Penal reform activities have been carried on in Europe and the United States sinceat least the late eighteenth century. Security sector reform (SSR), a much newerconcept, is a governance-driven approach that looks to strengthen the roles ofboth state and non-state actors to deliver security to individuals and communities.As such, attention to the penal system is important in any comprehensive SSR process. However, much SSR programming overlooks penal elements, and lessonslearnt through long experience in penal reform have not been applied to other SSR activities. There is limited discourse between the penal reform community ofpractice and the wider SSR community. This paper seeks to initiate a dialogue concerning the relationship between penal reform and wider security sector reform and governance. It is based on desk research and a number of interviews with penal reform practitioners. Follow this link for the publication.