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In response to the recent government announcements on a review of sentencingbuilding 10,000 additional prison places; and further investment in prison security, the Prison Reform Trust has written three separate letters seeking urgent clarification in order to assist our and wider public understanding.

We have written to:

  1. Robert Buckland—regarding the announcement of 10,000 additional prison places

  2. Richard Heaton—seeking clarification on the announcement of a review of sentencing

  3. Jo Farrar—about the announcement of £100m investment for additional prison security

Because of the public interest created by the announcements and the lack of opportunity for debate, we are publishing these letters and will publish the responses once they have been received.

You can read our response to the original announcements by clicking here.

Photo credit: Andy Aitchison

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Commenting on the government's announcement of a sentencing review, Peter Dawson, director of the Prison Reform Trust, said:

“A review should start with some facts. Sentences for violent and sexual offending have gone up very substantially over the last 15 years. After the appalling fiasco of the discredited IPP sentence introduced in a similar atmosphere in 2003, courts now have the option of extended determinate sentences which do everything the Prime Minister says he wants. And polling over many years has shown that the public consistently underestimates the actual severity of sentencing for serious crime. 

"Stoking up public anxiety with unevidenced assertions is a poor way to start a review that needs to take a dispassionate approach to a complex issue.”

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A new report published today (8 August) by the Prison Reform Trust demonstrates the benefits when prisoners are consulted about how to address areas of concern in prisons.

Prisoners reforming prisons focuses on three important areas of prison life—safety, respectful relationships, and the responsible use of time in prison. The prisoners’ input, summarised in this report, suggests solutions to crucial areas in which prisons’ performance have recently shown a marked decline.

The report is the second in a series under the Prison Reform Trust’s active citizens programme. The findings are based on work between the Prison Reform Trust and individual prisons to establish active citizen panels—providing a structure to consult prisoners about an issue that concerns them in their prison.

Click 'read more' for the full story

Photo credit: Andy Aitchison

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Recruitment – Building Futures

30/07/2019 16:33:00

The Prison Reform Trust wants to understand what long sentences mean for the people serving them, the families and friends left behind, and the system that is responsible for their care. Then we want to make a difference – to the way of life in prison for people serving very long sentences and to their ability to build a future in the community to which almost all will return.

The Building Futures will be an innovative prisoner-led project. It will give long term prisoners the opportunity and skills to influence the policies and practices that affect them, and to build the bridges between prison and community on which their futures depend.

We are recruiting a programme lead, a research officer and an administrator for this exciting new project, if you would like more information on the project or the application process please click this link.

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The Winston Churchill Memorial Fund are offering Fellowships in these fields: Arts for the built environment, Education, Emergency response, Enterprise & social impact, Environment, Conservation & sustainable living, Healthcare, Palliative and end of life care, Physical activity for healthier lives, Rural living, Science, Technology & engineering, Suicide prevention. There is an Open Category for anything else. Full details are available on their website.

Photo credit: Andy Aitchison

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