Here you can find over 250 posts tracking every major development in our prisons since 2011. You can read prison safety statistics, find out about prison reform plans and (often lack of progress), positive developments and abject failures. If you’re looking for something in particular, try the search box below:
Although it is reassuring to hear that immigration removal centres are basically safe centres where many detainees are well cared for, it is distressing to hear that there is no reliable access to legal advice.
The Chief Inspector again attributed some of the difficulties to cuts in staff numbers. Given the reduction in the number of children in custody, it should be an achievable goal for new Justice Secretary Michael Gove to turn the situation around.
Sodexo and NACRO are the new partnership running the South Yorkshire Community Rehabilitation Company and it will be interesting to see whether they can have a positive impact on reducing the reoffending of released prisoners – their results will also be subject to a payment by results contracting approach, this time using both a binary and frequency (but not severity of offence) payment model.
It will be interesting to see whether the appointment of Michael Gove as Justice Secretary will have any impact on this parlous state of affairs. Clearly, the problems are becoming so entrenched that it will be difficult for much positive change to take place if, as is widely feared, the MoJ takes another big hit in the current spending review whose results will be announced in November 2015.
Nevertheless, he is forthright in saying that he shares the conclusion of the Justice Committee in attributing the main cause of this deterioration in the quality of our prisons to the financial cuts and, particularly the large reduction in the numbers of prison staff.
Delaying action until the resource position is easier is not an option. Unless progress is made, young people will continue to die unnecessarily in our prisons and we will continue to waste countless millions of pounds in failing to rehabilitate those who could be rehabilitated
The number of prison suicides and incidents of self-harm has risen sharply recently. Despite the best intentions of the Ombudsman, I fear it is reasonable to expect the figures to get worse and for more human lives to be needlessly lost as the Ministry of Justice embarks on another round of cuts.
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