step change at prt

 

As you will be aware, we were delighted to announce in January that James Timpson OBE is to chair PRT from tomorrow, 1st April 2016. We are pleased to tell you that our current chair, Lord Woolf, has kindly agreed to become honorary president of the Prison Reform Trust alongside Douglas Hurd.

I am also taking this opportunity to let friends know of my own plan to step down in the summer as director of PRT. In a measured transition for the charity, this will enable our new Chair and the Board of Trustees to choose a new director, the third in its history, to lead our excellent team and make a substantive contribution to the proposed new prison reform bill and forthcoming white paper. There is huge scope to build on recent achievements which we have helped to secure from reducing child imprisonment to developing services to divert people with mental health needs or a learning disability into the treatment and care they need.

I am tremendously grateful to have been given the opportunity, with your support, to lead such a good charity and to champion such a worthwhile cause. In over sixteen years there has been so much to learn from all those involved with and in prisons, about advocacy and the need to take a balanced, strategic approach, about the nature of critical friendship to a valued but beleaguered public service, about how to brook disappointment and how, hopefully without over-claiming, to celebrate the success of PRT with our partners and supporters.

Juliet has written an article for the Guardian about plan to step down, you can read it by clicking this link.

You can listen to a BBC profile of Juliet by clicking here and read her article in the Friend.

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HMP Pentonville, north LondonCommenting on HM Inspectorate of Prisons report on HMP Pentonville, Juliet Lyon, Director of the Prison Reform Trust, said:

"Despite some welcome improvements, this report is one in a long line of inspectorate reports into large, local Victorian jails which show that the pressures of coping with shrinking budgets and rising prison numbers are turning parts of our prison estate into human warehouses, with staff who are hard pressed to provide purposeful activity, education and employment or meet even the basic needs of such a vulnerable and needy population."

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Commenting on the government’s announcement today of an independent review into the deaths of young people in custody, Juliet Lyon, Director of the Prison Reform Trust, said:

“We welcome the government’s commitment to establish an independent review into the deaths of young people in custody. In preparation for and during the review, it will be vital that proper account is taken of the views and experiences of bereaved families. The scope of the review should extend well beyond the short journey from the court to prison. The review has the potential to go further than coroners are able, and many would like, to take account of how a young person first got into trouble, underlying vulnerability or history of abuse or neglect and the sentencing decisions that led to imprisonment.

Click 'read more' to see our full comment.


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PrisonWorks, a volunteer-led charity based in the Isle of Man prison at Jurby which provides restorative programmes for prisoners to help them address the consequences of their actions, has won the Robin Corbett Award for Prisoner Rehabilitation 2014. The award is kindly supported by the Worshipful Company of Weavers.

The runner up prize was awarded to The Forgiveness Project for its preparatory restorative justice work undertaken as part of its national RESTORE programme at HMP-YOI Parc in Wales.

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Commenting on the Criminal Justice Joint Inspectorate report, A joint inspection of the treatment of offenders with learning disabilities within the criminal justice system: phase 1 from arrest to sentence, Juliet Lyon, Director of the Prison Reform Trust, said:

“This report reveals that at every turn people with learning disabilities caught up in the justice system are being let down by a failure to recognise and meet their needs. Often vulnerable and isolated, people with learning disabilities are getting little or no help to understand and navigate a scary and incomprehensible world of police stations and courts."

Click read more to see our full comment.

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