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Punishment and prisons in 21st century Britain

The Benedict XVI Centre at St. Mary’s University, together with the Caritas Social Action Network and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, evening discussion on Punishment and Prisons in the 21st Century with Bishop Richard Moth and Rev Jonathan Aitken, chaired by Professor Philip Booth.

The UK has an unusually large number of people in prison relative to its population compared with other Western countries. Most Christians would recognise that human sinfulness leads to situations where some people deserve serious punishment and that prison might be necessary to protect the population from some people who have committed criminal acts. However, this does not mean that we should be comfortable with ever-growing numbers in prisons which are often unsafe environments for both prisoners and prison staff and also places without hope.

Rev Jonathan Aitken is a former cabinet minister who himself was once a prisoner and is now an Anglican priest and part-time prison chaplain. Bishop Richard Moth is Liaison Bishop for Prisons for the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales. They will be joined in conversation with Professor Philip Booth of St. Mary’s University to discuss a range of questions, including:

  • What is life like in prisons today, especially in the context of COVID?
  • How can we ensure that there is hope for those who spend time in prison?
  • What steps should we take to reduce prison numbers?
  • What forms of punishment could be used which will both protect the public and hold out greater hope of reform of those convicted of crime?
  • How do prison chaplains and visitors bring Christian hope into prisons?
  • What can we do as individuals to help bring hope to the 83,000 people who are in prison?

“Wednesday 10 February 2021Time:6.00pm – 7.15pm Venue: 

For further information about all Catholic social thought events and for bookings for future events please go to: St Mary’s University Events page

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© Catholic Social Thought 2020