This report compares the penal reform campaigns of Pauline Campbell and Violet Van der Elst. Though separated by 70 years, Campbell and Van der Elst engaged in similar direct action demonstrations to draw attention to their causes. This report examines their campaigns to reveal who they were, how they campaigned and to develop an understanding of the impact and the reasons for the effectiveness or failure of their campaigns. Between 2004 and 2008 Pauline Campbell campaigned to raise awareness of the rates of suicide in women’s prisons. This followed the self-inflicted deaths of six women in Styal prison in 2003, one of whom was her 18 year-old daughter, Sarah. Violet Van der Elst campaigned for the abolition of the death sentence from 1935 until the 1950s.