2023 Bristol Quaker Peace Lecture: Calling for Prison Abolition – towards social justice and safer communities?

In his 2023 Bristol Quaker Peace Lecture, Mike Nellis argued that ostensibly progressive penal reforms in England and Wales over the past 40 years have failed to achieve their hoped for goals, and an ever more punitive penal system continues both to expand and deteriorate. He raised the questions:

  • Is it not immoral and unjust to continue upholding a retributive and deterrent system which falls so far short of preventing victimisation?

  • Might calling for penal abolition, and all that this then entails, be a better route to creating safer, less violent communities?

Mike Nellis is a long-standing Quaker and emeritus professor of criminal and community justice, a trainer of probation officers and a former social worker with young offenders.

Click here to download Mike Nellis’ presentation.