KeepOut, an innovative crime diversion scheme delivered by dedicated teams of serving prisoners, has won the inaugural Robin Corbett Award for Prisoner Rehabilitation 2013.
A new report released today by the Prison Reform Trust and YoungMinds reveals that high numbers of vulnerable children with mental health needs and learning disabilities are getting caught up in the criminal justice system. The charities found that children who offend have health, care and education needs which, if not met, could lead to a lifetime of ill health, unemployment and crime.
Most foreign national women in custody in England and Wales who have been trafficked into offending are not getting the help and support to which they are entitled as victims of crime, a University of Cambridge report reveals.
The report’s authors found violence, intimidation and rape were common experiences of the women, but evidence of their suffering was often overlooked and they did not receive the protection guaranteed to them as victims of human trafficking under international law. In only one of the cases of human trafficking identified by the researchers did victim disclosures result in a full police investigation in relation to the actions of the perpetrators.
The Prison Reform Trust has today published a briefing to assist MPs in the Second Reading Debate on the Crime and Courts Bill on Monday 14 January. Following discussions with MPs and the outcome of previous stages of the Bill, the briefing highlights key parts to Schedule 15 (Dealing non-custodially with offenders) as well as significant omissions in the Bill.
Commenting on new government plans for prison closures and building, Juliet Lyon, director of the Prison Reform Trust, said:
"Closing prisons and reducing prison numbers offers major social and economic gains but it would be a gigantic mistake if the Justice Secretary were to revive the discredited idea of titans and pour taxpayers' money down the prison building drain, when the Coalition Government could invest in crime prevention, healthcare and community solutions to crime.
"Small community prisons tend to be safer and better at reducing reoffending than huge anonymous establishments.
"Prison is an important place of last resort for serious and violent offenders not, as it has become, a place to dump people who are mentally ill, those with learning disabilities, addicts and vulnerable women and children."
Plans to build three 2,500-capacity "Titan" jails by the previous government at a cost of £2.9 billion were scrapped in 2009 following representations by the Prison Reform Trust and allied organisations. Read our briefing here.
Peers have backed an important amendment to the Crime and Courts Bill requiring contracts made with probation trusts to make "appropriate provision for the delivery of services to female offenders".
The amendment, drafted by the Prison Reform Trust with the assistance of Paul Cavadino, was moved by the Chair of the Prison Reform Trust, the former Lord Chief Justice Lord Woolf. It stated the need for programmes to prevent reoffending with "the particular needs of women in mind".
A new prison service instruction is set to improve sentencing planning for prisoners, especially for those serving an Indeterminate sentence for Public Protection (IPP) and for people who have a learning disability.
A YouGov opinion poll, released today by the Prison Reform Trust, reveals strong public support for effective community and public health measures to prevent crime and disorder.
The poll is launched ahead of the delayed announcement by the Justice Secretary Chris Grayling, confirmed today in Parliament for early in the New Year, which is expected to introduce radical changes to the probation service and the way in which community sentences are delivered.
Treatment for drug addiction, intensive supervision of community orders, and mental health care were the top three solutions to get public backing in the poll commissioned by the Prison Reform Trust.
A YouGov opinion poll, launched today by the Prison Reform Trust, reveals strong support for public health measures to tackle women’s offending. Treatment for drug addiction, help to stop alcohol misuse, and mental healthcare, were the top three solutions to get public backing for reducing offending by women who commit non-violent crimes.
The Prison Reform Trust is launching these poll results on the day that Dame Elish Angiolini delivers the Prison Reform Trust lecture 2012 on Reforming Women’s Justice. You can watch the lecture here and read it here.
Read today's jointly signed letter in the Guardian calling on the government to comply with the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights and allow prisoners the vote.