Reinforcing prisoners’ judicial protection across Europe
About us
European Prison Litigation Network

Our Work

The European Prison Litigation Network defends and advances prisoners’ fundamental rights across the continent and advocates for the reduced use of incarceration. We research and analyse legal changes and their impact on prisoners’ rights and life in prison. Our network of around 30 civil society organisations and bar associations involves prisoners and their defenders in penal and prison policymaking at domestic, European and international institutions.
More on our work
Access to justice

We campaign for prisoners’ right to access legal information, legal representation and legal aid, and strive to protect prisoners from reprisal for engaging in litigation. These rights are essential for prisoners’ judicial protection and to ensure that legal developments are not merely theoretical, but have a practical impact on prison systems.

Access to health care

We address the systemic failures of European prison health systems and advocate for detainees’ right to healthcare by campaigning for the independence of healthcare in prison and the release of ill prisoners. EPLN promotes the principle of equivalence of care for prisoners through the provision of healthcare in public health institutions and outside prison walls.

Institutional violence

EPLN addresses prison violence by documenting and alerting on cases of torture and ill-treatment and defending the victims before domestic and international courts. To tackle the root causes of prison violence, we also analyse the characteristics of the prison environment that create structural conditions for violence.

Based on our research, we advocate the application of legal guarantees of ordinary law to detainees, strict control of the power of the prison administration, and a reduction in the use of incarceration and the length of sentences.

We litigate for the application of the guarantees of the principles of proportionality and non-arbitrariness to sentence adjustment procedures.

Navigating the paradox of prison litigation – Lessons from the US


Get involved

Join the fight for prisoners’ rights in Europe! You can find out more about how you can support our work here.