Latest news and publications

Feb15 15/02/2016 16:31:00 by alex

On Wednesday 10 February Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Michael Matheson MSP delivered a speech at a packed workshop in Edinburgh on Women and Criminal Justice in Scotland, jointly organised by the Prison Reform Trust and the Criminal Justice Voluntary Sector Forum, to review progress towards implementing the Angiolini Commission recommendations to reduce the unnecessary imprisonment of women in Scotland.

Yvonne Donald is Programme Manager for Scotland and is based in Edinburgh with Families Outside, who are jointly leading the work to support the change of direction in Scotland in favour of small custodial units and community-based provision.

Michael Matheson’s speech was delivered ahead of an announcement by the Scottish Government, that HMP Cornton Vale would close. This is to allow preparatory work to begin ahead of the construction of a new national prison, which will hold significantly fewer women.

Get the full story by clicking 'read more'

read more...
Feb7 07/02/2016 12:38:00 by alex

Commenting on David Cameron's call to rethink of the way the prison system in England and Wales treats pregnant women and mothers with babies, Juliet Lyon, Director of Prison Reform Trust, said: 

"There is huge sense in making sure that women pay back for what they have done in the community rather than suffer harsh separation from babies and toddlers in prison and the long term damage that does."

The Prison Reform Trust recently published a discussion paper, Sentencing of Mothers, proposes a number of reforms to reduce the number of children separated from their mothers through imprisonment. The paper considers sentencing policy, process and practice through a review of case law and research evidence, talking to mothers in prison, and consultations with key individuals and organisations.

read more...
Jan12 12/01/2016 10:20:00 by alex

Commenting on the allegations made in the BBC Panorama programme broadcast on Monday 11 January 2016 regarding Medway Secure Training Centre (STC), Peter Dawson, Deputy Director of the Prison Reform Trust, said:

“The evidence Panorama has produced is profoundly shocking. Those who abuse and those who turn a blind eye must be brought to book.  Police investigations need to be concluded quickly and prosecutions follow.

“The allegation that records are routinely falsified is also very serious, and the future of Medway must be considered by ministers. But the issue goes well beyond one secure training centre. The abuse of authority by staff is a constant and severe risk in any custodial institution. It is one of many reasons why locking up children must always be an absolute last resort. The safeguards in Secure Training Centres (STCs) and Young Offender Institutions are comprehensive in theory. But the fact that they have failed so terribly in this instance must make us ask whether those safeguards actually work.”

read more...
Jan4 04/01/2016 14:34:00 by alex

Juliet Lyon, director of the Prison Reform Trust

Most people would say they know something about prison. They recognise the abiding austere image of the barred cell window or, in contrast, the holiday camp, beloved by the tabloid press, where old lags are reported to laze at taxpayers' expense. Yet, despite our zest for incarceration, few really know what life is like beyond the locked iron gates.

Prisons are our least visible, most beleaguered public service. At the close of the year, 70 of 117 prisons in England and Wales are overcrowded. As prison numbers soared to over 85,000 in 2015, drastic budget cuts saw staff numbers plummet. Serious assaults rose and purposeful activity fell to highest and lowest recorded levels respectively. The facts and figures about the state of our prisons and the state of people in them are carefully laid out and referenced in our Bromley Briefings Prison Factfile, Autumn 2015.

To read the full article click 'read more'.

read more...
Dec23 23/12/2015 14:25:00 by alex

On 17 December, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted the revised UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners—the Nelson Mandela Rules.

Whilst not legally binding, the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, adopted sixty years ago, provide guidelines for international and domestic law for citizens held in prisons and other forms of custody; as well as providing the framework for inspection and monitoring of prisoner treatment.

Click 'read more' to read the full story.

read more...
first arrow previous arrow  next arrow last arrow