Prison Reform

How Lammy Can Help Us Rethink Our Prison System

Baroness Young | Posted 07.09.2017 | UK Politics
Baroness Young

Transforming our expensive and flawed prison system is one of the biggest challenges we face in Britain today and the government-backed Lammy Review - to be finally published on Friday this week - could be just the catalyst for change we need.

The Conservative Cuts Agenda Has Created A Prisons Crisis Only Labour Can Solve

Richard Burgon | Posted 23.06.2017 | UK Politics
Richard Burgon

At present, we have no reason to believe that Lidington grasps the scale of the challenge or has any plans at all to turn things around. But perhaps that is the most revealing part of this Queen's Speech: we have a Prime Minister who has lost her majority and her authority, attempting to lead a Government with no plan.

The Prison Reform Bill Must Combat Cycle Of Re-offending

Yasmin Batliwala | Posted 23.06.2017 | UK Politics
Yasmin Batliwala

We hope that the Justice Secretary is genuine in his commitment to ensuring that the UK's prisons will seek to transform the lives of those in custody, so they can contribute positively to the communities in which they live and benefit society as a whole. It is time to make more earnest efforts to combat the cycle of reoffending.

Building New Women's Prisons Does Not Make Sense

Katharine Sacks Jones | Posted 14.03.2017 | UK
Katharine Sacks Jones

Ten years ago a radical change was called for in the treatment of women in the criminal justice system... This will not only change the lives of women at risk of offending and their families, but will also benefit society as a whole.

Can Prisons Be More Than 'Warehouses Of Pain'?

Graham Tomlin | Posted 16.02.2017 | UK Politics
Graham Tomlin

We need to decide what prison is for. Is the emphasis on locking away those who have committed crimes, so we don't have to think about them, or is it engaging with the issues that put them there and offering skills and support to prevent them returning?

While Reform Is A Political Step Too Far There Are Safe Ways To Reduce Prison Numbers

Frances Crook | Posted 14.02.2017 | UK
Frances Crook

The elephant in the room is the one thing that she has refused to do and the one thing that will make a difference. It is the one thing that was used to hit the Sunday headlines. She has to reduce the number of prisoners. Prisons will not be safe and purposeful if they are grossly overcrowded. It will not work.

To Reform Prisons, We Need To Rehabilitate Our Views Of Prisoners

Sam Mottahedan | Posted 25.01.2017 | UK
Sam Mottahedan

Prison is a fate reserved for others. "Wrongdoers" are deposited somewhere, relieving us of the responsibility of thinking about the issues afflicting...

Violent Extremism In Prisons: Behind Bars, But Not Locked Up

Yury Fedotov | Posted 25.01.2017 | UK
Yury Fedotov

No simple cure exists; but while the violent extremists seek to groom recruits, we also have time to promote dignity and humanity and to set prisoners on the path to their communities and to never looking back. This journey begins with the creation of fair and just prison systems.

In Youth Justice Reform, The Government Is Sidestepping A Local Route To Transformation

Rod Clark | Posted 22.12.2016 | UK Politics
Rod Clark

Last week saw the long-awaited publication of Charlie Taylor's report on youth justice, which paints an inspiring and radical vision of the way we sho...

Entrepreneurship Is Key To Prison Reform - So Why Doesn't Government Get It?

Maximilian Yoshioka | Posted 15.11.2016 | UK Politics
Maximilian Yoshioka

Partly addressing the doubts surrounding her commitment to prison reform, last week Secretary of State for Justice Liz Truss unveiled a new White Pape...

'Nurseries Of Crime' Need More Than Basic Education

Rod Clark | Posted 10.11.2016 | UK Politics
Rod Clark

Justice Secretary Liz Truss and her Prisons Minister Sam Gyimah are both former Education Ministers and proud of it. So how strongly does that commitment to education show through in their latest major announcements on prison reform?

The Government's Innovative White Paper On Prison Reform

The Tartan Con | Posted 09.11.2016 | UK Politics
The Tartan Con

Understaffed prisons lead to deaths. In the last 10 years over 750 people have taken their own lives in prison and over 36,000 people have self harmed. Now if one of those deaths or one of those incidents of self harm was the result of understaffing then who do we hold culpable?

Radical Proposals For Prison Reform

Mat Ilic | Posted 07.11.2016 | UK Politics
Mat Ilic

The Secretary of State for Justice Liz Truss presented her Prison Safety and Reform White Paper this week. A full nine months in gestation (since the ...

