The probation service is beset with scandal, drugs are still high on the agenda and suicides are rising. A full fortnight of prison news.

Theresa May Home Secretary

The home secretary hopes to implement a ban on legal highs before the next election. Credit: Home Office


Hot off the press

Chief inspector of probation, Paul McDowell, resigned this week over conflict of interest revelations. His wife is managing director of Sodexo Justice Services, the private justice company that won the largest number of contracts to run probation services in England and Wales.

Protests over repressive conditions at Northern Ireland’s top-security Maghaberry jail ended peacefully this week, but tensions remain high. The Irish Times has more.

Theresa May attempted to bring forward new legislation that will crack down on legal highs in prisons, The Sunday Times reported.


Investigated this week

Suicides are at a record high, according to The Independent. Ministry of Justice figures show that 84 people killed themselves in custody last year.


Something to shout about

It’s not all doom and gloom in the press this week. Campaigners welcome the announcement that the Scottish government is scrapping controversial plans to build a new women’s prison.


In other news

Rehabilitation through work and regular pay: ex-inmates find honest jobs with Blue Sky’s social enterprise project. Katie Allen of the Guardian brings the inside story.


Prisons in the press, from next week, will be brought to you weekly. Tune in on Friday 13 for the next installment.


TWITTER: @prisonwatchuk

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