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The latest research, policy, practice and opinion on our criminal justice and drug & alcohol treatment systems

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Hidden prison facts

New FOI releases shed light on prison staff sickness and discipline and the number of mobile phones found in our prisons.

Criminal Justice

Hidden criminal justice facts

Nuggets of interesting criminal justice information from recent MoJ FOI requests including the fact that 38 people were imprisoned for not having a TV licence.


How many prisoners are released by mistake?

New Freedom of Information request shows that 48 prisoners were accidentally released in 2014/15 – including one murderer and 5 prisoners from HMP Bullingdon.

drink driving

What do we know about drink drivers?

As always, it is difficult to speculate how accurately these figures reflect the amount of drink and drug driving on our roads. While drivers are routinely tested when they are involved in serious accidents, the majority of arrests for drink and drug driving reflect police activity.

Criminal Justice

How many serious offences are committed on bail?

Whenever there is any public debate about rates of imprisonment, you can be fairly confident that the tabloid press will produce figures on how many crimes are committed by people on bail. But what are the real figures?


Why do women get sent to prison?

Quite what so many short sentences (with prisoners spending a maximum of 13 weeks inside) achieve, given the disruption to the lives of women and their children, is very unclear to me.


NHS and probation reforms threaten offender health

Professor Brooker concludes with a plea that both the National Probation Service and the new private Community Rehabilitation Companies should be equipping their staff with training to at least recognise mental health disorders and to take some action in attempting to connect probationers to existing services.


The law can’t cope with crimes on social media

The ideal is for social media networks to police themselves, but you only have to look at some of the outrageous, sexually violent tweets that many women routinely encounter online to know that this approach isn’t always sufficient.


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.


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