Our latest bulletin, 28 Jan

Friday, 28 January 2022

We have a busy few months ahead, at the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, with several pieces of work coming to fruition.

In the coming months we will be publishing at least four reports:

  • An up-to-date assessment of the use of joint enterprise rules, six years after the Supreme Court declared that the rules had been incorrectly applied by the courts for decades. Under joint enterprise, individuals can be found guilty, merely by having an association with the main suspect.
  • A report on the psychological impact on prisoners subjected to the open-ended Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) sentence. Last year, Consultant Psychiatrist Dinesh Maganty told MPs on the House of Commons Justice Committee that the clinical presentation of IPP prisoners he saw was "increasingly akin to those who have been wrongfully convicted".
  • The Justice Committee are currently undertaking an inquiry into the IPP sentence. We're analysing all the evidence the Committee is receiving and will publish an assessment of what we think should be in their final report.
  • Building on our ground-breaking UK Justice Policy Review programme, which ran from 2010 to 2020, we'll be publishing an overview of the historical development and current operations of policing, prosecution, courts and prisons in the the UK.

You can find out more about our plans here.

You'll get all the news on these and our other activities as a subscriber to this bulletin.

Richard Garside


Earlier this month, Richard hosted Whitney Iles, CEO of Project 507, in our latest edition of Lunch with.... It was a fascinating conversation, ranging from her early career in youth work, how she ended up at Barack Obama's inauguration, and her current work on violence and trauma in the prison system and the wider community.

You can watch the discussion here.

Our guests on the February edition of Lunch with... are Donna Mooney and Shirley Debono of UNGRIPP, which campaigns for reform of the IPP prison sentence. It promises to be a fascinating discussion. You can book your place here.

Before that, on 2 February, the former Chief Constable Peter Neyroud, Kate Coleman of Keep Prisons Single Sex, and Rona Epstein of Coventry University will be joining Richard to discuss all the key criminal justice developments, in our latest edition of Last month in criminal justice.


As part of our work on the Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) sentence, we submitted evidence to the House of Commons Justice Committee Inquiry, in partnership with our friends at Justice Episteme.

We told the Committee that, if nothing changed, there could still be some 2,000 prisoners serving IPPs by 2030, nearly two decades after the sentence was abolished. Other estimates are even higher than this. We also called for radical action to be taken, including giving serious consideration to a retrospective abolition of the sentence for those still serving out their time in prison, given that parliament itself has accepted that the sentence was unjust.

You can read our evidence here.

Our Head of Programmes, Helen Mills, is speaking next week at an online event on joint enterprise being organised by our friends at JENGbA. She will be talking about our work tracking the joint enterprise dragnet and about some of our emerging findings. More information here.

In the next bulletin, there will be an update on our work pressing for reform of law and policy on short prison sentences.

Prison Service Journal

In partnership with its Editorial Board, we host the electronic version of the Prison Service Journal. The latest issue of the Journal, co-edited by Debbie McKay and Kate Gooch, looks at care leavers and the criminal justice system.

For more information, and to access the edition, click here.

Eye on criminal justice

The announcement by the Metropolitan Police that it will be investigating the Downing Street 'partygate' allegations has vindicated, for some, it's 'wait-and-see' approach. As this explainer in The Guardian pointed out, it could have proved "embarrassing if the Met started an investigation into Johnson’s closest officials, if not the prime minister himself, and then Gray concluded nothing seriously wrong had taken place".

Earlier this week, Kate Wilson, the activist deceived into a relationship with an undercover police officer, was awarded £230,000 in compensation for breach of her human rights. The Metropolitan Police has admitted that undercover officers formed “abusive and deceitful” relationships with at least 12 women, including Kate Wilson. “I can’t compare what happened to me to the terrible things that happened to Sarah Everard,” she said. “But both stem from a culture of misogyny in the police. They try to say it’s ‘bad apples’ but the whole barrel is rotten.”

The University lecturer Dr Koshka Duff received an apology from the Metropolitan Police for the "sexist, derogatory and unacceptable language" used by officers while she was being strip-searched. Dr Duff was attempting to give a 15-year-old boy a "know your rights" card when she was arrested by officers several years ago. Earlier this week, she told BBC Woman's Hour: "the overhelming feeling of it was physical pain and I was terrified. They were kneeling on me with their full weight and they had my hands in cuffs and they were... jerking them around behind my back". Officers were also heard laughing about her hair, saying her clothes stink and talking about her underwear.

The latest "Safety" in Custody statistics, covering the twelve month period to December 2021, show that there were 371 deaths in prison, an increase of 17 per cent on the previous twelve months. Of these, 86 deaths were self-inflicted, an increase of 28 per cent.

We'll be discussing these, and other key criminal justice developments during January, in the next edition of Last month in criminal justice on 2 February.

Support our work

In 2021, we received twice as many small donations, averaging £15 per donation, compared with 2020. We are so appreciative of the support from all our donors and supporters.

If you like what we do, and can afford to make a donation to support our important work, we would be very grateful.

You can also spread the word about our work by sharing this bulletin and encouraging others to sign up for our regular updates.

More on