The unthinking acceptance of prisons as inevitable social institutions is preventing us from thinking beyond them, argues Richard Garside
The Centre for Crime and Justice Studies has welcomed today’s report from the House of Commons Justice Committee on the government’s prison planning approach. The report – Prison Population 2022: planning the future – finds that the government’s current approach to planning and funding future prison accommodation is inefficient, ineffective, and unsustainable.
Speaking today, the Centre’s Director, Richard Garside, said:
We are saddened to announce that the conference, Prison Abolition in the UK, planned for 23 and 24 May, has been cancelled. Unfortunately, one of our conference partners has, in recent weeks, been subjected to concerted pressure by those intent on disrupting the conference. In the circumstances, they felt they had no option but to pull out.
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