prison

Call for fewer prisoners and prisons, not more staff

'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:

Truss fires starting gun on new era of prison growth

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.

Size matters in prison safety

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:

Comment on Justice and Home Secretary appointments

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".

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