11 March 2022

Consider the Prisons Strategy White Paper, published in December 2021, in what already feels like a different time.

It promises more prisons, on top of existing plans to expand current capacity to around 100,000 places. “We need a pipeline of accommodation beyond our current build programme”, the White Paper states, “and we will begin preparatory work... to set ourselves up for future expansion”.

10 March 2022

The Honest Politicians Guide to Prisons and Probation is an absorbing read, larded with many surprisingly candid interviews from most of the government ministers and senior civil servants responsible for implementing these systemic changes.

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16 February 2022

Institutional violence is the systemic reproduction of oppressive policy and practice (for example, housing children in unregulated accommodation; releasing people from prison with no fixed abode; assessing universal credit and Personal Independence Payment) in ways that harm large groups of vulnerable people.

10 February 2022

An observation from David Emery's scabrously funny and poignant personal account of his experiences as a front line social worker.

When working as a probation officer, I had been invited to attend an initial child protection case conference, which had been convened in response to expressed concerns from Social Services at 'unspecified' allegations of child neglect.

8 February 2022

I'm going to talk this morning about sentencing and criminalised women. There are two main things that I would like to do.

7 February 2022

Helen talked about our soon-to-be-published research on joint enterprise prosecutions. It was a sobering talk. Whatever the intentions of police officers and prosecutors, it is clear, for instance, that the effect of joint enterprise prosecutions is highly discriminatory, particularly against young black men.

4 February 2022

It often divides prisoners into ‘the worthy’ and ‘the unworthy’, the dangerous and the vulnerable, in ever stranger ways of calculating and managing risk. The argument is happening in the absence of any actual research and so it plays out in a rather abstract manner.

1 February 2022

I’m Helen Mills. I work for the Centre from Crime and Justice Studies. The Centre is a charity which promotes better understanding of criminal justice as well as practical proposals for addressing injustices.

The Centre has had a long standing interest in joint enterprise.

My contribution today is based research we are currently doing about joint enterprise prosecutions and convictions.

21 January 2022

Indeed I vividly recall writing to Mark, now editor of the essential Prisons Handbook, while he was serving his last lengthy prison sentence, commenting on his achievement in recording, in such searingly memorable detail, his life story. I received an appreciative letter in reply.

Geraldine Brown,
20 January 2022

Together with Maria Garcia De Frutos, Midwifery Lecturer, City University of London, we began to look for answers to that question.

Our research began with the death of a baby in a prison cell in Surrey.

10 December 2021

The IPP sentence was abolished in 2012, after parliament recognised it was cruel and unjust. Yet thousands who received the the IPP sentence remain trapped in an Orwellian nightmare of imprisonment or threat of imprisonment, because the sentence was not abolished retrospectively.

7 December 2021

Such was my initial reaction to reading some of the writings of the American academic Ruth Wilson Gilmore, the noted prison abolitionist and prison scholar, whose timely insight on racial injustices in US policing is well-captured in a quote from one of her podcasts, that as Black Lives Matter said so poignantly: "When Black lives matter, everybody lives better."