Updates on criminal justice matters for October 2022:
We have produced a ‘prison patchwork’ (PDF) to mark National Prisons Week. Please use this resource to promote awareness.
STOP PRESS – Quakers welcome the Justice Committee report on Imprisonment for Public Protection. The long-awaited report on Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) sentences was published by the Justice Committee on the 28th of September. Members of the Quakers in Criminal Justice network welcome the conclusion that the IPP scheme is “irredeemably flawed” leading to “profound psychological harm” and “mental torture”. This distress continues on release, says the report, where ex-prisoners suffer a “never-ending cycle of anxiety” due to the indefinite nature of licence conditions, leaving them “traumatised and disconnected from society”. Read the full response (PDF). The new CCJS report IPP: Psychic Pain Redoubled picks up this issue.
The Prison Reform Trust's Bromley Briefings provide a comprehensive data set. Pages 8–10 (PDF) highlight Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups, who are disproportionally incarcerated. But this applies most of all to the Gypsy/Roma/Traveller community. An update follows on older people in prison and IPP prisoners (Imprisonment for Public Protection). We await the Justice Committee’s wide-ranging inquiry into IPP due this month and shall respond. Here is the entire PRT briefing (PDF).
Meanwhile staff shortages continue to undermine police, probation and especially, prison services. Recruitment targets are announced but there is no publicity about the high numbers leaving these services.
Check out the following course at Woodbrooke: Quakers Considering Penal Abolition. Monthly via Zoom, from October 18, cost £54.
The Independent Commission into the Experience of Victims and Long-term Prisoners by former Bishop of Liverpool has now reported. See item in QUAKE with comment by Tim Newell, followed by a link to the report (PDF) itself. This is an important initiative with which we should familiarise ourselves – the executive summary is a good way of doing so.
The state of prisons as exemplified by HMP Nottingham, in Guardian Long Read, followed by thought-provoking article by Mike Nellis prompted by this coverage: Thinking About Prison Abolition (PDF).
Compare prison systems in the UK with 46 other countries through the Council of Europe's SPACE I Report, also Prisons of the World by Andrew Coyle, review by Tim Newell in The Friend 7th of April.
Youth Justice services are performing better, according to this briefing (PDF), which flags up the use of ‘diversion’.
Read the first Statement from the Justice Interim Group Time to end Imprisonment for Public Protection (PDF), along with collated IPP experiences (PDF).
The Human Rights Act needs to be protected, article in Jewish Voice.
Probation Quarterly. Articles include: recognising maternal trauma in probation supervision; whether changes to the perception, treatment and approaches to work with women and girls affected by the criminal justice system have occurred, to what extent and to what effect.