Keeping you up to date with drugs and crime

I set up this blog to stimulate debate around the rapid changes in the way we deliver public services, especially in the arenas of crime and drug &  alcohol treatment, which I specialise in.

The blog went live on 1 September 2011 and has continued to focus on these two key areas, with a side interest in payment by results.

Over the past six years, the pace of change in both these sectors has accelerated, driven by some very different forces:

  • The ongoing reductions in public expenditure have drastically altered the way public (and private and voluntary) sector organisations deliver services — and has resulted in a prison service on the brink of collapse and an ongoing re-definition of the role of our police.
  • Radical government policies (most driven by the need to cut public expenditure) have privatised and fragmented the probation service and are currently trying to reform the prison system.
  • In the substance misuse sector, the advent of New Psychoactive Substances (particularly synthetic cannabinoids) has resulted in very different patterns of drug use and different types of help needed.
  • The advent of new technology and of smartphone apps in particular is revolutionising the way we help people get free from dependency or move away from crime.

New content daily

A new post is published daily; summarising the latest ministerial speeches, policy initiatives, research or new practice methods. I’m increasingly keen to host guest blogs and recent contributors have included:

  • Bob Neill, Chair of the House of Commons Justice Select Committee
  • Martin Jones, Chief Exec of the Parole Board
  • Dame Glenys Stacey, Chief Inspector of Probation
  • Best selling author Tom Gash
  • Catch 22
  • The Criminal Justice Alliance
  • Prisoner Ben

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Every Sunday evening, I send out the Week in Justice, a summary of the week’s main developments in the criminal justice world.


The site also holds a number of more in-depth resources, all of which are free-to-access and/or download. These include:

A growing community

The blog has continued to grow steadily with traffic continuing to increase  (the last year saw over 300,000 different people visit the site, with more than 8 million page views). More importantly, the blog has increasingly stimulated comment and debate. Although, like most blogs, discussion tends to happen less in the comments section at the end of posts, more on TwitterLinkedIn, phone and e-mail – and even occasionally in person!

A blog, of course, is just a waste of hyperspace unless visitors read something that makes them want to express an opinion. I hope you’ll want to post comments and generally get involved.


January 2018


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