we believe that

The values and principles that underpin the Prison Reform Trust’s work are:

  • Prison should be reserved for those whose offending is so serious that they cannot serve their sentence in the community
  • The Prison Reform Trust believes that the only justification for the sentence of imprisonment is the measured punishment of an individual for an offence; it is not right to use prison as a gateway to services or treatment, or to attempt to use prison in place of effective crime prevention
  • Overcrowding in prisons undermines the effectiveness of education, rehabilitation and other programmes aimed at reducing reoffending
  • Prisoners and their families should be treated with humanity and respect and have access to clear information and the opportunity to represent themselves and have their views taken into account
  • The Prison Reform Trust believes that the Prison Service should provide constructive regimes, accessible to all prisoners, in decent, safe conditions that ensure the well-being of prisoners and prepare them for resettlement in the community
  • Prison and probation staff need the support and resources necessary to reduce the risk of reoffending to the lowest possible level and to support ex-prisoners in resettling into employment, family and community life
  • All victims of crime should be dealt with fairly and humanely and should have access to restorative justice if they so wish
  • The general public, Parliament and those responsible for incarcerating offenders should be fully informed about the state and effectiveness of our criminal justice system
  • As the most serious punishment in this country, imprisonment should remain the ultimate responsibility of the state.