Prison reform top of agenda at upcoming conference

NOTE: This content is old - Published: Tuesday, May 1st, 2018.

Experts will this week explore the various ways in which the prison system can be reformed to alter the culture of offending at a public conference at Wrexham Glyndŵr University this week.

Organised by the university’s Criminology Society, the theme of the conference this year will focus prison reform; with professionals from various areas of the prison and criminal justice system will explore the different ways in which our prisons can be reformed

It is hoped the event will provide a forum in which to share ideas and best practice surrounding the most apposite way in which to improve our prison system here in England and Wales.

Taking place on Wednesday 2nd May, the conference will hear from three experts in the field – Paula Harriot, Head of Prisoner Engagement at the Prison Reform Trust, Criminologist David Honeywell and Joanna Marston, Head of Reducing Offending at HMP Berwyn.

Both Paula and David have perspectives from both sides of the prison gates, having been former prisoners, whilst Joanna has a long career of working with offenders both in a probation and prison environment, and more recently, has been instrumental in the advanced development of HMP Berwyn since it became operational in February 2017.

Jo Prescott, a graduate teaching assistant, said: “Prison reform is a pressing topic and of great importance. Changing a culture of offending means altering the way our prisons operate and this conference will be looking at just that.

“We will hear from three experts in the field – including a speaker from HMP Berwyn here in Wrexham. David will be talking about how Higher Education can offer prisoners and those leaving the custodial system with hope and something to aspire to, and David’s personal journey is
certainly one which will inspire and educate those attending the conference.

“Paula will be talking about how user involvement can help reduce reoffending and encourage system change across our prison estate, and finally, Joanna will be talking about whether or not prisons can promote positive citizenship.”

The conference has been organised by Wrexham Glyndŵr University’s Criminology Society, which has been running since November 2016. It will be the last conference that current President Tegan Brierley-Sollis is involved in before she hands over the reins to her successor.

She said: “We wanted to do something that would be memorable and this conference should be. It’s designed to be of interest not just to students, but to the public as well. Conferences with speakers such as this are often aimed at industry professionals and can cost a lot of money – but we have made sure this conference is free for everybody.”

The Prison Reform Conference is to be held on May 2 between noon and 3:30pm in Wrexham Glyndŵr University’s Nick Whitehead Theatre. To book, contact Jo at: or alternatively you can register online. 

To find out more about the BA (Hons) Criminology and Criminal Justice degree at Wrexham Glyndŵr University, please visit the website.

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