Irish Penal Reform Trust

UK Arts Alliance launches online library of resources: The Evidence Library

23rd April 2013

Launched in November 2012 by the national body for the promotion of arts in the criminal justice system in the United Kingdom, the Arts Alliance, The Evidence Library is an online library of research and evaluation documents on the impact of arts-based projects, programmes and interventions within the criminal justice system in the UK.

Providing a searchable online database of over 70 independent evaluations from 30 arts organisations and the findings from over 25 academic institutions, The Evidence Library is a comprehensive resource for professionals, artists, academics and others interested in the role of the arts in the criminal justice system.

As a coalition of arts organisations working in the criminal justice system in the UK, the Arts Alliance seeks to provide art practitioners and service users with a voice through which they can influence policy, debate and exchange views and promote the importance of arts in the criminal justice sector. The Arts Alliance also works to negotiate relationships between various stakeholders in the sector including artists, offenders and ex-offenders, prison and probation staff, and relevant government departments.

Building on previous literature reviews commissioned by the commissioned by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Department for Education and Skills and Arts Council England, the Evidence Library is intended to promote the case for arts in criminal justice and enhance support for similar organisations working with offenders and ex-offenders through art.

In addition to the online database the Evidence Library site provides a forum for debate and discussion, reference publications and useful links.

IPRT has long highlighted the important role that the arts and artists have to play in the life of our prisons, notably in our event ‘The Old Triangle’ held at the Abbey Theatre in February 2012. A celebration of music and words which aimed to raise awareness of the need for penal reform, President Higgins attended the event as IPRT’s guest of honour.

Read more:

Arts Alliance website:

The Evidence Library website:

Education in UK prisons:

IPRT Event - ‘The Old Triangle: One Year On’

Respect for rights in the penal system with prison as a last resort.



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