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Since 1981 the Prison Reform Trust has supported those locked into our prison system – prisoners and their families – to ensure that those without a voice get heard.

The Prison Reform Trust (PRT) is an independent UK charity working to create a just, humane and effective penal system.

PRT was founded in 1981 to inform and influence public debate on prison conditions and the treatment of prisoners, amidst concerns about a projected prison population of 48,000 by 1984. With the prison population in England and Wales now exceeding 82,000 and projected to rise to 86,400 by 2023, the charity remains as important to civic society today as it was then.

We are one of the few organisations willing and equipped to hold the state to account for its treatment of vulnerable people in prison. Our reputation, built on almost four decades of knowledgeable, reliable analysis and presentation of the facts, gives us influence behind the scenes that few organisations can match.

Our main objectives

  1. reducing unnecessary imprisonment and promoting community solutions to crime;
  2. improving treatment and conditions for prisoners and their families; and
  3. promoting equality and human rights in the justice system.

We do this by inquiring into the workings of the system; informing prisoners, staff and the wider public; and by influencing Parliament, government and officials towards reform.

Whilst often working alongside the prison service and maintaining close links with government departments including the Ministry of Justice, HM Treasury, and the Home Office, to retain its independence PRT does not seek or accept Government funding. The structure and rigour of programmes are agreed with those trusts and foundations that generously fund our work.

Our accounts and strategic plan

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