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.


Oct23 2 days ago by alex

Government plans to hold young children and girls with older teenage boy in a proposed new 320-place “secure college” in Leicester were rejected by Peers in a tight vote in the House of Lords during the Report Stage (Day 2) debate on the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill. Peers voted by 186 to 185, majority one, to back a proposal to prevent the establishments housing girls or children under the age of 15. 

Read the full debate by clicking here.

Oct17 17/10/2014 17:44:00 by alex

The Prison Reform Trust has prepared a briefing (pdf) to assist Peers in the Report Stage (Day 1) debate on the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill, which is scheduled to take place on Monday 20 October.

The Criminal Justice and Courts Bill is the fourth Ministry of Justice-led criminal justice bill introduced by the Coalition Government. Following a series of troubling HM Inspectorate of Prisons and Independent Monitoring Board reports and the Chief Inspector of Prisons Nick Hardwick’s warning of a “political and policy failure” in prison policy, it is difficult to understand why the Government is introducing measures which will increase the size of the prison population, raise public costs and add significantly to the work of criminal justice agencies at a time when staff, resources and budgets are already overstretched. Many of the provisions involve significant transfers of powers to the Secretary of State, limiting the discretion of operational managers and reducing scope for effective Parliamentary scrutiny. Plans for a 300-place secure college, housing boys and girls aged 12-17, along with mandatory prison sentences for knife possession, could drive up the numbers of children in custody following a welcome period of decline both in youth imprisonment and youth crime. 

Oct15 15/10/2014 17:57:00 by

The Prison Reform Trust has had letters published in two national broadsheets, the Guardian, about a recent IMB report on Wormwood Scrubs, and the Daily Telegraph about proposals to build the largest children's prison in Europe. 

Sep29 29/09/2014 15:03:00 by francesca cooney
Following the recent difficulties with ROTL, guidance continues to develop. Another policy has recently been issued. However, this is temporary as PSO 6300 is still being reviewed. We expect further guidance later in the year but have set out the main changes below. read more...
Sep29 29/09/2014 15:01:00 by francesca cooney
There have been plans to review ROTL for a while and this was happening before the recent publicity regarding absconds from ROTL and open prisons. Although there have been negative stories in the press, the facts show the overall success of the use of ROTL. The Prison Governors' Association has gathered information to show that, of the 485,000 ROTL days in 2012, the failure rate for a further offence being committed was 5 in 100,000 or 0.005%. read more...
Sep29 29/09/2014 14:58:00 by francesca cooney
Half of all those sentenced to custody are not registered with a GP before they go to prison. NHS England, (the organisation that oversees prison health) is aware that prisoners are more likely than the general population to have poor health and are working to improve their situation. read more...
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