In 1970 Stan Cohen, Mario Simondi and Karl Schumann, who met whilst sharing an office at Berkeley University, California, proposed the formation of an alternative critical criminology forum. Their aim was not just to cover topics and hold debates marginalised or ignored by mainstream, administrative and official criminology but to establish a new network that could support, and provide solidarity with, emerging social movements. Recognising the dominant influence of Anglo-American criminology, this new forum was to be characterised by a distinct European focus. This sense of place was to be significant on a further level, linking the conference theme with the conference location and offering support to local political activists, for example through press releases and resolutions and sometimes even joining them on demonstrations. Shaped by an unequivocal commitment to social justice; inspired by the radical activism of the Norwegian prisoner rights movement, the French mental patients’ union and the German radical lawyers’ group; and building on the model of the York Deviancy Conferences in England in the early 1970s, the European Group for the Study of Deviance and Social Control held its first conference in Italy in 1973 on the theme Deviance and Social Control in Europe: Scope and Prospects for a Radical Criminology.