Comment
13 July 2020

In 1999 the Macpherson report on the police response to the murder of Stephen Lawrence defined institutional racism as:

Comment
10 July 2020

The words of a ten-year-old, talking about the emotional strain of not being able to see their mother, currently on lockdown in prison, as recounted in a recent report from the Joint Committee on Human Rights.

Comment
9 July 2020

Matt Ford looks at the dynamics behind the sharp fall in the prison population. 

Comment
6 July 2020

The memorably alliterative phrase used was 'punitive passions pulsate' and the unsettling emotions evoked by this telling expression centred on an encounter whilst undertaking a weekly office duty.

At the time, probation officers were allocated a weekly office duty, which meant dealing with a myriad of possible casework challenges and this particular office duty seemed fated to encompass the full range of troubled and troublesome client contacts.

Comment
3 July 2020

As my colleague Matt Ford points out in this piece, the latest announcement is something of a repackaging and enhancement of a pledge made several years ago, during David Cameron's premiership, though with a difference.

Comment
2 July 2020

The negative individual and societal consequences of our current use of short-term imprisonment are well documented. The system of short sentences is summed up in a recent Justice Inspectorate report as keeping individuals, “locked in an expensive merry-go-round of criminal justice processes”.

Comment
1 July 2020

Matt Ford reflects on the implications of the announcement that four new prisons are to be built.

Comment
29 June 2020

When it finally overpowers us, it will not be by CCTV alone, but by ambient and interactive sensors scraping our data, and algorithms ceaselessly scanning for anomalies, with facial recognition tech maybe bridging the two. Will the pandemic bring this Orwellian moment closer?

Comment
26 June 2020

Contrary to some media portrayals, this is about far more than a mere demand "to remove some statues", he said. It is about "criminal justice reform and... on the more radical end... about what we might call 'defunding of the police'... premised on the idea that we can't solve our social problems through increasing the power of the police and prison system."

Comment
24 June 2020

PSPOs give local authorities the power to apply restrictions on the use of public space, which can result in criminal convictions. The implementation of a PSPO is based on two conditions: that the activities the order aims to restrict have a detrimental effect on the quality of life for those nearby; and that the activities are likely to be persistent.

Comment
22 June 2020

In my monthly reflection pieces for this website, I evoke vignettes drawn from my past probation practice, reflections prompted in part after delving into some of the books that critically explore criminological inquiry.

The following account is however drawn exclusively from my own direct personal experience of having entered the criminal justice system as a defendant during the 1980s.

Comment
19 June 2020

Does the coronavirus, and the extraordinary measures currently being taken by governments around the world, offer an opportunity for a progressive rethink of many of our assumptions about criminal justice?

Or are we on the cusp of an authoritarian turn: a more aggressive policing of our public spaces; a more punitive approach to those deemed disruptive or out of place; longer prison sentences in ever more austere and oppressive prison conditions?