Three months on, another Justice Secretary, another speech
Less than three months after David Lidington delivered his first keynote address as Lord Chancellor, a number of us gathered in central London to hear his successor, David Gauke, offer his take on prison reform. Though it was good to hear Mr Gauke emphasise the importance of clean and decent living conditions, his apparent belief that ‘reducing reoffending’ will meaningfully reduce the prison population is mistaken. This can only come about through a coherent and sustained plan to reduce the numbers criminalised and imprisoned in the first place.
In the news
Earlier this month, over 180 residents and community campaigners braved the snow to attend a packed Community Plan for Holloway meeting. The audience heard from an anti-prison activist, housing campaigners and local residents who together called for the land on the former prison site to be used in the community interest.
Last week, our research on the injustices of Joint Enterprise convictions was referenced in an excellent piece in The Guardian on how being young and black can be bad for your liberty.
Off the press
Our latest report, After Holloway, examines the impact on the prisoners of the closure of the Holloway prison. Published in partnership with Women in Prison, it draws on a consultation with some 50 women.
Comment and analysis
The system for monitoring police custody needs fundamental reform, writes John Kendall.
Read the speech by our Deputy Director, Will McMahon, on the emerging community vision for the former Holloway prison site.
Mike Guilfoyle reflects on how institutional failure led to a sad outcome.
With the prisons system in England and Wales in crisis, we are holding a roundtable on prisons, profit and privatisation later this month. Register today.
In June 2018, we are co-hosting the International Conference on Penal Abolition, bringing together those working for a world without prisons. Register your details here and you’ll be kept in the loop on our plans.
‘In 2016, the likelihood of self-inflicted death of offenders in custody was 8.6 times greater than the likelihood of suicide in the general population… It is lamentable that the UK’s prison system should have been allowed to decline to its current unsatisfactory levels, bringing with it a rise in depression and suicide as prisoners find themselves part of a system that puts containment above reform’. Recent Editorial comment in The Lancet.