No Home, No Chance: Lack Of Housing Stops Women From Turning Their Lives Around On Release From Prison

Jenny Earle | Posted 23.09.2017 | UK
Jenny Earle

This week the Prison Reform Trust and Women in Prison published a new report. It found that a chronic shortage of safe and stable housing for women leaving prison is leading to more crime, more victims and greater use of unnecessary and expensive imprisonment. Six in ten women leaving prison may not have a home to go to on release, and recent prison inspectorate reports suggest that the situation may be getting worse. Vulnerable women, desperate to secure a safe place to stay, are being deemed intentionally homeless and not in priority need. For some, getting sent back to prison seems like the only solution.

Beyond Bars: Taking Prisoners Seriously

Nadia Butt | Posted 21.09.2017 | UK
Nadia Butt

Debating Matters Beyond Bars was something positive to focus on with real meaning and purpose. I have no proof that this will have an impact on the rehabilitative agenda and reduce reoffending rates. However, I am certain that there needs to be a concerted effort to provide more opportunities like ours to remind them that their voices do matter.

Drug Policy Is Crucial to Prison Reform

George McBride | Posted 28.07.2017 | UK Politics
George McBride

Over the upcoming weeks and months VolteFace are travelling around the country and working with the people at the core of these good practices to develop alternative policies to improve prison safety. If the reforms are to be successful, it is essential that members of the prison service are supported with the expertise of those who already work to reduce drug-related harms in wider society.

The Nelson Mandela Rules: A Fitting Tribute

Juliet Lyon | Posted 20.07.2017 | UK
Juliet Lyon

"It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens,...

Our Justice System Lets Young People Down - Here's How to Fix It

Mat Ilic | Posted 13.07.2017 | UK
Mat Ilic

A criminal record shouldn't be synonymous with a future without opportunity. The justice secretary talks about 'forgiveness' and 'redemption'. It is in our public interest to build both a criminal justice system which rehabilitates, and a society which gives second chances. All we need now is greater public interest, to help drive this revolution - let's end youth offending altogether.

The Coates Review Gives Us a Chance to Break the Cycle of Reoffending - We Must Make Sure That We Take It

Sally Garratt | Posted 20.05.2017 | UK
Sally Garratt

ner's chances of getting the training and education they need. There is a direct correlation between getting a decent education while in prison and being able to live a productive, law-abiding life on the outside. We must enable our prisoners to do this or we are failing them and the communities to which they return.

Four Things You Need to Know About the Queen's Speech

Daniel Thornton | Posted 18.05.2017 | UK Politics
Daniel Thornton

On Wednesday the Queen will go to the House of Lords and give a speech, written by the Government, which will outline the laws it will try to get approved by Parliament in the coming year. The occasion won't be all flummery and fancy-dress, although there's quite a bit of that. The Queen's Speech is an important moment in the Parliamentary calendar. It is intended to tell Parliament and the public what the Government wants to do next...

From Prisoner to Programmer: What Can the UK Learn From Silicon Valley?

Suzanne Ashman | Posted 22.02.2017 | UK Tech
Suzanne Ashman

Unsurprisingly, we must look to Silicon Valley for the new, cutting-edge innovation. Or more precisely, to the hills overlooking the bay, which are home to San Quentin, California's oldest prison. To put San Quentin in a UK justice context, it would be a category A prison - it's home to 699 death row inmates.

Prisons Can Work - But Let Us In to Help!

Jonathan Freeman | Posted 10.02.2017 | UK
Jonathan Freeman

Prisons are necessary. But we must ensure that we as a society do everything possible to keep people out of prisons in the first place. And we must ensure that truly effective support is available to the vast majority of offenders who would much rather have a regular job to support them and their families. That means that prisons must welcome with open arms those organisations and companies willing to help offenders back in to society.

We Need Proper Prison Reforms, Not Just Tory Tinkering

Jasvir Singh | Posted 08.02.2017 | UK Politics
Jasvir Singh

Keeping someone in prison costs £100 per day. If that money was used efficiently to pay for alternative forms of punishment with proven track records in countries such as Sweden, then the prison bill could easily be cut with no risk to the public.

The Fact That Cameron's Prison Reform Speech Took Place at All Mattered More Than the Content

Ellie Butt | Posted 08.02.2017 | UK Politics
Ellie Butt

That the speech took place at all was much more important than what was in it - the policies announced are all fairly small-scale and will have little to no impact if pushed through without comprehensive sentencing reform.

Prisons: Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Juliet Lyon | Posted 23.12.2016 | UK Politics
Juliet Lyon

Over half of the 50 prisoners interviewed for the study reported three or more mental health problems including anxiety, depression, anger, difficulty in concentration, insomnia, and an increased risk of self-harm. Almost half of the 49 officers interviewed said that they would benefit from more mental health training and that further training should be offered.