Our May 2015 ebulletin is out now!

Friday, 29 May 2015


'People who are serious, insist on things'
On 20 May 2015, the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies and Women in Prison held the Justice Matters for Women: Time for Action! conference. Betty Makoni opened the conference with an inspiring story of building a girls' empowerment network. The event was attended by over 100 people, including activists, researchers, practitioners and women affected by criminal justice. The purpose of the event was to build collective action for challenging criminal justice failure and promoting social justice alternatives. Check out our website to find out more on who spoke and to view the video footage from the conference.

Alternatives to custody in Europe workshop
Our Research and Policy Associate, Catherine Heard, gives an update on the Alternatives to Custody in Europe project in preparation for our workshop, 'Alternatives to custody: a critical look at UK practice and policy', being held on Wednesday, 10 June.

How accountable is Britain?
Deputy Director WIll McMahon has written a piece giving a little bit of background to our event 'Challenging state and corporate impunity: Is accountability possible?' due to take place on Friday,19 June.

Much 'allo 'allo 'allo about nothing
Richard Garside, the Centre's director, appeared on BBC's Victoria Derbyshire to discuss falling police officer numbers

Racism and Justice: using research to hold the state to account
On 12 May we held an event with The Monitoring Group which brought together researchers, academics and activists to consider how we can use research to help support activism and campaigning in the lead up to the statutory inquiry into undercover policing. On Sunday, 7 June there is a meeting supported by Tottenham Rights to discuss the role of Operation Trident in Mark Duggan's death and wider issues of police corruption and malpractice. 


We need a different crime survey
'...the Crime Survey for England and Wales is much better at not measuring crime than it is at measuring crime's true extent, which is no doubt why policy-makers have come to rely on it so much'. Professor Tim Hope explains how to develop a truly victim-oriented national survey.

The police should not record crime
The American criminologist Harold Pepinksy got in touch with us after reading the explanation of crime statistics our Director, Richard Garside, wrote last month. Read all about it here.

Driving desistance
Mike Guilfoyle's latest memoir recounts his supervision of 'Alan', a car enthusiast.

New blogs from our partners at the Open University
Our partners at the International Centre for Comparative Criminological Research at the Open University have added two new blogs to their online comment series, including one on poverty by Joanna Mack and Stewart Lansley. They are well worth a read.

Prison Service Journal
Issue 219 of the Prison Service Journal is now available to download free from our website.


Alternatives to custody: a critical look at UK practice and policy
On Wednesday, 10 June we're holding a workshop to assess important developments in alternatives to custody across the UK since 2000, focusing on the work of women's centres; maturity assessments for young adults; and the use of electronic monitoring and tracking through various stages of the justice process.

Is the Empire coming home?
At this seminar on Tuesday, 16 June Dr John Moore will talk about his recent paper 'Is the Empire coming home?'. In this article he rejects the view that the rapid expansion of the criminal justice system is a product of the emergence of neo-liberalism, and instead links present day penal policy with strategies developed in colonial times.

Challenging state and corporate impunity: is accountability possible?
On Friday, 19 June we're holding a one-day event with the University of Liverpool bringing together people from a range of organisations to discuss how to hold state and corporate institutions to account.

Shock and law: Debating the use of tasers
This workshop on Wednesday, 15 July will debate the implications of the growing use of tasers in the United Kingdom.

Criminal Justice Matters
The June issue of cjm includes articles based on a conference we held in March 2015 - Criminal justice since 2010: What happened? What next? - and our recent review of criminal justice in the United Kingdom since 2010: The coalition years. Contributors will include: David Ford MLA, the Northern Ireland Justice Minister; Kenny MacAskill MSP, the Scottish Justice Secretary between 2007 and 2014; and Rt Hon Elfyn Llwyd, a member of the House of Commons Justice Committee between 2010 and 2015.


Parallel Black Lives Matter
This article on the Institute of Race Relations website highlights the parallels between the policing of black communities in the USA and the UK.

Children should not be kept in prison
In the wake of a damning Ofsted report into G4S-run Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre, letters by Deborah Coles, Carolyne Willow, and Yvonne Bailey appeared in The Guardian criticising the use of prison for children. Read more here.


'The prison system is a tragedy. It is an inadequate response to social problems'
The Independent on Sunday published an article on the failures of criminal justice and the impact of imprisonment on women ahead of our 'Justice Matters for Women: Time for Action!' conference held on 20 May. 

Police officers could face prosecution for spying on Janet Alder
After a two-year investigation by the IPCC into alleged spying on Janet Alder, sister of a man who died in police custody, the allegations have been passed on to the Crown prosecution Service, reported The Guardian.

Will brutal cuts lead to violent police?
The chair of the Police Federation, Steve White, said that more cuts to police budgets will lead to a ''paramilitary'' style of policing, reported The Guardian.

Theresa may announces funding to end police detention of mentally ill
The Home Secretary has pledged an extra £15 million for health-based alternatives to prevent people who are mentally ill being detained in police cells as 'places of safety', The Guardian reported. 


Here's a graph made by our Director, Richard Garside, showing how police numbers have grown in the past and might fall in the future: (click the graph to read the full article)


Blue line: Actual police officer numbers.
Dashed blue line: Projection of 7,500 cut in police officer numbers by 2020.
Dotted blue line: Projection of 15,000 cut in police officer numbers by 2020.
Orange line: Actual combined police officer and Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) numbers.
Dashed orange line: Projection of 7,500 cut in police officer numbers and PCSO numbers continuing to decline at current rate by 2020.
Dotted orange line: Projection of 15,000 cut in police officer numbers and PCSO numbers continuing to decline at current rate by 2020.



'Don't do anything for us, without us' Paula Harriott, Head of Programmes at UserVoice, speaking at the Justice Matters for Women conference on 20 May 2015. 

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This bulletin was compiled and edited by Matt Ford and Rebecca Roberts. We are always keen to hear from our readers. For comments and feedback email  

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