prison

A successful approach to tackling drug-related crime

These are outstanding outcomes and demonstrate the importance of a recovery-oriented treatment approach as a long term solution to tackling drug-related crime; interestingly, reconviction rates for RAPt graduates go down further in the second year post-release. Unfortunately, less than 2% of the prison population who currently need this sort of intensive intervention is receiving it. It remains to be seen if Michael Gove, the new Justice Secretary, can improve on that figure.

Substance misuse and mental health in prison

Bradley found that mental health and substance misuse services in prisons did not work well together and that this situation did not improve in the five years between his two reports. RAPt’s experience is that only the minority of inmates with acute mental health problems currently receive treatment in prison, with the majority having to cope with their problems in a hostile prison environment without dedicated support.

Tackling drug-related crime

Changes in probation and substance misuse commissioning, combined with the very significant cuts to the prison system, have made it much more difficult for drug and/or alcohol dependent offenders to get the treatment which they need to achieve recovery, in which society needs to tackle crime.

Reducing smoking in prison

The PHE report summarises our understanding of smoking in prison. On the one hand, limited access to tobacco can reduce how much and how often prisoners smoke as can the cost of tobacco for those surviving on a prison income.

Conversely, smoking is often seen as a coping strategy to manage the stress of imprisonment and helps to alleviate boredom. Not smoking in a culture where a large majority of people smoke can also be socially isolating. And, of course “Burn” remains one of the principal prison currencies.

If Alex Cavendish were Justice Secretary

At the moment our prisons are a ticking time bomb that could explode into violence without warning. Frontline staff shortages and overcrowding are contributing to this explosive and toxic environment. If I were Secretary of State for Justice my first priority would be to ensure that no prison in England and Wales has less staff than it needs to operate a safe, normal regime.

The Prison Governors’ Association justice priorities

We cannot go on thinking we can imprison our way to a safer society, not only is it poor value for money for the taxpayer, it also fails to recognise the evidence already available that there are better and more cost effective ways to protect the public and reduce reoffending.

Drugs in Prison

Although it is obvious that the main reason that such large quantities of drugs get into prison is to feed the demand of the many dependent drug users inside, it has long been a significant concern that as many as one in five heroin users took the drug for the first time in custody.

Justice Committee highly critical of penal policy

The Committee highlights under-resourcing again and says that unless staffing shortages are addressed and the backlog of risk assessments cleared, the new probation providers will be hampered “considerably” in their efforts to provide a better through-the-gate service and reduce reoffending.

Who’s taking drugs into prison?

Cuts in public expenditure have resulted in very well-publicised shortages of prison staff. It may well be that these figures fall in 2014/15 , not because there are less drugs getting into our prisons, but because there are less prison staff to detect them.

13 things you didn’t know about prison Christmas dinner

Unfortunately, it wasn’t possible to compare Christmas lunch at public and private prisons as the MoJ only provided information on public sector prisons, although they helpfully provided contact details for contracted out establishments.

Stopping the use of phones in prison

However, new mobile jamming equipment trialled in Scotland in Spring 2014 is reported to be more successful with just over 200 mobiles detected in HMP Shotts and HMP Glenochil during the first six weeks – more than double the amount confiscated in the whole of the previous year.

Inside Twitter: Tweeting from prison

00000My recent series on how to make the most of Twitter for workers in the criminal justice system created a decent amount of interest among police, probation and legal staff but very little from those working in prison. This is entirely unsurprising since people inside generally don’t have access to mobile phones or the internet. So, if prison officers can’t access Twitter, how can a prisoner tweet – and do so regularly? There was a …

Inside Twitter: Tweeting from prisonRead More »

Facebook Fools 2: Man bites Dog

00000  Many a Finally Friday post has focused on the recklessness and straightforward stupidity of criminals who have advertised their offences on social media and been promptly arrested. This week’s frivolous post looks at similar foolhardy acts committed by police and prison officers who really should have known better. As Alfred Harmsworth famously said: “When a dog bites a man, that is not news, because it happens so often. But if a man bites a …

Facebook Fools 2: Man bites DogRead More »

And Finally: Friday

00000In the course of researching posts for this Blog, I have come across many bizarre stories about how offenders have incriminated themselves by the innovative, accidental or imbecilic use of social media. Occasionally, police, probation or prison officers have also dropped online clangers. These don’t always make it into the posts themselves, but it’s a shame not to share them. So, I’ve started a new series dedicated to the sort of strange but true stories …

And Finally: FridayRead More »

Inside Facebook: the rise of the cell phone

00000 Cell phones This is the third in a series of posts about the use of social media in different parts of the criminal justice. The use of mobile phones in prison has been an increasing problem over the last 10 years. I was part of a team which conducted an extensive study into prison drug markets back in 2004 and although it was relatively easy to smuggle drugs in by a variety of routes (using the …

Inside Facebook: the rise of the cell phoneRead More »

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