The Prison Reform Trust has been engaged in long-standing dialogue with the Ministry of Justice and HM Prison and Probation Service regarding the decision to roll out PAVA incapacitant spray to prisons across the adult male closed estate.

Copies of all of the correspondence can be read by clicking 'read more'

Read more


This briefing provides an overview of the evidence on women’s employment opportunities and barriers, considers the national policy context, profiles good practice, and makes recommendations to accelerate progress. Drawing on the experiences and insights of women themselves and the organisations that support them, its purpose is to inform policy and practiceand improve employment outcomes for women in contact with the criminal justice system.

Read more


Planned government changes to sentencing will add to pressures on our overcrowded and overstretched prisons, without reducing crime or improving public confidence, a new Prison Reform Trust report warns.

The latest edition of the Bromley Briefing Prison Factfile reveals that, contrary to the impression given in much recent political debate and media coverage, England and Wales have become much tougher in their approach to punishing serious crime over the past few decades, on a scale which exceeds comparable countries or historical precedent.

Writing in the report in a specially commissioned section on life sentences, Professor Ben Crewe and Dr Susie Hulley, from the University of Cambridge, and Dr Serena Wright, from Royal Holloway, University of London, reveal a dramatic increase in the number of people serving sentences that were until recently considered wholly exceptional in their severity.

Click 'read more' for the full story

Read more


As part of our continuing work to scrutinise the roll out of PAVA incapacitant spray to prisons across the adult male closed estate, the Prison Reform Trust submitted a Freedom of Information request seeking further information about the adequacy of safeguarding measures.

The response includes a copy of the readiness assessment, training plan and a copy of the Prison Group Director sign off for HMP Hindley—one of the first prisons to be approved for the roll out of PAVA following the initial pilot.

Read more


The families of people serving Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) sentences are not getting enough help to deal with the painful burden of supporting their relative through their sentence, a joint report by the Prison Reform Trust and Southampton University reveals.

The IPP was abolished in 2012, but there are still 2,223 people in prison serving the sentence, nine in 10 of whom are passed their tariff expiry date. A further 1,206 people are in prison having been recalled while serving an IPP sentence in the community. The latest Ministry of Justice statistics show that the recall rate now exceeds the rate of release for people serving IPPs.

A Helping Hand: Supporting Families in the Resettlement of People Serving IPPs, found that the pains and barriers faced by the families of people serving IPP sentences have not sufficiently been addressed by criminal justice agencies.

One family member, quoted in the report said “As a family it has destroyed us, and we need all the support we can get."

Click 'read more' for the full story

Photo credit: Andy Aitchison

Read more