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.

 

Feb7 4 days ago by alex

Commenting on David Cameron's call to rethink of the way the prison system in England and Wales treats pregnant women and mothers with babies, Juliet Lyon, Director of Prison Reform Trust, said: 

"There is huge sense in making sure that women pay back for what they have done in the community rather than suffer harsh separation from babies and toddlers in prison and the long term damage that does."

The Prison Reform Trust recently published a discussion paper, Sentencing of Mothers, proposes a number of reforms to reduce the number of children separated from their mothers through imprisonment. The paper considers sentencing policy, process and practice through a review of case law and research evidence, talking to mothers in prison, and consultations with key individuals and organisations.

read more...
Jan27 27/01/2016 00:01:00 by alex

Trustees and staff are delighted to announce that James Timpson OBE is to chair the Prison Reform Trust from April 2016. James is Chief Executive of Timpson, a family business of 1400 shops across the UK and Ireland. Named last week as one of the Sunday Times’ Britain’s 500 most influential people, he is well known and respected for his leading role in training, mentoring and employing former prisoners—with 10% of Timpson colleagues recruited directly from prison.

Read the full story by clicking "read more".

read more...
Jan14 14/01/2016 00:01:00 by alex

Charities and local businesses are struggling to fill volunteer and work placements as a result of strict rules on the temporary release of prisoners introduced by the former Justice Secretary Chris Grayling.

The changes to release on temporary licence (ROTL) are squandering the goodwill of voluntary and private sector organisations and preventing prisoners from getting jobs and training in the community to help them turn their lives around, a joint briefing published today by Clinks and the Prison Reform Trust reveals.

Click 'read more' for the full story.

read more...
Jan12 12/01/2016 10:20:00 by alex

Commenting on the allegations made in the BBC Panorama programme broadcast on Monday 11 January 2016 regarding Medway Secure Training Centre (STC), Peter Dawson, Deputy Director of the Prison Reform Trust, said:

“The evidence Panorama has produced is profoundly shocking. Those who abuse and those who turn a blind eye must be brought to book.  Police investigations need to be concluded quickly and prosecutions follow.

“The allegation that records are routinely falsified is also very serious, and the future of Medway must be considered by ministers. But the issue goes well beyond one secure training centre. The abuse of authority by staff is a constant and severe risk in any custodial institution. It is one of many reasons why locking up children must always be an absolute last resort. The safeguards in Secure Training Centres (STCs) and Young Offender Institutions are comprehensive in theory. But the fact that they have failed so terribly in this instance must make us ask whether those safeguards actually work.”

read more...
Jan4 04/01/2016 14:34:00 by alex

Juliet Lyon, director of the Prison Reform Trust

Most people would say they know something about prison. They recognise the abiding austere image of the barred cell window or, in contrast, the holiday camp, beloved by the tabloid press, where old lags are reported to laze at taxpayers' expense. Yet, despite our zest for incarceration, few really know what life is like beyond the locked iron gates.

Prisons are our least visible, most beleaguered public service. At the close of the year, 70 of 117 prisons in England and Wales are overcrowded. As prison numbers soared to over 85,000 in 2015, drastic budget cuts saw staff numbers plummet. Serious assaults rose and purposeful activity fell to highest and lowest recorded levels respectively. The facts and figures about the state of our prisons and the state of people in them are carefully laid out and referenced in our Bromley Briefings Prison Factfile, Autumn 2015.

To read the full article click 'read more'.

read more...
Dec23 23/12/2015 14:25:00 by alex

On 17 December, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted the revised UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners—the Nelson Mandela Rules.

Whilst not legally binding, the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, adopted sixty years ago, provide guidelines for international and domestic law for citizens held in prisons and other forms of custody; as well as providing the framework for inspection and monitoring of prisoner treatment.

Click 'read more' to read the full story.

read more...
first arrow previous arrow  next arrow last arrow