A handbook of good practice

Catherine Heard

1. This handbook reflects the key findings from a two year comparative project funded by the European Commission, examining alternatives to imprisonment in Europe. The project analysed statistical and qualitative evidence on prisoner populations and the use of alternatives to imprisonment across eight European Union (EU) states: Italy, France, Greece, Latvia, Poland, Portugal, Spain and the three separate jurisdictions of the United Kingdom. The data analysed covered the period 2000 to 2014.
2. The project has, in line with other recent research, evidenced the overall growth of prison populations across Europe. The reasons for these high prisoner numbers are complex and vary between countries, but an overarching theme is the criminalisation of social problems such as mental ill-health, substance dependency, low educational attainment and poverty...read more