Inside Time Articles

Ryan Harman, PRT's advice and information service manager, writes a regular column for the prison newspaper Inside Time, you can read his articles here.

Nov1 01/11/2017 00:01:00 by Ryan Harman

Correspondence in the last two months of Inside Time has prompted fresh enquires about sex offender notification requirements and reminded us about the level of confusion that still exists around this subject. People often tell us of their frustration after being told different information by different advisers about whether it applies to them. Although Stevens Solicitors have already provided further explanation in October’s edition, we thought it would be worth covering this again to help anybody who is still unsure, and provide clarity about the information we give on the subject.

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Oct1 01/10/2017 00:01:00 by Ryan Harman

Body Worn Video Cameras are becoming more common in prisons following a commitment by HMPPS, previously NOMS, to roll them out nationally as part of attempts to improve safety and security in prison.

In this article, Ryan Harman, Advice and Information Manager at the Prison Reform Trust explains the rules currently governing their use.

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Aug1 01/08/2017 00:01:00 by Ryan Harman

Provisions for people in prison under The Care Act 2014 came into force in England in 2015. It made clear what duties prisons and local authorities have for people with social care needs in custody. It means that local councils have a responsibility to assess possible social care needs of people in prison and approved premise in their area. They should also ‘provide information and advice to aid well-being, and services such as aids to daily living that will prevent, reduce or delay increased care needs developing’.

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Jul1 01/07/2017 00:01:00 by Ryan Harman

Earlier this year, the Correctional Services Accreditation and Advisory Panel (CSAAP) recommended that the prison service replace Core and Extended programmes with new offender behaviour programmes, Horizon and Kaizen. We have recently received several enquiries about the new programmes, and noticed that a number of people have been writing to Inside Time about this as well.

We therefore thought it would be helpful to share some of the information we have received from HMPPS (previously NOMS) about these programmes including who the programmes are for and course outlines. This article focusses on Kaizen, about which we have had the most enquiries recently.

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Jun1 01/06/2017 00:01:00 by Ryan Harman

When visiting a category B local prison recently, someone described to me the value of a visit from a family member whilst he is in prison. “Everyday in prison things happen which build up stress and frustration,” he said “and then you see your family and it is like that tension has been released and you can carry on again”.

Sadly, for some people arranging a visit from family or friends is not always easy.  Many people are held in establishments far from their loved ones. Expensive and time consuming journeys are not always possible, particularly when those journeys involve multiple and unreliable transportation or if a family member has health problems or mobility difficulties. Juggling work and childcare commitments with available visit slots can also be a major challenge.

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May1 01/05/2017 00:01:00 by Ryan Harman

Extended sentences have been covered a number of times in Inside Time in the last couple of years, but there still seems to be some confusion about what they mean for release, categorisation and recall.

Part of the reason for the confusion is that there have been several types of extended sentences over the years, and changes made to these sentences over time which impact on how and when you can be released from prison.

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Apr1 01/04/2017 00:01:00 by Ryan Harman

This month we want to answer some common questions about a subject we get many calls about – Approved Premises.

Approved premises (AP) are premises approved under Section 13 of the Offender Management Act 2007. They provide intensive supervision for those who present a high or very high risk of serious harm.  They are mostly used for people on licence, but also accommodate small numbers of people on bail, community sentences or suspended sentences. As well as functioning as part of monitoring and risk management, they provide key workers and a programme of purposeful activity that is intended to help with reducing re-offending and reintegration into society.

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Mar1 01/03/2017 00:01:00 by Ryan Harman

Over the last few months our advice and information team has received a number of enquiries relating to access to hygiene items, and in particular toilet rolls. We have heard from people who say staff have limited them to one or two toilet rolls per week and have refused to provide more if this is not enough—instead saying that any additional toilet paper should be purchased on the canteen in advance. These challenges were echoed by a letter to the Inside Time mailbag which reported a whole wing without toilet paper for 4 days!

Estimating and limiting how much toilet paper a person may use in a week seems an unnecessary and intrusive approach. Prison rules are clear that if someone needs toilet paper it should be provided. It can be degrading enough to have to ask for basic toiletries such as this, without then being refused. 

This breakdown in common sense and decency is concerning given the government’s intention to reduce some of the detail in the current collection of prison service instructions which set out how a prison should be run.

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Feb1 01/02/2017 00:01:00 by Ryan Harman

The challenges of maintaining innocence in prison come up time and time again though our advice and information service, as well as in the mailbag of Inside Time. It can cause a number of difficulties in relation to IEP level, categorisation as well as parole. Sadly there are not any easy answers but there are a handful of references to this through the current Prison Service Instructions (PSIs) which are useful to know and might help.

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Dec1 01/12/2016 00:01:00 by Ryan Harman

Last December the Ministry of Justice announced a review into the care and management of transgender prisoners. A year later and finally the review has been published, accompanied by Prison Service Instruction 17/2016 The Care and Management of Transgender Offenders which must be fully implemented by 1st January 2017. Here we summarise some key points and changes.

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