A fortnight of prison news – what’s been written? And by whom? 10 need to know articles to keep you up to date on prisons in the press.



Ex-service personnel in the criminal justice system have made the headlines, following a review into their rehabilitation overseen by Chris Grayling.

1) New prisoners will be asked whether they have served in the armed forces and from January will be given tailored rehabilitation programs, The Independent reported last Sunday.

2) Chris Grayling, told the BBC last Sunday that a “huge debt of gratitude” was owed to those who had served their country.

3) But the report’s recommendations have not been welcomed by all. Mark Johnson, an ex-offender, told BBC 5 live last Sunday that rehabilitation shouldn’t be polarised and that ex-service personnel should not be given special treatment at the expense of others.


A season of upheaval and disorder for prison staff 

4) Official documents sent to the Howard League last Thursday outlined emergency measures to sidestep a Christmas staffing meltdown.

5) The Guardian picked up the story, reporting that more than 230 prison officers had been asked to work over Christmas to plug staffing gaps and that some had been sent over 60 miles away.

6) The worst staffing shortages were found in Woodhill prison, Milton Keynes, The Milton Keynes Citizen reported last Friday.


Overheard in prisons…

7)  Five privately run prisons have been accused of recording confidential prisoners’ phone callsThe Guardian reported last Tuesday.


In other news…

8) What are prisons like at Christmas? The Independent dispelled myths about spending the festive season behind bars.

9) Jailbreak, why so popular? Duncan Campbell of The Guardian asked last Tuesday why the public is infatuated with prisoners who try to escape.


Finally some good news…

10) Young people who require mental health treatment will no longer be detained in police cells. The move has been hailed as a “positive step” by reform groups, The Express reported last Sunday.



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