We Need to Talk about Punishment Part of the Creating Spaces for Change project Monday 30th November (St Andrews Day), 10am-3.30pm The Dovecot Studios, (Ladies Baths) Infirmary Street, Edinburgh https://dovecotstudios.com/contact/directions/ Crime is falling yet prison populations and community-based sanctions continue to rise. For many, the system is not working and is known to exacerbate the problems it seeks to address. The evidence is clear and the arguments strong. Prison is rarely the answer to complex social problems, yet, we persist in its use. A number of current initiatives highlight a growing mood for change in the way that we do justice in Scotland. This project starts from the position that effecting change in this sphere requires a cultural shift in the way that Scottish society thinks about questions of crime and punishment. This, the first of three events funded through the Scottish Universities Insight Institute, seeks to understand why we persist with what we know doesn’t work by exploring the role of punishment in Scottish culture. Richard Holloway, writer, broadcaster and former Bishop of Edinburgh will address this theme. The event will also involve contributions from Maggie Mellon, Garry Fraser, Vox Liminis and others. Importantly, this is not an academic or policy gathering. A key moment in recent Scottish penal policy can be seen in the role played by citizen groups in overturning the decision to build a new women’s prison at Inverclyde. Relatedly, we are witnessing the transformative impact of new and diverse voices in Scottish justice activity. This event aims to provide a space for interested actors and voices to come together to respond to the growing mood in civic Scotland for political, cultural and institutional change in relation to Scottish justice matters. The overall aim of the project is to move beyond the current consensus for change towards a collaborative programme for action, that will see tangible results in reducing the use of imprisonment and in the emergence of more humane, participatory and effective responses to offending behaviour. Participants should come with ideas and be prepared to take forward actions in their own areas of influence to affect change. The event will ensure a media and social media presence. Register for the event at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/we-need-to-talk-about-punishmenttickets-19355487785. An event programme will follow registration.