Comment pieces and articles

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

Recent articles

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.

Click 'read more' to read the full article.

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.

Click 'read more' to find out more about the new changes. read more...
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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May1 01/05/2018 00:01:00 by Ryan Harman

A number of people have contacted us recently asking about the impact of confiscation orders on other aspects of prison. If you have a confiscation order there are implications for things such as recategorisation, ROTL and HDC, particularly if you have defaulted and are currently serving the default term.

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Apr1 01/04/2018 00:01:00 by Ryan Harman

Under the Equality Act 2010, it is unlawful to discriminate, harass or victimise someone because they have a protected characteristic. Protected characteristics are age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, sex, and sexual orientation.

Click 'read more' for information on what you can do if you are experiencing or have witnessed discrimination in prison, and how you can report it.

Mar1 01/03/2018 00:01:00 by Ryan Harman

Home Detention Curfew (HDC) is a scheme which allows some people to be released from custody early to a suitable address providing they stay there during certain hours—usually a 12 hour period through the night. This is monitored by an electronic tag which you would be required to wear—which is why it is often referred to as 'tagging'.

Rumours about HDC are commonplace in prison, and barely a week goes by without someone asking us if the eligibility criteria have been extended. Sadly, there is no truth to these rumours at present, and changes to eligibility like this would need a change in legislation first.

However, HM Prisons and Probation Service are currently trying to improve the procedures for those who are eligible for HDC, and this drive is accompanied by new guidance for prisons, PSI 01/2018 Home Detention Curfew Assessment Process.

Click 'read more' for the full story.