Comment pieces and articles

Prison Reform Trust director Juliet Lyon writes regularly for the Guardian's Comment is Free blog and other team members regularly contribute articles for other publications, you can read them here.

 

Nov19 3 days ago by

The Prison Reform Trust in partnership with leading thinktanks is providing platforms for the three main political parties to outline their justice proposals in the pre-election period. On Tuesday 18 November the Rt Hon Simon Hughes MP, Minister for Justice and Civil Liberties, delivered the keynote address at a meeting jointly hosted by the Prison Reform Trust and Centre Forum at the Mothers’ Union in Westminster.

Click 'read more' to read the speech.

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Nov18 18/11/2014 00:01:00 by alex

With the publication of a highly critical HM Inspectorate of Prisons report on HMP Hewell today (18 November), following several deeply disturbing reports from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons, there is now mounting evidence of an unfolding crisis in our prison system. Commenting, Juliet Lyon, Director of the Prison Reform Trust, said:

“Drastic staff and budget cuts combined with rushed policy decisions have left many prisons struggling to deliver even basic standards of safety, decency and rehabilitation. A rising tide of violence, self-harm and self-inflicted deaths reflect growing frustration and despair among prisoners. Parliament must act urgently to hold Ministers to account for the degradation of an essential public service."

Read the rest of the story by clicking 'read more'.

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Nov12 12/11/2014 10:00:00 by alex

The Prison Reform Trust is delighted to announce the winners of the 2014 writing competition, kindly supported by the Band Trust. 

The competition attracted a record 624 entries from men, women and children in prisons and the community. Judges included Rachel Billington OBE, Kingslee 'Akala' Daley, Erwin James, Michael Morpurgo OBE, Chris Mullin and Femi Oyeniran. Prizes were awarded in three categories for comment, short story and lyric/rap. 

The competition was covered in the Guardian online last week and in the Society Guardian today

Read the winning entries by clicking here.

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Oct28 28/10/2014 00:01:00 by alex

A prison system built to hold young men is struggling to cope with the rapidly growing numbers of old, sick and disabled people behind bars, a new Prison Reform Trust report, supported by the Bromley Trust, reveals.

The report, launched at HMP Brixton today (Tuesday 28 October), comes the day before the Prisons Minister Andrew Selous MP is due to give evidence on older prisoners to the Justice Select Committee.

People aged 60 and over and those aged 50–59 are the first and second fastest growing age groups in the prison population. Between 2002 and 2014 there was an increase of 146% and 122% in the number of prisoners held in those age groups respectively. On 31 March 2014 there were 102 people in prison aged 80 and over. Five people in prison were 90 or older.

Ever-lengthening sentences mean people in prison are growing old and frail with high rates of unmet social care and support needs. Two in five (37%) of those over the age of 50 in prison have a disability.

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Nov7 07/11/2014 14:34:00 by tony
The Criminal Justice and Courts Bill will have its Third Reading in the House of Lords on Monday 10 November. During the Report Stage debate the government introduced amendments into the Bill to create a new public function entitled “recall adjudicator”. This new body would carry out the review of whether determinate sentenced prisoners released on licence and subsequently recalled to prison should be re-released. The function is currently carried out by the Parole Board.
 
The Prison Reform Trust and JUSTICE share concerns regarding the practical operation of the recall adjudicator and the legal basis for the decision to create the role. We have prepared a joint briefing in support of Lord Woolf’s amendment to Clause 8 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill to provide parliamentary oversight of arrangements for the recruitment, qualifications, training and costs of recall adjudicators.

Read a copy of the briefing here

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Nov5 05/11/2014 14:22:00 by tony
The British Medical Association have published a report on the vital role doctors have to play in preventing vulnerable children and young people ending up in custody
 
Young lives behind bars: The health and human rights of children and young people detained in the criminal justice system, sets out how doctors can recognise risk factors for future offending and seize the opportunity to intervene. read more...
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