Prisons, by their very nature, are likely to be associated with sadness, discomfort and deprivations. But with self-inflicted deaths over six times more likely to occur amongst prisoners than in the general population, it is a sad and troubling fact that they remain an enduring part of prison life.

By exploring distress in prison from the perspective of those who live there, and drawing from a range of other sources including television documentaries and podcasts, newspaper articles, academic and grey literature, this report focuses on how aspects of the prison environment can interact with well-known self-harm and suicide risk factors to either reduce or increase risk further.

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Thinking Differently, written by Dr Mia Harris, Dr Rachel Tynan and Dr Kimmett Edgar, explores employers’ attitudes towards hiring people convicted of sexual offences. Its findings are based on a survey of employers and interviews with prison resettlement officers, employers, charities and other professionals.

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Safety from physical assault is an essential requirement of an effective and humane penal system. In our third PPN briefing we asked our members "How can we reduce tensions, conflict and violence in prison?".

This report, following consultation with over 1,000 serving prisoners, as well as former prisoners, family members and members of staff, makes clear that despite discontent there are initiatives, practices and approaches that prisoners feel are effective.

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Since 2015, the Prison Reform Trust’s Transforming Lives programme has aimed to reduce women’s imprisonment across the UK. During that time the programme has engaged with over 150 women with lived experience of the criminal justice system. As we prepare to draw the programme to a close this autumn, research by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen), published today, gives an insight into how women were involved, and the perceived impact of their contribution.

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The rollout of secure video calls in prisons should be speeded up to ease the distress of families and their loved ones unable to see each other since the cancellation of social visits, a new briefing by the Prison Reform Trust suggests.

Based on 278 contributions from families and prisoners in England and Wales, the briefing reveals a mounting sense of anger, frustration and despair over more than 3 months of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions in prisons.

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