UK Prisons

Notes of Caution as We Celebrate Prison Education Reform

Rod Clark | Posted 18.05.2016 | UK Politics
Rod Clark

The route to achieving improvements to prisoner education is hedged with risks and pitfalls. But it is the right journey to be embarking on, and Dame Sally's vision for a prison system with education at the heart is a great way to start. I, and the rest of PET, looks forward to working to support prison governors, officers, teachers and prisoners themselves every step of the way.

The Government Must Address the Rates of Violence, Self-harm and Suicide in Our Prisons

Bob Neill | Posted 16.05.2016 | UK Politics
Bob Neill

The Government has announced an ambitious penal reform agenda, the detail of which will become more apparent after the Queen's Speech this Wednesday. However, with all the best will in the world, the impact of these new reforms will be stunted if the fundamentals are not corrected first.

The Scandal of Mental Health in Prisons That Michael Gove Is Failing to Tackle

Luciana Berger | Posted 16.05.2016 | UK Politics
Luciana Berger

Today's Justice Select Committee report into safety in Britain's prisons reveals a crisis in mental health, with rising levels of self-harm, drug abuse and suicide. A few weeks ago, prison officers at Wormwood Scrubs walked out because they could not guarantee safety for themselves or the prisoners. Yet Justice Secretary Michael Gove seems incapable of action.

Prisons Are 'Awash' With Synthetic Cannabis And People Are Dying As A Result

The Huffington Post | Louise Ridley | Posted 02.05.2016 | UK

Synthetic cannabis is having an unprecedented and destabilising impact on prisons, according to the chief inspector of prisons. An officers' union has...

Women Leaving London Prison Handed Tents And Sleeping Bags Because Of Housing Crisis

The Huffington Post | Sarah Harris1 | Posted 13.04.2016 | UK

Women have been given tents and sleeping bags when they were released from prison with nowhere to go, a watchdog has revealed. Thanks to a shortage in...

Report On Rat-Infested, Overcrowded London Prison 'Covered Up' Details On Conditions

The Huffington Post | Steven Hopkins | Posted 12.04.2016 | UK

The Government has been accused of "toning down" and "covering-up" a scathing report into one of Britain's most infamous jails that was found to be ov...

Muslim Ex-Prisoner Says Guards Routinely Called Him A Terrorist For 'Banter'

The Huffington Post | Louise Ridley | Posted 26.03.2016 | UK

A Muslim ex-prisoner says he was regularly called a ‘terrorist’ by jail staff and viewed with suspicion because of his religion, as a report claim...

Transforming the Lives of Women in Trouble

Jenny Earle | Posted 04.03.2016 | UK
Jenny Earle

The imminent closure of HMP Holloway in London, the largest and most iconic women's prison in the UK, and the also notorious HMP Cornton Vale in Scotland, are big strides in the right direction. Let them be strides towards dedicated community based services that understand the realities of women's lives and can make a lasting difference to their children's lives too.

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

Suzanne Ashman | Posted 24.02.2016 | 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.

Obvious Suicide Risk Factors 'Are Being Ignored By Prison Staff'

The Huffington Post UK | Sarah Ann Harris | Posted 16.02.2016 | UK

Clues that prisoners may take their own lives are too often missed, according to a stark warning issued by a watchdog. Known factors indicating a h...

Unless Government Focuses on Prison Officers, Reforms Will Fail

Diane James MEP | Posted 14.02.2016 | UK Politics
Diane James MEP

When he announced a series of 'fanfare' prison reforms this week, it seems that the Prime Minister David Cameron woke up to the reality that his Government's austerity cuts have had a detrimental effect on the UK prison system.

Ban of Solitary Confinement and Autonomy for Governors

Helen Crewe | Posted 13.02.2016 | UK
Helen Crewe

In January 2016, President Obama announced reforms following his visit to a prison in July, 2015. Obama explained "how can we subject prisoners to unn...

Prisons Can Work - But Let Us In to Help!

Jonathan Freeman | Posted 10.02.2016 | 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.

5 Countries Proving Prisons Can Work To Benefit Everyone

The Huffington Post UK | George Bowden | Posted 09.02.2016 | UK

David Cameron has committed to reform Britain's prison system by the end of the year. In an address on Monday, the first by a prime minister to fo...

Cameron's Prison Visit Got Very Awkward When He Was Given This Message

The Huffington Post UK | Aubrey Allegretti | Posted 08.02.2016 | UK

Here's a sight some of his fiercest critics will be pleased with - David Cameron behind bars. The Prime Minister was visiting HMP Onley ahead of a...

A New Study Links Homelessness to Imprisonment

Helen Crewe | Posted 27.01.2016 | UK
Helen Crewe

The majority of research which links homeless and imprisonment focuses on women leaving prison. The prison service has recognised within their policy documents that issues relate to having or maintaining a house to return to.

Prison Officers Hospitalised After Inhaling Inmates' Legal Highs

The Huffington Post UK | Steven Hopkins | Posted 18.01.2016 | UK

Prison officers are falling ill after inhaling "legal highs" used by inmates and have had to seek hospital treatment for "crushing" chest pains and di...

Drugs and Women in Prison

Helen Crewe | Posted 18.01.2016 | UK
Helen Crewe

Problem-solving courts The current Lord Chancellor, Michael Gove has announced that a team has been set up to investigate how to establish problem-so...

New Year but Is This Really a New Era for Women in Prison?

Helen Crewe | Posted 30.12.2015 | UK
Helen Crewe

Over the past few years it has been widely publicised that imprisonment for women should be the last resort and the criminal justice system is not the place to support women who have complex health, social and welfare needs. What will the New Year, new inspector and new era for women in prison mean?

Baby P's Mother Is Staying In Jail Because She's Still A Danger To The Public

The Huffington Post UK | George Bowden | Posted 29.12.2015 | UK

The mother of Baby P is still a danger to the public and should not be freed from jail in the new year, Parole Board chiefs have ruled. Tracey Conn...

Mental Health Care in Prisons Must Improve

Danny Bowman | Posted 17.12.2015 | UK Universities & Education
Danny Bowman

The prison services in the United Kingdom have over 85,000 inmates. With just under 82,000 of them being men with women making up around 4000 of the prison population.

Here's The Bad News The Government Is Trying To Bury Today

The Huffington Post UK | Graeme Demianyk | Posted 17.12.2015 | UK Politics

The Government has come under fire for attempting to “bury bad news” and avoid scrutiny by making scores of announcements on the last day Parliame...

Lee Rigby's Killer Is Suing For Having His Teeth Knocked Out In Jail

The Huffington Post UK | Aubrey Allegretti | Posted 10.12.2015 | UK

One of the men who brutally killed Fusilier Lee Rigby is suing for compensation two years after his teeth were knocked out during an incident in high-...

Five Shocking Facts About the Cost of Private Female Prisons

Helen Crewe | Posted 06.12.2015 | UK
Helen Crewe

HMP Bronzefield and HMP Peterborough were purpose built private prisons and have run according to PFI contracts since 2005. In general PFI contracts have been criticised for not ensuring value for money and in prisons there have been problems such as a high turnover of staff, low pay and in-experienced staff (Prison Reform Trust, 2005).

The Spending Review Must Deliver Better Outcomes From Public Services, Not Just Reduce Costs

Elizabeth Crowhurst | Posted 23.11.2015 | UK Politics
Elizabeth Crowhurst

If the Chancellor remains committed to getting "the best value for money for taxpayers", he must measure public organisations on their ability to deliver the right sort of outcomes at the right price. Only then will Departments be able to meet the demands of the current Parliament and the upcoming Spending Review.