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Frances Crook OBE awarded honorary degree

The public campaigning by the Chief Executive of a leading penal reform charity has been recognised with an honorary doctorate from Leeds Beckett University.

Frances Crook

Frances Crook OBE was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws on 20 July.

Frances Crook OBE said: “I am thrilled to have been offered such a prestigious honour and I look forward to working with students and staff at Leeds Beckett University.”

As Chief Executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, Frances has been instrumental in establishing research programmes and campaigns to raise public awareness about the problems with prisons and the justice system.

She began her campaigning career at Amnesty International before moving on to lead the Howard League for Penal Reform in 1986.

The charity provides legal advice to children and young adults in custody and has taken a number of successful judicial reviews that have improved the treatment of young people in custody and on release. They also campaign for fewer people in prison and for safer communities.

Under her leadership, the impact of the charity has increased immeasurably, and the number of staff and the turnover of the charity have grown twenty-fold.

Sir Bob Murray CBE, Chancellor of Leeds Beckett University, said: “Frances speaks out for some of the most vulnerable people in society and her service to public life is commendable. I’m pleased that we are able to recognise her contribution with this honorary award.”

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