Paul Bebbington writes on new research that finds mental health problems in prison are high, and getting worse
Our Director, Richard Garside, has called for a long-term plan to reduce the prison population, in a letter published in The Times on Saturday.
This month Mike Guilfoyle reflects on Erwin who served time in prison
Joe Sim writes on the grim legacy likely to be left by the recent White Paper on prison reform
'The overwhelming priority is for the Government to take a strategic view and set the path to reduce the number of people in prison over the long term', our Director Richard Garside told the Sunday People over the weekend.
Richard's comments came as the newspaper reported on concerns over a rise in racial violence in prison, and claimed that groups were being set up to target Muslim prisoners.
Richard told the paper:
Today's prisons White Paper marks the beginning of a new era of prison expansion and is the opposite of what is needed, according to our Director Richard Garside. Richard said:
Liz Truss is today firing the starting gun on a new era of prison growth and more punishment. This is the opposite of what is needed.
If the government is sincere in its desire to cut levels of violence, self-harm and suicide in prisons, it should be placing a fall in the number of prisoners and a reduction of prison capacity at the heart of its plans.
Putting the local community at the heart of redevelopment plans for the former women's prison in north London.
The bigger the prison, the less safe and respectful it is, according to new research published in the latest edition of Prison Service Journal.
The research, based on an assessment of reports from the Chief Inspector of Prisons for England and Wales, found that smaller prisons were seven times more likely to score ’good’ on safety, almost five times more likely to score ’good’ on respect, and over five times more likely to score ’good’ on purposeful activity.
The authors conclude:
Commenting on the appointment of Liz Truss as Justice Secretary our Director, Richard Garside, said:
Liz Truss' predecessor, Michael Gove, seems destined to go down as the great prison reformer whose career was ended before he had time to disappoint prison reformers.
Regardless of the balance sheet on his time in office, the appointment of Liz Truss affords a welcome opportunity for a rethink of his plans for "Reform Prisons".
Prison reforms proposed in the Queen's speech should be seen as an attempt to legitimise prisons and will not be sustained argues J M Moore