27 November 2020

This is the stark reality of male violence towards women, as explained by the Femicide Census, published earlier this week on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

26 November 2020

Its report, due to be published in the near future, examines the fundamental principles on which the use of electronic monitoring (EM) in criminal justice, now and in the future, should be based.

25 November 2020

A new report, Stories of Injustice: The criminalisation of women convicted under joint enterprise laws, was published earlier this week highlighting new and disturbing evidence of the hidden and ongoing injustice of joint enterprise laws in England and Wales.

24 November 2020

The first known baby in prison was Henry Kable Junior, born in an English prison, Norwich Castle Gaol in February 1786. He lived with his mother in Norwich Castle Gaol until he and his parents were all transported to Australia.

20 November 2020

They show that after months of cases appearing to drop to low levels and no deaths since June, there was a surge in confirmed cases in October, as well as a number of deaths.

13 November 2020

The words of a woman who spent six years in an intimate relationship with undercover police officer Mark Kennedy. She is one of at least 30 women tricked into relationships with undercover police officers.

All told, the police are estimated to have infiltrated more than 1,000 activist and campaigning groups since the late-1960s.

11 November 2020

I start with an observation made in 1867 by Karl Marx, towards the end of volume 1 of Capital:

The fathers of the present working class were chastised for their enforced transformation into vagabonds and paupers. Legislation treated them as ‘voluntary’ criminals, and assumed that it was entirely within their powers to go on working under the old conditions which in fact no longer existed

5 November 2020

A phrase drawn from the book caught my attention and offered an evocative memory of a particular supervisory experience at the beginning of my time as a probation officer. When I was first introduced to Santiago (not his real name) in the waiting area of the probation office, I was settling into my induction period in an area of the capital that was then marked by economic hardship and at times volatile community/police relations.

30 October 2020

These are the words of Alison, a nurse at a prison in Wales, talking to The Guardian about the physical impact of extreme lockdown. Many prisoners across the UK are confined to their cells for 23 hours a day, with drastic curbs on exercise and family contact.

28 October 2020

Lockdown has widely been acknowledged as creating a new de facto system of solitary confinement. Whilst the current lockdown restrictions have been criticised, for example, by Peter Clarke, the outgoing HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, as inherently harmful to prisoner wellbeing and mental health, the Prison Officers' Association (POA) continue to endorse the prison lockdown, arguing that it has resulted in increased safety, reduced violence and ‘more stable prison environments’.

13 October 2020

Last month the government published A Smarter Approach to Sentencing setting out proposals for sentencing reform which it intends to legislate for next year. A good summary of all the proposals in the 115 page document is here. Here I offer a few themes.

5 October 2020

Secretaries of State for Justice have come and gone, and political debate has been consumed by Brexit, Covid-19 and other pressing issues. Now we have a White Paper, A Smarter Approach to Sentencing, whose title may even be said to under-state its scope. It does contain proposals for changes to the sentencing system.