Helen Fair

Helen Fair

Research Fellow

Helen worked at the International Centre for Prison Studies (ICPS) from February 2001, and became Research Associate in 2004. When ICPS merged with ICPR in November 2014 she became an ICPR Research Fellow. At ICPS she contributed research to projects including the Assessment of Alternatives to Prison in Afghanistan for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Gender and Penal Reform Toolkit for the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces, a report for the European Parliament on Conditions of Imprisonment in EU Member States and the Candidate Countries, and a report on International Experience in Reform of Penal Management Systems for the UNDP Vietnam. Helen was lead researcher on an International Review of Women’s Imprisonment for the Ministry of Justice, and led the referencing of the HM Inspectorate of Prisons document Expectations and its subsequent updates since it was first produced in 2003.

As of November 2021 she is responsible for updating and maintaining the World Prison Brief website, a database which provides information about prison systems throughout the world. 

Since joining ICPR she has worked on UK-based prison research including co-authoring a process evaluation of the Restorative Prisons pilot project developed by Restorative Solutions. She has continued to undertake international research through the World Prison Research Programme, co-authoring the reports Prison: Evidence of its use and overuse from around the world, Pre-trial detention and its over-use: Evidence from ten countries and the book Imprisonment Worldwide: The Current Situation and an Alternative Future, which was published by Policy Press in 2016. She also co-authored a series of briefings highlighting learning from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Prison Reform Fellowships, which have a particular focus on prison reform initiatives across the world. Most recently she has completed work on the 3rd edition of the key text A Human Rights Approach to Prison Management: Handbook for Prison Staff, which she co-authored with Professor Andrew Coyle and which was launched in Geneva in July 2018.

A full list of Helen's publications is available here