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.