International Centre for Prison Studies

The International Centre for Prison Studies (ICPS) is a research centre at the University of Essex. It was launched at the House of Lords on 4 April 2011. Between 1997 and 2010 ICPS was based in King's College London and was launched formally by Home Secretary Jack Straw in October 1997. In July 2010 the International Centre for Prison Studies incorporated and registered as a charity with the Charities Commission of England and Wales. From the outset the Centre was independent of governmental and intergovernmental agencies, although it would work closely with them.

The Centre is self-funded and a number of charitable trusts gave generous grants which allowed the Centre to start work. The centre seeks to assist governments and other relevant agencies to develop appropriate policies on prisons and the use of imprisonment. It carries out its work on a project or consultancy basis for international agencies, governmental and non-governmental organisations.

It aims to make the results of its academic research and projects widely available to groups and individuals, both nationally and internationally, who might not normally use such work. These include policy makers, practitioners and administrators, the media and the general public.


The founding Director is Andrew Coyle. The current Director is Dr Peter Bennett. Baroness Stern is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre.

See also

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