ICPA Antwerp 2023

Our Call for Papers closed on 30 April.

Call for Papers and Submission Guidelines

Our Call for Papers closed on 30 April. Details concerning the programme and presentations will be published when information becomes available.
The ICPA Programme Committee invites individuals, agencies and organisations interested in presenting papers at the Association's 2023 Annual Conference to submit proposals for consideration.
The theme of our 25th AGM and Conference is “Humane Corrections: What more can we do”.
The conference will be hosted by the Belgian Prison Service, and held in Antwerp, Belgium from 22-27 October 2023 at the Hilton Antwerp Old Town.


ICPA supports the provision of a full continuum of interventions and residential placements for justice-involved people and is interested in the widespread use of prevention programs and community-based alternative sanctions. ICPA strives to advance correctional practices and operations for the humane detention and rehabilitative goals of prisons and correctional services worldwide.

Correctional practice whether it be in custodial or community settings is designed to deliver public protection and community safety outcomes. These important goals justify the imposition of controls over individuals that can include the deprivation of liberty and varying degrees of community supervision. This year’s theme centres on humane corrections and invites us to consider not only the limits on these controls but the positive outcomes that can come from practices that promote the inherent humanity and dignity of the people in our care. 

The right to humane treatment is enshrined in a variety of international instruments that create an expectation that the individuals we manage should not be subject to any form of hardship or constraint in addition to that resulting from the deprivation of liberty. Deprivation of liberty may be in the form of imprisonment and for those on community orders can include limits on association and movement and inspections of individuals private dwellings and property. Delivering on the expectations created by these instruments is not without its challenges or costs.  The dynamic correctional environment, subject to competing priorities, staff shortages, the consequences of global unrest and the expectation that we continue to deliver within constrained budgets means that we have to work harder, take risks and explore creative solutions to succeed.

For this conference we will be welcoming papers that highlight the challenges of delivering on these obligations, examples of best practice for improving human rights and discussion of opportunities where we can all improve. 

We invite submissions from both public and private sector practitioners, the non-government sector, academics and researchers, justice officials, international organisations, consultants and others engaged in prisons, correctional services or community corrections who are contributing to the future directions of corrections. 
Selection Criteria
Selection will be based on relevance to the conference topic, success of innovative practices and evidence of a strong and objective research/empirical base that supports applied practices. In selecting papers, priority will be given to those clearly related to the Conference main theme.
Of particular interest are Research, Policies, Programs and Practices in relation to the theme, for example:
  • Enshrining human rights in policy, procedure and practice - Paying attention to the Mandela and Bangkok Rules
  • Universal or regional challenges that have an impact on humane detention
  • Approaches to monitoring and advancing human rights including inspection processes
  • The impact of humane treatment on reoffending outcomes 
  • Interactions between staff safety and wellbeing and the capacity to treat the people we manage with fairness and dignity.  
  • Managing conditions of community corrections orders in both community and residential settings to deliver humane outcomes. 
  • Minimising the harmful consequences of imprisonment including optimising the use of alternatives to incarceration. 
  • The impacts of purposeful activity, education and training on delivering humane correctional environments. 
  • Achieving equivalence of health care standards
  • Promoting autonomy, agency and individual rights of people in custody
  • Exercising religious and cultural freedoms 
  • Balancing victims’ expectations with the promotion of the rights of those in custody and the scope for restorative justice. 
  • Delivering correctional physical and social environments that enhance the humanity and dignity of incarcerated people. 
  • Paying attention to the children and families of incarcerated people
  • Recognising the humanity of people convicted of criminal offences and influencing public opinion
  • Meeting the special needs of LGBTQI+ / Transgender people
  • Humane responses to disciplinary and behavioural problems including approaches to drug misuse and minimising the use of segregation for those in custody. 
  • The capacity for technology to enhance and undermine humane corrections 
Submissions elaborating ICPA’s Strategic Focal Points are especially welcomed:
  • Effective Community Corrections;
  • Investing in Staff;
  • Offender Population-Specific Strategies;
  • Reducing Reoffending.
Attending the Event: Those submitting an abstract for consideration should be intending to be physically present during the conference. Although we expect that some allowances may have to be made to allow remote presentation, this will be done on case-by-case basis only. If you are not planning to travel to Belgium in 2023, please do not submit a paper.

Submission Guidelines

All submissions are to adhere to the following template and the overall submission is not to exceed approximately 1/2 page (approx. 600 words):
  • Purpose of the paper;
  • Short description of the:
  • program, service or product and its relevance to the conference theme
  • strategy and implementation
  • outcomes
  • evaluation
  • challenges
In the case of research papers, the submission should make clear whether the research has been completed or is a work in progress.
Submissions are to be made in English, including:
  • The abstract submission form completed in its entirety. Please keep this concise and to the point (no longer than 3000 characters / approx. 600 words);
  • A short professional biography/resume for the primary speaker and co-presenters intending to participate in the presentation (no longer than 2000 characters / approx. 400 words).
You should have no more than two co-presenters. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this.
Once you have completed all fields you should click the "submit abstract" button. We will reply to the primary author notifying you of our decision or if more information is necessary.

Commercial Guidelines

It is ICPA policy that presenters do not promote their own commercial products and services during any presentation. This does not exclude describing the manner in which some aspect of correctional service delivery can be undertaken, or the infrastructure and technology that may be used. The ICPA Conference is not however a place for marketing particular products or solutions. 
Joint papers describing partnerships between public sector agencies implementing strategies and programs in collaboration with private sector companies are welcome, however speakers from both parties should ideally be present. Where private sector involvement in corrections is to be presented, we expect and we will give priority where public agency partners are included as co-presenters.


The primary working language of this conference is English. Should you wish to present in any other language you are asked to provide your own interpreter. ICPA is currently exploring the possibility of providing limited translation services for this conference and should this become available this will be communicated.

Copyright, Recording and Permissions

Presenters must have prior authorisation from their respective employers before submitting an abstract. Being a ‘public event’, presenters must also remain cognisant of using materials which are not subject to copyright or containing sensitive information.
Please note that ICPA may record or broadcast presentations made during the event. If you plan on presenting materials that may contain sensitive material, please inform us in advance.
Any questions or further information can be obtained from the Programme Committee via email to [email protected]
Please note that ICPA does not provide financial support or assistance for speakers. All presenters will be required to cover their own expenses for conference registration fees, travel and accommodation. Accepted presenters must register for the Conference to be included on the programme.
Presentation Formats
Papers will be selected for presentation in the following formats:
Plenary – a main presentation to which all conference participants are invited;
Workshop – up to six 90 minute workshop sessions are held in parallel. Each session may contain one presentation (90 minutes), two presentations (45 minutes each) or three presentations (30 minutes each).
Innovative approaches to the presentation of the papers and to the interaction and engagement of participants is encouraged. This may include panel discussions, use of small groups, electronic media/videos, structured questions, polls and other suitable interactive approaches. Presenters are asked to identify their preferred presentation format and how they might interact with the audience. The final determination with respect to presentation type will however be made by the Programme Committee. 


30 April 2023
Submissions closed on 30th April
31 May 2023
Plenary sessions confirmed and presenters notified
30 June 2023
Workshop papers confirmed and primary speakers notified
31 July 2023
Notification of date and time allocation (30, 45 or 90 minutes)
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