Our December 2015 ebulletin is out now!

Thursday, 31 December, 2015


Stop treating brain injuries as a crime problem
We published a report on the over-representation of young people with brain injuries and other brain impairments in the youth justice system. The report, by Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist Dr Pratiba Chitsabesan and Dr Nathan Hughes of the University of Birmingham, calls for health, education and family-based interventions and an end to treating brain injuries and impairments among young people as a crime problem.

Holloway: The beginning of a revolution?
Our Senior Associate Rebecca Roberts, and Claire Cain of Women in Prison call for the managed reduction of the women's prison population alongside the planned closure of HMP Holloway in north London. In a comment piece on our website, they discuss the 'merry-go-round' of penal reform, arguing that criminal justice is part of the problem and cannot be fixed. Their call is echoed by Rona Epstein, in another comment piece on our website.

The devil in our midst?
Helen Mills, our Research Associate, has had an article published in the Probation Journal, discussing the response that convicted sex offenders receive in the community. Helen has produced an abridged version on our website

Breaking the silence
Last month we launched the Breaking the silence comment series. Authored by Madeline Petrillo of the University of Portsmouth, the series offers a platform for criminalised women to tell their stories. We've added another two articles to it this month. One is Rosie's story of losing a child, violence at the hands of her husband, ostracisation from her community, and the damage of short-term sentences. The other is Alice's story of mental health problems linked to sexual abuse, abuse from her partner, the loss of an unborn child, and repeated incarceration in mental health institutions and prisons.

Our Christmas crackers
2015 has been a particularly busy year with a range of publications, online outputs, events and conference. We've drawn together a few of our highlights here.

None of this would have been possible without the backing of our members, supporters, partners and funders. Thank you for your support and we look forward to working with you further in 2016.

All we want for Christmas is yooooooou
If you are not already a member, perhaps you might consider joining. There are a range of member benefits, including a say in the Centre's strategy and development and advance notice of events. Standard membership is £30. We also offer a reduced rate of £20 for students and those on a low income.

You might also consider making a one-off donation of any amount


Getting in gear for a lower drink driving limit
Former Scottish Justice Secretary, Kenny MacAskill MSP, argues that Scotland's already lower drink driving limit should be reduced further. England and Wales should also follow Scotland's lead. He's also written us a piece on the politics of community justice arrangements in Scotland.

Blown away by Gove?
Professor Joe Sim of Liverpool John Moore's University isn't. He dissects Michael Gove's agenda and puts forward his own proposals for transformation.

Grappling with vomiting binge drinkers
Professor Tim Hope of the University of Salford writes about the future of the police constable.

Forgotten behind prison walls
Mike Guilfoyle's latest reflection from his time as a probation officer recalls supervising 'Jim'.

Yule not want to miss this
The January issue of the British Journal of Criminology is now available. It includes two open access articles: on probation privatisation in England and Wales and on online identity theft.


Alternatives to criminal justice: building social justice solutions
At this workshop on Tuesday, 19 January we'll be discussing how to prevent, reduce and repair harm in ways that don't rely on punishment and exclusion. It's fully booked but we may be adding a second workshop on the same date if there's enough demand. If you are interested in participating, add your name to the waiting list.

The health of prison staff: what does the evidence tell us?
Join us for this event on Tuesday, 1 March 2016, where we'll be discussing the origins of high stress levels and low well-being experienced by prison staff.


New report on racism and policing in Britain
A report by the Runnymede Trust, out this month, examines the state of policing and its effects on black and minority ethnic communities in contemporary Britain. It coincides with the release of the Ministry of Justice's 'Race and the criminal justice system: 2014' statistical bulletin, which show that black and minority ethnic people continue to be disproportionately targeted by every criminal justice agency across England and Wales.

Policing the crisis
You can now watch footage from last month's 'Policing the crisis' conference held by Defend the Right to Protest. There are talks by co-founder of #BlackLivesMatter Toronto Janaya Khan, former Guantanamo detainee Moazzam Begg, and many more. 

Police propping up other services
Mary O'Hara wrote a piece in The Guardian that explains how the police are facing increasing demand because of cuts to health and social services.

IN THE NEWS.......

'Deplorable' errors in police funding formula
A report by the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee criticised the Home Office for errors made in the review of the police funding formula, reported The Guardian.


Check out these statistics from the Ministry of Justice on race and the criminal justice system in 2014:


438 - the number of extra years of imprisonment added to prisoners' sentences in 2014, according to research by the Howard League, reported in The Guardian.


'Sometimes I feel like if drugs had not been invented, some people would have killed themselves because of their grief of what they've been through. If they haven't got something to help them alter their mood, they would just think of suicide. Because I've thought of suicide. I've done it enough times. When I got raped in January, I took an overdose and tried to set myself on fire. My legs were on fire. I've got burn scars because I tried to kill myself when it happened. So it's suicide you turn to or you turn to drugs.'

Rosie's story of trauma, abuse and loss published in the 'Breaking the silence' comment series.

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