Mission & Values

Our Mission

The European Prison Litigation Network (EPLN) was founded in 2013 by law practitioners, prisoners’ rights defenders and researchers active in the prison field with the aim to enhance the protection of fundamental rights of the detained persons in Europe, diminish the use of incarceration and decrease the length of sentences.

EPLN was granted participative status with the Council of Europe in 2017.

To pursue this mission, EPLN aims at acting at two levels.

Firstly, it aims at producing and circulating analysis and knowledge on European and national criminal and penitentiary law, the effect of the entry of law on rights in detention among national law practitioners and civil society organizations engaged in Europe in the defense of prisoners’ rights. This contributes at national level to both enhancing the capacity of national CSO and lawyers in defending prisoners’ rights and strengthening their position at national level as essential actors in mechanisms of access to justice in detention.

Secondly, it aims at acting as a major civil society actor at European level to inform and influence the course of European normative developments for both advancing safeguards for rights in detention, and questioning criminal policies that are at odds with the protection of fundamental human rights. This contributes at the European and national level to provoke prison and penal reforms necessary for the guarantee of fundamental rights in detention.

Our Values

EPLN is a non-profit organisation.

It is independent from any other structure, institution or government, from any political party, economic interest or religion.

The core values of the association comprise respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the principles of gender and social equality and non-discrimination.

EPLN strives to promote the participation of prisoners and former prisoners in the association life and acts for the empowerment of prisoners in the exercise of their rights.

Our Principles

Penal, penitentiary reforms should be developed with respect of fundamental rights of prisoners.

Penitentiary and penal reforms should focus on decreasing the incarcerated population through decriminalization of minor delicts and reducing the use of custodial measures for convicted persons.

Penitentiary and penal reforms should aim at desegregating the carceral population from the world outside prison, by fostering more access to services and exchange with the outside world (health services, education services, legal services, access to digital world, family rights).