Our April 2016 ebulletin is out now!

Saturday, 30 April 2016


Eve Saville Memorial Lecture - Sylvia Walby on violent crime trends
Professor Sylvia Walby gave an excellent presentation to a packed audience at this year’s Eve Saville Memorial Lecture. She talked about her ground-breaking new research which shows that violent crime has been rising since 2009, driven by increases in violent crime against women.

Spycops conference
Our police spying conference went absolutely brilliantly! Our line-up of speakers included politicians, activists and academics, who discussed the history and disastrous impact of the undercover policing of protest groups and ‘suspect communities’. The conference also debated the crucial factors to ensuring the upcoming Undercover Policing Inquiry adopts a more open and rigorous approach. We had some press coverage, including in The Guardian. Footage of the main speeches will be available to view online soon. 

Doing bad policy well
Our Director Richard Garside writes about the latest prison suicide and self-harm figures, and a new National Audit Office report on probation privatisation in his latest commentary.

Our Director quoted in the Financial Times
Richard was quoted in three articles in the Financial Times this month. The articles discussed the increasing punitiveness of the criminal justice system in England and Wales; government plans to replace old Victorian prisons with new larger ones; and the recruitment crisis in Serco-run HMP Thameside.

He was also one of 1,000 co-signatories to an open letter calling for the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to support an open and constructive debate about drugs policy. 

The real reason behind Gove's prison reforms
If you’re interested in Michael Gove’s talk of prison reform, read this article our Deputy Director Will McMahon wrote for The Justice Gap. In it he argues that a plan for expansive prison privatisation is being masked by reform talk in order to make it palatable to the reform sector.

Birmingham community launch of joint enterprise report
The findings of our report, which maps some of the racist criminalisation processes that lead to the over-representation of young black men in the criminal justice system, were presented by report authors Becky Clarke and Patrick Williams at a community event in Birmingham. This followed two successful launch events in London earlier in the year.

The impact of alternatives to custody on crime rates
We heard some varied perspectives on the relationship between sentencing practices and the official crime rate at our event about the impact of alternatives to custody. Speakers included our former colleague Catherine Heard, now at the Institute for Criminal Policy Research, Dr Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay of the University of Birmingham, Dr Tim Hope, now a Visiting Fellow at the Centre, Savas Hadjipavlou of the Probation Institute, and Rob Allen, researcher and consultant on criminal justice. Some of the presentations are available to view on our website.

Profiling probation provision for armed forces veterans under probation supervision
We held three exceptionally well-attended events about armed forces veterans under probation supervision this month. They are part of our project profiling the available community provision for this group. Over the coming weeks we will be in contact with attendees to collect some of the information about provision talked about at the events.

Briefing launch
Professor Steve Tombs presented the findings of his new report about local government regulation of pollution, food safety and workplace health and safety standards in the UK at events in London and Liverpool. We'll be publishing the report next month. 


Breaking the Silence: Tasha's story
In the latest instalment of our Breaking the Silence comment series, Madeline Petrillo tells Tasha's story of violent relationships, missed opportunities and incarceration. Breaking the silence is a series of short articles which provide a space for the voices of criminalised women to be heard.

Preventable harm is government policy
Mo Stewart's article argues that the Work Capability Assessment, which assesses claimants of the Employment Support Allowance income replacement benefit to see if they are fit to work, is harmful and has been linked to nearly 100,000 deaths. 

Policing Barton Moss: sexualised violence and harassment
Will Jackson of Liverpool John Moores University writes about the policing methods used at the Barton Moss anti-fracking protests, in which violence and harassment towards protesters were central. This included sexualised violence reported by several women at the protests. 

Emerging from the past to a positive future
Read Mike Guilfoyle's latest reflection from his time as a probation officer. 

British Journal of Criminology
The May issue of the British Journal of Criminology (volume 56 issue 3) is now available.


Responding to drug harms: Can the UK learn from Portugal?
This event on 16 May will discuss better ways to respond to drug harms than criminalisation. João Goulão, one of the architects of Portugal's health-led approach, will discuss the learning from this strategy. The implications of this approach for the UK context will be discussed by a number of UK-based speakers, including: Mike Barton, Chief Constable of Durham Constabulary; Niamh Eastwood, Executive Director fo Release; Kenny MacAskill, former Scottish Justice Secretary; and Baroness Meacher, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Drug Policy Reform. 

Women's Community Services' Becoming Trauma Informed Toolkit training day
One Small Thing would like to invite you to an event on Friday, 27 May. The day is designed to introduce the Women's Community Services to the Becoming Trauma Informed Toolkit, which has been written by Dr Stephanie Covington for use in community-based women's services. The Toolkit is designed to help guide and support your organisation in developing and embedding trauma-informed practice and policies.

If you would like to attend, please contact the organiser via this link.


Who will the prison building 'revolution' benefit?
Maureen Mansfield and Hannah Pittaway, writing for the Left Foot Forward website, outline some of the issues arising from the forthcoming closure of Holloway prison, the only women's prison in London. 


Solitary confinement in UK prisons
Our report, Prison conditions in the UK, part of our work for the European Prison Observatory project, was cited in a Guardian article about solitary confinement in UK prisons.


40-50,000 - estimate of the number of deaths a year in the UK caused by air pollution, according to a report by the House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee released this month.

£17,350 - the starting salary of newly recruited custody officers at Serco-run HMP Thameside.
£24,500 - the equivalent salary at nearby public sector prisons.
Source: 'Lower-paying private prison struggles to recruit staff'Financial Times, 26 April 2016.

25,843 - the number of self-harm incidents in prisons in England and Wales in 2014
32,313 - the number of self-harm incidents in prisons in England and Wales in 2015
Source: Safety in Custody Statistics, quarterly update to December 2015.


'The air in our cities is both toxic and illegal, with diesel fumes contributing to 800 deaths a week. That's 40,000 killings a year. So why is the Prime Minister, instead of removing the most heavily polluting diesel vehicles from our streets, lobbying the EU in Brussels with the Mayor of London to weaken plans to improve our air quality and save lives?'.
Geraint Davies, MP for Swansea West, questioning David Cameron during Prime Minister's Questions, 20 April, 2016.

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