society is central to our programme activities and we actively support the greater involvement of civil society in criminal justice reform.
PRI has Consultative Status with the United Nations (ECOSOC) and the Council of Europe, and Observer Status with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the Inter-parliamentary Union. PRI is also a registered civil society organisation with the Organization of American States (OAS).
Although PRI works in partnership with governments, it only seeks and accepts funds from governments to undertake work in accordance with its agreed programme. As an independent NGO, PRI does not accept any funds from governments which threaten its autonomy or require it to depart from its mandate or programme of work.
How we work
PRI works to develop and promote culturally specific solutions to criminal justice and penal reform. Our key working methods are:
- Providing support to NGOs and governments seeking to reform their penal systems
- Assisting penal reform activists and specialists in setting up organisations within their own countries
- Assessing prison conditions at the request of governments and NGOs recommending sustainable improvements and developing projects to bring those improvements about
- Developing alternatives to custody, and other penal reform projects that are culturally relevant
- Producing training resources and training criminal justice officials and NGO staff on international standards in human rights
- Organising national, regional and worldwide conferences, seminars and exchange visits, bringing together penal reform activists, specialists and government representatives
- Publishing newsletters that cover developments in penal reform, reporting on penal conditions worldwide
- Developing relationships with the United Nations and its agencies, the Council of Europe, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the Organisation of American States, and other inter-governmental organisations.