Monthly News Bulletin
Email Bulletin January 2012
WHAT HAVE WE BEEN UP TO?
AGM, Tuesday 17 January, 2012
The Centre held its AGM (Annual General Meeting) on 17 January at our office in Langley Lane. As well as taking care of all the usual financial and governance matters, members, staff and trustees discussed our future plans and past achievements.
`That's not my name: Prisoner deference and disciplinarian prison officers': A seminar conducted by Dr David Scott
On Friday 20 January, Dr David Scott, of the University of Central Lancashire, introduced his research to a packed seminar of practitioners and policy makers at the Centre's offices. A `Q&A' followed the introduction, which lead to an illuminating discussion on whether the stereotypical, authoritarian role of prison guards and the complying role of prisoners is more than a display of punitive means, but sadly, an existing and long-standing culture that resides within the prison environment.
Reducing the numbers in custody: Looking beyond criminal justice solutions
Few concerned with reducing our record high prison numbers would disagree that prison numbers are grounded in wider social and economic conditions, but is it feasible and desirable for those committed to addressing high prison numbers to incorporate a perspective that looks outside of seeking criminal justice improvement? This second and final paper in the Reform Sector Strategies project explores this issue.
Relaunch of our Works for Freedom practitioner website
We have relaunched our free Works for Freedom practitioner website. It is simpler, cleaner and more interactive, placing an emphasis on sharing information on what makes for good practice. Take a look and register your organisation here:
Runnymede Trust submission to the Leveson inquiry
Based on our legacy of extensive research into biased and hostile media coverage of asylum, in conjunction with the Information Centre about Asylum and Refugees and the Runnymede Trust, a submission of evidence was recently made to the Leveson inquiry into press malpractice and regulation. Click here to view the full report
Gill Butler 1942 - 2012: Remembering a unique campaigner for asylum and human rights
The Philanthropic, Gill Butler was our 2007 Una Padel individual winner. Awarded, based on her extensive contribution to penal reform and social justice. Follow the link to view Gill's obituary, and to read more about the touching work she has instigated.
Don't prosecute kids until the age of 12, says experts
A think-tank has bid to increase the age of criminal responsibility from ten to at least twelve. The Sun, (16/01/12). To view the `Age of criminal responsibility letter' signed by an aggregate of charitable organisations and executives and published in The Times, (16/01/12) click here.
Centre director appointed Adjunct Professor in School of Justice
Our director Richard Garside has been appointed an Adjunct Professor in the School of Justice, Faculty of Law at the Queensland University of Technology. Richard will be travelling to Brisbane in 2013 as part of the appointment.
A life sentence really? The resettlement of ex-prisoners convicted with a sexual offence and the role of a housing support charity in this process
Next month we release our research report about the housing and resettlement of those with a conviction for a sexual offence. The report considers reintegration in a challenging context and the dilemmas facing this group of ex-prisoners and those involved in their resettlement.
Justice Policy Review - Social and criminal justice in the first year of Coalition government
Justice Policy Review is the first of an annual series of reviews, considering criminal and social justice developments, since the Conservative-led Coalition government came in to power. It provides an independent analysis of policy and legislative initiatives, as they emerged in the year following the general election in May 2010. It will be launched in February.
Deprivation and crime from an `attachment perspective'
On 10th March The Bowlby Centre and CCJS will hold a joint event entitled `MY STORY' : Narratives of Deprivation and Crime from an Attachment Perspective', at the London Voluntary Sector Resource Centre from 2pm to 5.30 pm. Chair: Valerie Sinason. Speakers will include: Roger Grimshaw, Rachel Wingfield Schwartz, and Joseph Schwartz. For more details see www.thebowlbycentre.org
TAKE A LOOK AT THIS...
A table from the Draft Impact Assessment (DIA) showing serious implications for rented housing, undetected by the government
A document containing a table headed `Macroeconomic assumptions' explains the expected rent increases from now until the end of this Parliament in 2015. Follow the link below; to view the table showing inflation figures adapted to current national average rent figures. See the report here(12/01/12).
Three generations of Incarceration
A one off programme where Gary Younge meets the American family of which three generations have all spent time in jail. He asks why criminalisation has been passed down, and if it will continue. Radio 4, BBC, (17/01/12).
Poorest communities feel brunt of spending cuts
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has published the first systematic review of the real impact of public spending cuts on local authorities. To read more see Joseph Rowntree Foundation, (26/01/12)
IN THE NEWS...
