What we’re all about
We aim to change the attitudes of society and its perception towards the reality of prison life by raising awareness. We work with students, criminal justice professionals, the media, and members of the public - influencing debate and attempting to foster change in attitudes and policy.
We encourage members to join volunteering programmes and fundraise for charities that tackle all aspects of prison life, whether that's within the community, within prison itself or post-prison.
What have we done?
Since our formation in October 2016, our members have developed and organised several successful events; the main being our Prison Christmas card campaign where we sent over 1200 Christmas cards to all the inmates of HMP Leeds. We have hosted speakers to talk about concepts such as restorative justice, we have put on documentary screenings and our informal Doughnuts and Discussion session has been a great way to meet new people while discussing prison reform.
We are currently part of the Ban the Box campaign and have put forward a proposal for the Student Union and the University itself to remove the tickbox on all job applications that ask whether a candidate has a criminal record - this is to help ex-prisoners integrate into the world of employment smoothly, essential in reducing the rates of reoffending.
How do you join?
It’s simple and free! Just click ‘join us’ to become an active member. We are asking for no membership fee because we really want you to get involved and help create a successful society by making it as accessible as possible.
What does being a member mean for you?
Being a member of this society is what YOU make of it. You can donate as much of your time as you would like; working flexibly around your studies. The society is open to all and always welcomes new ideas from everyone. We aim to meet every two weeks and try to put socials on from time to time as a way of meeting new people with a shared passion for justice!
What are our hopes for the next year?
We have a range of innovative ideas including inviting ex-prisoners, representatives from organisations within the sector and prison guards as guest speakers, and we are hoping to put a conference on dedicated to prison reform that should be massively educational and exciting. All ideas that you bring forward will be greatly appreciated and considered by the society.
Can I join if my course does not relate?
Yes, and it is encouraged! The issue of prison reform can be made relevant to all courses in some way, whether its the arts, economics or history. The society is not directly linked to any specific course or school. This is to ensure that all ways of thinking are accommodated for and a variety of opinions are considered from a wide range of backgrounds.
Your current committee is:
Co-presidents: Ana-Sofia Velasco and Jasmine Wilson
Treasurer: Isabel Ralphs
Secretary: Madi Levy
To contact us please email: