Scottish Universities Insight Institute : a development from the institute for advanced studies

a development from the institute for advanced studies


Women, Punishment and Community Sanctions: Human Rights and Social Justice

Theme and scope of the programme

The core objective of this programme will be to draw upon international knowledge and expertise to critically assess cross cultural responses to lawbreaking by women with a particular emphasis upon human rights and social justice. The programme will focus upon comparative experiences of community sanctions for women, an area that has received relatively little academic and policy attention. In doing so it will draw on, and extend, existing academic debates about women’s imprisonment and human rights, and provide a forum for academics, practitioners and policy makers to participate in the development of knowledge for policy, practice and research.

By taking human rights as a central focus, sharing experiences and research findings and identifying gaps in knowledge, the proposed programme will make an innovative contribution to policy, practice, and to academic theory and analysis. Key questions that will be tackled include: how can community resources be employed to reduce the imprisonment of women? What are the human rights implications of using (and not using) community sanctions? What can we learn from international experience in this area?

Consideration will be given to ways in which the number of women imprisoned can be reduced through more effective use of non-custodial alternatives that are consistent with the protection of women’s human rights and promotion of social justice. The programme will stimulate intellectual debate among participants from a range of disciplinary backgrounds to identify an immediate programme of research and analysis based on international developments, debates and knowledge. In particular, the emphasis on human rights implications makes this a crucial and timely issue for consideration across academic and professional disciplines as well as national boundaries.


  • Programme team
  • May Meeting
  • June Meeting
  • August Meeting

Programme report

The final report for this programme can be found in the Document library.


All documents, presentations and briefing documents for this programme can be found in the Document library.


To learn more about the programme and its outcomes, contact:

Prof. Gillian McIvor (University of Stirling), email

Dr Margaret Malloch (University of Stirling), email