More cut backs mean more riots
Research by Professor Peter Taylor-Gooby at the University's School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Research has shown that across 26 developed welfare states between 1980 and 2005 greater poverty, privatisation of public services and job insecurity has led to increased social disorder. To view the papers press release, see here, or if you wish to request a full copy of the report, contact professor Taylor-Gooby directly:
Government concession on police station advice: `enough is enough'
The Law Society has welcomed the Government's decision to scrap plans to introduce means-testing for initial legal advice and assistance at police stations. View press release here. The Law Society, (27/01/12)
`Briton's are more dishonest than 10 years ago', study finds
A survey of more than 2,000 adults, conducted by academics at the University of Essex found that people were apparently more tolerant of lying and extramarital affairs than they were in 2000. Findings also show they are now less tolerant of those who commit benefit fraud. For more see BBC News, (25/01/12)
A fall in citizen's arrests in the past decade displays a `walk-on-by' culture in Britain
According to official figures, the number of citizen's arrests has dropped `sharply' within the past decade. In 2010, 2,579 citizen's arrests were made in London alone in contrast to 14,000 in 2002. Daily Telegraph (03/01/2012)
Inmates to work full-time in order to end `enforced idleness' behind bars
Justice Secretary, Kenneth Clarke, has made plans to double the number of inmates working full time in order to put a stop to `enforced idleness' and to prevent them returning to crime when released. Daily Telegraph (03/01/2012)
Police accused of discriminating against urban music scene
Heavy-handed police bureaucracy is unfairly targeting and discriminating the urban music scene, according to agents, industry bodies, and MPs. The Guardian, (09/12/2012)
Police and Crime commissioners: The rat-catcher vote
A chief constable will fight to keep the job he holds at the whim of a commissioner whose job depends on pleasing voters. For more on this comment piece, see The Guardian, (09/01/2012)
Home secretary: This is what it is like to be stopped and searched
Theresa May reviews this controversial policing tactic, while four readers provide an account of their own experiences of being targeted by officers. The Guardian, (09/01/2012). Also see `Met to reform stop and search amid fears of court action'. The Guardian, (13/01/12)
Britain loses three out of four human rights cases according to new figures
A study which was commissioned by a group of Conservative MPs found that out of 350 cases, Britain had only been successful in 86.' For more see The Daily Telegraph (12/01/2012)
Military run schools to prevent `new generation of rioters'?
ResPublica, a think-tank has called on the Coalition to support a pilot scheme for a network of schools in the countries most deprived areas, to be run by the military, in order to `prevent youngsters turning into a new generation of rioters'. The Daily Telegraph (12/01/2012)
Police will have the opportunity to challenge court decisions that grant `dangerous' suspects bail
The PM has pledged to amend the sentencing bill. If the changes are made, prosecutors and police will have the right to appeal against court decisions that grant bail to `dangerous suspects'. The Daily Mail (12/01/2012)
Child offenders `dumped in prison' as cuts erode social care
Thousands of children are being imprisoned for minor offences such as playground fights, as support services are cut, warns the Centre for Social Justice. The Guardian, (15/01/12)
Operation Trident given new gang remit
The Metropolitan Police unit that `tackles gun crime in black communities' is to be overhauled to focus on targeting teenage gangs, under new strategy plans implemented by Operation Trident. The Guardian, (16/01/12)
Murder can be `crime of passion', says judge
The Lord Chief of Justice has said that juries should be allowed to consider sexual infidelity as a possible provocation in murder cases, contradicting a new law that explicitly bans the use of infidelity as a defence. The Daily Telegraph, (18/01/12)
Children urged to talk about depression
Children will be encouraged to talk about feelings of depression and anxiety under a £16million government drive to tackle stigma concerning mental illness. The Daily Telegraph, (18/01/12)
Carrot and stick prove success for tackling gangs
Waltham Forest council claim to have found success with £3.5million project to tackle gangs. The project aims to offer help to families identified as responsible for the majority of gang behaviour by providing them with an abundance of positive opportunities. However, if help is refused the gang members face intensive police scrutiny. Read more at The Financial Times, (18/01/12)
Murderers lose Strasbourg appeal against whole life prison tariffs
Britain's most `dangerous murderers' can remain behind bars for the rest of their lives, the Europeans Court of Human Rights has ruled. The Guardian, (18/01/12)
Met police face £123m shortfall in riots costs bill
The Metropolitan police are facing a £123m hole in their finances as the Government has not upheld a promise made by David Cameron to pay the entire bill for policing during the riots. The Guardian, (20/01/12)
One in four offences `written off' by police
A study published by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary showed a national figure of one in four `worst' offences, being ignored by police. The Daily Telegraph, (25/01/12)
Just half of dealers in hard drugs being sent to jail
56 per cent of offenders convicted of supplying or planning to supply heroin, cocaine and ecstasy were sent straight to jail in 2010. The Daily Telegraph, (25/01/12). Also see Sir Richard Branson: Why I think drug users should be spared jail. The Daily Mail, (25/01/12)
COMMENT(S) OF THE MONTH
MP Crispin Blunt to IARS (Independent Academic Research Studies): `My absolute priority is to continue to help build provision of restorative justice in the system'. IARS, (17/01/12)
Mathew Norman: Cameron is the David Brent of welfare reformThe Independent, (18/01/12)
Assassinations are `just a polite word for murder' and `Killing our enemies abroad is just state-sponsored terror': Mehdi Hasan. The Guardian (17/01/2012)
`The British boarding school is a bastion of cruelty': George Monbiot. The Guardian (17/01/2012)
`NUMBERS OF THE MONTH'
1,000 - Almost the number of prison officers with a criminal recordThe Daily Telegraph (03/01/2012)
57 - The number of deaths in prison custody, in England and Wales, 2011. Justice, (01/01/12)
London: 2.77 Northumberland: 4.46 - The morality rates from land transport accidents per 100,000 people in Megalopolis London and rural Northumberland. See BBC, (09/01/12)
QUOTE(S) OF THE MONTH
`75 per cent of my children's generation have smoked cannabis: Drug issues are health issues, not a crime problem'.
Says, Sir Richard Branson to MP's. The Daily Mail, (25/01/12)