Peter Dawson worked for 15 years in the Home Office before joining the prison service, subsequently being governor of HMP Downview and HMP High Down between 2005 and 2012. He added:
“These are exciting times for prison reform, but desperate times to be living or working in too many of our prisons, with violence, disorder and self-harm all rising. The Prime Minister has called prison reform a great progressive cause – there is much to be done to deliver on his ambition.”
The Prison Reform Forum was part of the Plymouth Law School’s Justice Works initiative, which aims to ensure research has an impact on regional criminal justice policy and practice.
It also looks to foster collaborative partnerships with criminal justice agencies and networks and engage students in the process through a range of volunteering and work-based learning activities.
The Forum was targeted at policy makers, directors, managers and practitioners working for criminal justice and other related community and social justice agencies in the South West.
As well as the keynote talks, it also focussed on work to establish a new “Inside-Out Prison Exchange” programme, and current research projects being undertaken in Plymouth.
Dr Patricia Gray, Associate Head (Criminology Research) at Plymouth University, said:
“To attract two speakers as respected as Nick Hardwick and Peter Dawson demonstrates the high regard in which the study and research of criminology at Plymouth is held. This Forum was a great opportunity to bring together people from a variety of backgrounds to discuss a number of issues impacting on criminal justice research and practice. It also provided our students with the chance to hear from two leading lights on topics which are likely to be at the forefront of their future studies and careers.”