Comment
2 October 2020

Whilst I do recall an irate prisoner during a prison visit threatening to dispatch my then line manager in similar tones, what clicked into place, when reading this moving and vivid collection of stories, was a routine interview for a pre-sentence report that almost brought the court to a halt!

Comment
25 September 2020

Speaking in parliament, the Women and Equalities Minister, Liz Truss, explained calmly and patiently why the government had decided against legislating to enable transgender people to change their legal sex by a simple declaration.

Comment
17 September 2020

The phrase, 'all coppers are bastards' often shortened to a pejorative acronym, was very much a piece of wall graffiti I recall from the 1970s.

Comment
15 September 2020

The Woolf Report (1991) was commissioned in the aftermath of the disturbances at HMP Strangeways between 1 – 25 April 1990. The Strangeways disturbances were the longest in UK penal history and sparked riots in twenty-five further institutions, including Glen Parva, Dartmoor, Cardiff, Bristol and Pucklechurch. On publication the Woolf Report was acclaimed as the blueprint for prison policy for the next three decades.

Comment
5 August 2020

I have arranged dozens of headline speakers over many years and thought that I might be allowed a forgivable departure from casework recollections in today's post. I want to highlight some of the more memorable of these speakers and in particular one guest speaker whose memory I will always cherish.

Comment
5 August 2020

The torch of truth that 2020 has allowed to shine brighter than ever before is now turning to the dark and hidden corners of the prison system. Despite the decades-long campaigns of many organisations and countless exposé documentaries, America’s criminal justice system has now finally been pushed to the forefront of the global conversation on racism.

Comment
31 July 2020

COVID-19 in European prisons: Tracking preparedness, prevention and control compares work being done to prevent, contain and tackle coronavirus in prisons across nine European jurisdictions, including the three UK ones.

Comment
30 July 2020

It shows that between March and June 2020, the first three months of the pandemic, there were 81 deaths in prisons. That's an increase of 29 per cent on the previous three months. We should be careful, however, about reading trends from data for just one quarter, as figures can be volatile over such short periods and experience seasonal fluctuations.

Comment
, Geraldine Brown
27 July 2020

The Chief Inspector describes conditions as "appalling", "intolerable", "squalid", rife with "vermin and filth". Conditions like these, "should not feature in 21st century jails". This conclusion was expressed prior to the further impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Comment
24 July 2020

Thousands go to prison each year for a mere few weeks.

Until last year's General Election, reform of so-called short prison sentences was very much on the cards. The then Justice Secretary, David Gauke, argued that they were wasteful, ineffective, and the cause of chaos in the prison estate.

Comment
23 July 2020

The Centre's research analyst, Matt Ford, draws out some conclusions from the module of our coronavirus in prisons in Europe survey which assessed different official policy responses for managing the disease in custodial settings. 

Comment
17 July 2020

“We are witnessing”, she wrote, “the decriminalisation of rape. In some cases, we are enabling persistent predatory sex offenders to go on to reoffend in the knowledge that they are highly unlikely to be held to account”.