The Longford Prize
The Longford Prize
The Longford Prize recognises the contribution of an individual, group or organisation working in the area of penal or social reform in showing outstanding qualities in the following areas:
It is awarded annually by a prize committee on behalf of the trustees and patrons of the Longford Trust. From 2016, the prize winner will receive £5,000, thanks to sponsorship from The McGrath Charitable Trust, founded by Kevin and Kate McGrath. The awards' ceremony takes place as part of the annual Longford Lecture.
The Longford Prize is organised in association with The Prison Reform Trust.
An Introduction by Professor John Podmore, chair of judges and former prison governor
1. Tell us about your nomination
Write a short (maximum 1000 word) description of why the individual, group or organisation is suitable for the award. All nominees must having been working in the field of social or penal reform at some stage during the 12 months before the deadline for entries.
2. Add endorsements
Nominations should be endorsed by at least two individuals or groups who can testify from personal experience to the contribution of the nominee. These endorsements should take the form of a short (one page) covering note, attached to the nomination, commending it to the attention of the trustees.
3. Send in before November 1, 2016
Send eight copies of your nomination and endorsements for the 2016 Longford Prize to arrive on or before the deadline November 1, 2016, to: Longford Trust, PO Box 64302, London NW6 9JP. If you can, we would prefer you to email your nominations and supporting documents, via the 'Contact Us' section of this website, marking your entries 'Prize Nomination'.
The criteria the judging panel will apply will be as follows:
1. specific work in the field of social and/or community work;
2. specific work in the field of penal reform, with prisoners or ex-prisoners;
3. drawn attention to a particular area of human abuse, either on an individual or systemic level;
4. drawn attention to a particular or general failure of social or penal provision;
5. provided particularly effective ideas for reform or policy recommendations;
6. acted on a specific occasion, or continuously, with outstanding courage in the area of social and penal affairs.
The judging process
The judges consider all entries and may want to seek additional information on nominees. The winner and any additional specially commended entrants are informed of the judges’ decision in advance of the annual Longford Lecture for 2016 and are invited to come to the event which includes the presentation of the Longford Prize. In exceptional circumstances travelling expenses are paid.
The winner may be asked to say a few words from the platform. All winners are invited to put up a small display about their work on the occasion of the Longford Lecture so that those attending this event can meet the prize winners at the reception which follows the lecture. It is hoped that the awarding of the prize attracts public and media attention to the work of the individual/group or organisation honoured.
The winner receives a cheque for £5,000 and a certificate. Any entrants specially commended receive a cheque for £250 and a certificate.
The judges for the Longford Prize in 2016 include: Lord Ramsbotham, ex- Chief Inspector of Prisons; Chloe Billington, child therapist, contributor to Inside Time and National Prison Radio, and grand-daughter of Lord Longford; the journalist, Mary Riddell; and a representative of the sponsors, The McGrath Charitable Trust. The panel is chaired by former prison governor and Longford Trust trustee, John Podmore.
- 2015 PACT
- 2014 The Forgiveness Project
- 2013 Prison Radio Association
- 2012 Prisoners Advice Service
- 2011 The Clink
- 2010 Circles UK
- 2009 Inquest
- 2008 HMP Grendon
- 2007 Prisoners Abroad
- 2006 FPWP Hibiscus
- 2005 Steve Taylor
- 2004 Christopher Morgan
- 2003 Barbara Tudor
- 2002 Audrey Edwards
The winner of the Longford Prize in 2015 was PACT. In their citiation, the judges' wrote: "“Good research and good practice have both long shown that maintaining strong family ties is one of the key factors in offenders’ rehabilitation and avoidance of reoffending. And for that reason the judges want this year to celebrate the outstanding work of PACT and the thoughtful and wide-ranging support it provides for the parents, siblings and children of prisoners, who are often the hidden victims of crime.”
Chief Executive, Andy Keen-Downs (pictured above), received the prize from the Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, at the 2015 Longford Lecture. Jon Snow read out the citation to the audience.
In their citiation, they wrote of him: “It is hard to think of another individual in recent times who has had more of a direct and sustained impact on the everyday life of prisoners in this country than Eric McGraw. In 1990, he set up Inside Time as a newspaper that gave prisoners a voice. Under his inspired leadership, it has grown from a small quarterly publication, initially viewed with suspicion by the prison service, to become a 54-page, self-financing monthly, with a truly national circulation of 60,000 - lively, challenging, entertaining and respected by everyone with anything to do with prisons. Its indispensability is a testament not just to the brilliance of Eric’s founding vision, but also to the 25 years of hard and sustained work he has given unstintingly to put that vision into practice.”