Comment
19 January 2021

Objections can be dismissed as transphobic attempts to exclude one type of women just because they had the misfortune to be born with the wrong set of genitals.

However, while I might be a transwoman I am also a science teacher. In 2017, I rejected the transwomen are women argument when I could not defend it from the most basic challenge:

Comment
15 January 2021

It was a question posed this week by the MP Zarah Sultana during a meeting of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee.

"Prisons are a high-risk setting for transmission, as well as hospitals, nursing homes and schools", she said to the vaccines minister, Nadhim Zahawi. She continued:

Comment
14 January 2021

As you can see in the graph below, after a steady decline in November, confirmed cases in prisons began to rise again throughout the middle of December, reaching a peak in the week ending the 21st, when over 800 new cases were recorded. Cases then appear to have fallen abruptly in the following two weeks. 

2,407 confirmed cases were recorded between 1 December and 4 January. That's over two-fifths of the nearly 6,000 cases recorded in prisons since the pandemic began.

Comment
, ,
14 January 2021

The function of the ‘mirror’ in psychoanalytic theory is, very simply, that the earliest ways in which the infant begins to recognise itself are through the ‘mother’s’ gaze.*

Comment
12 January 2021

Part of the reason for this mildly aversive behaviour relates to the central topic of his book which is a sharply observed ethnographical critique of the expanding and influential role of forensic psychologists in the prison system. It evoked a memory of a fractious professional encounter I had whilst working with a newly appointed forensic psychologist at the probation office in which I was then working.

Comment
20 December 2020

What’s happened so far in the second wave in prisons?

As you can see from the graph below there have been a further 2,312 confirmed cases in prisons in England and Wales between 9th November and 14th December (there is no data for the first week of November). Also in that period, there were 17 COVID-related deaths. In the week to 14th December there were 49 prisons with active outbreaks.

Comment
18 December 2020

The answer should be no. The Chief Inspector's job is to inspect prisons, report on conditions and make recommendations for improvements.

Comment
17 December 2020

You might know that it is rare for women to be imprisoned – women make up only five per cent of the total prison population – and that it is very rare for women to commit serious offences.

Comment
15 December 2020

The prison population now 

The first thing to point out is that the significant fall in the prison population we saw from March through to July has been sustained, although the rate of decrease has been much lower. The prison population in England and Wales now stands at just under 79,000, compared to nearly 84,000 at the start of March. 

Comment
14 December 2020

Despite its title, A Smarter Approach to Sentencing, both the gist and detail of its proposals are predictable and formulaic. Like all its recent predecessors it claims the immediate and self-evident cause for public concern about crime and criminal justice is a) insufficient punishment, and b) inattention to victim’s needs and rights.

Comment
10 December 2020

This excerpt from the 2011 Prison Rules and Directions for Scotland is both unequivocal and unqualified. How then have we moved in the intervening years to a situation whereby men/male prisoners who self-identify as women can lay claim to a place within the women’s estate?

Comment
3 December 2020

I am glad to say this dictum was wholly misplaced when I went for an interview to study on the Criminology MA course at Middlesex University in the 1990s. Being interviewed by one of the doyens of British criminology, the late Jock Young, was a truly memorable experience.