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Prison

April 29, 2018
Everyone admits short prison sentences are ineffective, so why do the courts still use them?

Hallelujah! A government minister is openly saying that short prison sentences are a waste of… Read more

January 25, 2018
The children of mothers in prison – how can we avoid the collateral damage?

  “Emotionally, it’s terrible. It’s like they’ve changed so much, they’ve got behavioural problems. They… Read more

December 16, 2017
The question is not why the Scottish prison population has fallen, but why it hasn’t fallen further

If crime falls significantly you’d expect the prison population to fall too. That has happened in… Read more

October 6, 2017
The blame game: who bears responsibility for the rise in the prison population?

I tread incredibly warily in this space. Greater minds than mine turned on Andrew Adonis… Read more

September 15, 2017
The only way to reduce the prison population is to recognise that prison is a dead end

The clarion call to reduce the numbers in prison is being heard. Yesterday the Centre… Read more

August 26, 2017
If we don’t know why the prison population is rising, we have little hope of halting the rise

Who am I to comment on Ministry of Justice sentencing statistics? I am neither a… Read more

August 11, 2017
Why are do we imprison mothers for crimes like tampering with an electricity meter?

Mostly I retain faith in the humanity of all who work in the criminal justice… Read more

May 26, 2017
Are we imprisoning too many innocent people?

There are many people in prison who insist they are innocent. I’m very concerned about… Read more

February 4, 2017
Failing to turn up to meetings does not deserve imprisonment

Only in our mad, mad criminal justice system would you punish someone more severely for… Read more

December 8, 2016
Tacking teenage knife crime – is prison the answer?

“Once two boys tried to rob me. They were bigger than me, but when I… Read more

November 14, 2016
The modern ballad of Reading Gaol – a guest blog from Roma Hooper

“In the great prison where I was incarcerated, I was merely the figure and the… Read more

May 20, 2016
How do we reduce the number of women in prison?

The latest twist of the Archers story has highlighted the plight of women in the… Read more

May 14, 2016
Can we curb our addiction to the short prison sentence?

Prison is a dead end, whatever length of time you are there. The courts in… Read more

April 17, 2016
Setting women prisoners up to fail?

Its great to read a positive prison inspection report, as the one for Bronzefield was… Read more

April 1, 2016
Are magistrates using prison because they don’t know enough about community alternatives?

Its reassuring in a way to see how concerned magistrates themselves are about deficiencies in… Read more

February 19, 2016
Why do we have so many prisoners who are not convicted?

It is one of the cardinal principles of our justice system that people are innocent… Read more

February 11, 2016
What is the point of a child serving 108 days in prison?

Youth justice is my passion, and the reason I remain optimistic about the criminal justice… Read more

January 28, 2016
Can Gove change the prison debate single handed?

“It is because I am a Conservative that I believe in the rule of law… Read more

January 16, 2016
How many prisoners are languishing in prison who legally shouldn’t be there?

Around 100 people are imprisoned in England and Wales every year for non payment of… Read more

December 4, 2015
Devolution revolution – would it help reduce prison numbers?

England and Wales has one of the most centralised criminal justice systems and one of… Read more

November 13, 2015
Can we afford an extra 1140 recalls to prison?

Our prison population is too high and predicted to increase.  The main driver is sentence… Read more

November 13, 2015
Can we afford an extra 1140 recalls to prison?

Our prison population is too high and predicted to increase.  The main driver is sentence… Read more

May 30, 2015
why we still prosecute too many people

The number of prosecutions has gone down in recent years, but when I talk to… Read more

March 25, 2015
The power of a financial incentive in reducing imprisonment

The Lord Chancellor has given CRCs a financial incentive to reduce offending under a payment… Read more

June 10, 2014
“Man is born free, but is everywhere in chains”

The symbolism of chains is very strong – for me it evokes slavery and a… Read more

June 8, 2014
Reduction in child custody- a US success story

Its easy to get gloomy about mass incarceration in USA.  The numbers are so huge… Read more

June 6, 2014
How single-minded should those campaigning against the death penalty be?

Sometimes campaigners can stab each other in the back unwittingly.  In England and Wales, there… Read more

May 6, 2014
the continuous “arms race” in criminal justice

One of the reasons why our prisons are full to bursting is because our sentencing… Read more

March 19, 2014
How punitive can you be? The criminal justice arms race

How punitive is the man on the Clapham omnibus?  It is a subject that divides… Read more