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Quakers exploring penal abolition
15 September 2021, Online/Zoom
This session will explore Quaker attitudes to penal reform and new ways of thinking about penal questions, consistent with our testimonies to truth, peace and equality.
Suppose British Quakers took the same long-term view of imprisonment as they do of warfare, that it could and should be dispensed with? How might that alter our traditional penal witness?
Contemporary imprisonment is as much about managing poverty and the consequences of social inequality as it is about protecting society from harmful behaviour – at which, like rehabilitation, prison has never been systematically effective.
Notwithstanding the dangerous few needing confinement, what might the prevention of harm and violence entail? Is restorative justice sufficient? Should we oppose the very principle of punishment?
Starting from the work of Quaker abolitionists Fay Honey Knopp and Ruth Morris, this event will explore new ways of thinking about penal questions, consistent with our testimonies to truth, peace and equality.
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