Comment pieces and articles

Prison Reform Trust staff regularly write articles for online and print publications, you can read them here.

Recent articles

Jun1 01/06/2019 00:01:00 by Ryan Harman

In 2017 Lord Farmer published a review about ‘The Importance of Strengthening Family Ties’ for men in prison. The review made several recommendations which would help to put families at the centre of safe and rehabilitative prison regimes. A further review has since been looking at family ties for women in prison as part of the Female Offender Strategy.

As part of their response to the Farmer review, HMPPS have now published a Policy Framework entitled Strengthening Prisoners Family Ties. PRT's Advice and Information Manager, Ryan Harman takes a look at the Policy Framework and explains what it means for people in prison.

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Apr1 01/04/2019 00:01:00 by Ryan Harman
In December 2018 HMPPS published a Policy Framework about Access to Digital Evidence—also referred to as ‘A2DE’ for short. It covers the provision of what was previously known as ‘Access to Justice’ equipment, such as laptops, which are available in some circumstances to help with legal proceedings, and to view electronic disclosure by the Crown as evidence for the prosecution in any legal case.

Click 'read more' to find out about the new changes and how to get in touch with our advice team if you require further information.
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Mar1 01/03/2019 00:01:00 by Ryan Harman

In June 2018, the Ministry of Justice published their Female Offender Strategy which embraces the case for a specific approach to women, whose offending is more likely to be affected by domestic abuse, coercive relationships and unmet health and social care needs, and who are more likely than men to be primary carers of children. The strategy acknowledges that for these reasons outcomes for women in custody can be even worse than for men. The government has promised to reduce the use of short prison sentences (nearly half of all women given a prison sentence are sentenced to less than 6 months) and increase the use of community sentences that would come with support.

As part of the implementation of the Strategy, the policy document covering women in prison - Prison Service Order (PSO) 4800 Women Prisoners - has been reviewed and replaced by the Women’s Policy Framework.

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Feb1 01/02/2019 16:02:00 by Ryan Harman

From the start of February 2019, an updated instruction comes into effect which covers adjudications – PSI 05/2018 Prisoner Discipline Procedures (Adjudications). This replaces PSI 47/2011 which previously dealt with the subject. It also has also been combined with policy on recovering money for damages to prisons and prison property, previously in PSI 31/2013 which is also cancelled as a result.

The summary explains that the new document is the first stage in a process of reviewing adjudications in prison which will eventually result in a Policy Framework on the subject – the new form of guidance documents which we have mentioned in recent articles.

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Jan1 01/01/2019 00:01:00 by Ryan Harman
It’s the time of year when winter bugs mean we are all more likely to have need of healthcare services. Unfortunately, access to healthcare services in prison is still one of the major concerns that people raise through our advice service—a point that we made to the Health and Social Care committee last year during their inquiry into Prison health.

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Dec1 01/12/2018 00:01:00 by Ryan Harman
Last month we wrote about some of the current and upcoming changes outlined in the recently published Manage the Custodial Sentence Policy Framework. Also included in this document is a reference to a new duty that prisons now have in relation to resettlement.

The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 introduced a duty on public authorities in England, including prisons, to refer anyone who may be homeless or threatened with homelessness to local housing authorities.

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Nov1 01/11/2018 00:01:00 by Ryan Harman

In November 2016 the Justice Secretary, then Liz Truss, announced 2,500 additional prison officers as part of the Prison Safety and Reform white paper. This included ‘new dedicated officers, each responsible for supervising and supporting around six offenders’. Two justice secretaries later, and this approach has become part of what is now known as ‘Offender Management in Custody’ – or ‘OMiC’ for short.

In their annual report this year, HMPPS described OMiC as a key part of the response to self-inflicted deaths, self-harm and violence in prison. It is intended to improve safety by engaging with people, building better relationships between staff and prisoners and helping people settle in to life in prison. We understand that the keyworker model has currently been rolled out in about 15 prisons, with the aim for it to be rolled out across the male closed estate by next summer.

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