Our vision

We will influence decision makers, opinion formers and the public to:

Reduce the use of prison. That is about who goes to prison and for how long, and means:

  • only the most serious crime should result in a sentence of imprisonment
  • prison sentences should not be so long that they destroy hope, and should always make full and constructive use of time inside.

Improve conditions for prisoners, which requires:

  • a framework of rights for prisoners as citizens
  • a safe, decent, fair and purposeful way of life in prison
  • the opportunity for prisoners to make amends to those they have harmed; and to take responsibility for creating a better future for themselves
  • a prison estate that is not overcrowded; and allows a prisoner to remain a member of the community to which they will return.

Promote equality and human rights in the criminal justice system, by:

  • tackling discrimination
  • protecting and improving the statutory framework for those rights.

How we work

All the work we do is underpinned by the following core principles:

  • Listening to and providing a voice for prisoners and their families; and promoting their role in making change happen.
  • Organisational credibility, built on sound governance and finance, and exceptional colleagues with experience from multiple perspectives, knowledge and integrity.
  • Knowing the limits of our strengths and expertise; and working closely with partners to have a bigger impact overall.
  • Not accepting money directly from central government, to preserve our freedom to say whatever needs to be said.
  • Influencing policy makers by gathering, analysing and publishing the facts; promoting good practice and celebrating success; understanding the realities but seeing the possibilities.
  • Principled opportunism: seizing the chance to make progress when it’s there.
  • Retaining a memory for what has happened in the past; and drawing out the learning from it.

You can download a copy of our 2018–2023 strategic plan to find out how we will work to achieve our vision by clicking here.