Chris Hignett on balancing risk and prison population - acceptable ways forward
The Centre for Crime and Justice Studies and the Harm & Evidence Research Collaborative at The Open University, in partnership with Professor Joe Sim of Liverpool John Moores University, will be holding a major conference on prison abolition in the UK in 2019.
The conference will be on Thursday 23 and Friday 24 May, at The Open University campus in Milton Keynes.
The prison system in the UK is in ongoing, systemic crisis. While politicians pay lip service to the need to reduce prisoner numbers, further growth and expansion are far more likely.
October's Treasury Budget announcement confirmed the construction of two new mega prisons as part of the Prison Estates Transformation Programme, Corporate Watch reports.
The programme plans to build six new prisons altogether, whilst the two confirmed in the budget will be built on the HMP Wellinborough and HMP Glen Parva sites and will create 4,000 new prison places.
More imprisonment does not equal less crime, argues Irvin Waller. It's time to invest in solutions that work
Our Director Richard spoke about the prisons crisis at a meeting of the Friends of Le Monde Diplomatique earlier this week.
Richard said that that 'the prisons crisis is not, fundamentally, a crisis in prisons: one that can be resolved if the right reforms, the right action, is taken. It is a crisis of prisons: of our unbending attempts to treat a complex set of social problems - violence, drug, alcohol and mental health problems, poverty and disadvantage, social antagonisms - as if they are a simple set of crime problems, be resolved through punishment'.
The text of the speech Richard Garside gave yesterday to the Friends of Le Monde Diplomatique
Our submission to the House of Commons Justice Committee inquiry into the prison population in 2022 has been published on the Committee's website.
Submitted in partnership with the analytical services organisation, Justice Episteme, our submission offers an analysis of the historical trajectory of the custodial population in England and Wales from 2003, and a projection for the period to 2022 and beyond.
In an article for the OpenDemocracy website, our Senior Policy Associate, Rebecca Roberts, has criticised the government's plans to expand the prison system by 10,000 places and build new prisons, arguing that it will do little to solve the ongoing crisis in the system.
Rebecca describes how the prison reform programme is part of the wider public sector reform of asset stripping, privatisation and deregulation in which the burden of austerity is imposed on individual prison governors under the guise of greater autonomy.
Our Director, Richard Garside, today welcomed comments by the former Chief Inspector of Prisons, Lord Ramsbotham, on the crisis in the prisons system.
In remarks reported by the i, Lord Rambotham said that the 'avoidable crisis' in prisons had 'been made a great deal worse by the deliberate actions of ministers and their officials'.