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Prisons Debate

@ 8:30 pm - 11:30 pm
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This House Would Abolish Prisons


Nelson Mandela once said, ‘No one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails.’

As governments grapple with renewed scrutiny of the criminal justice system, some are now advocating for reforms that others would call extreme. Are systems of incarceration conceptually flawed, or should we fight to preserve our right to detain the most harmful? Are prisons really the right place for criminals, or does a penal system built on a refusal to forgive, merely allow us to forget?



Professor Ryan Meade

A Fellow at Blackfriars, Oxford, and Director of the Common Good Project. His research interests include jurisprudence, administrative law, healthcare law, and legal history. Mr Meade’s publications have appeared in the Oxford Philosophical Society Review and Politics and Poetics.

Teresa Njorge

Founder and CEO of Clean Start Kenya. A former bank manager, she was arrested and imprisoned on charges she has since been exonerated of. Now an activist, her nonprofit supports pre-release programs for female inmates, to ensure their reintegration into society post-release.

Clive Stafford Smith OBE

Attorney who specialises in the areas of civil rights and working against the death penalty in the United States of America. He is the co-founder of Reprieve, a human rights not-for-profit organisation. He left after 15 years, and has now established a new non-profit called 3DCentre. In 2005 he received the Gandhi International Peace Award.


Leroy Logan MBE

Founder of the Black Police Association and former Metropolitan Police Superintendent. Fought to reform the police force from within and was involved in the Stephen Lawrence inquiry. Recently, his story was dramatised by the BBC in Red White and Blue, starring John Boyega.

The Honourable Thomas Griffith

Former U.S. Court of Appeals Judge for the District of Columbia Circuit. He presided over landmark cases in criminal justice, voting rights, and administrative law, including the lower-court antecedent to the U.S. Supreme Court case Shelby County v. Holder.

Natasha Porter

Founder and CEO of Unlocked Graduates, a programme which has recruited over 500 graduates to be prison officers, working with over 10,000 prisoners across the country. She is an advisor to the Children’s Commissioner and a charity trustee at Impetus PEF and Get Further, She also sits on the Building Future’s Advisory Board at Prison Reform Trust.

Date: @
Time: 8:30 pm - 11:30 pm
Event CategoryDebates