Prisons in the press – 13th April

Probation under scrutiny and 25 years after Strangeways, what lessons have we learnt?

Source: Flickr, Dullhunk

Source: Flickr, Dullhunk

Prisons in the press brings you the best articles from the past week to keep you up-to-date on prison news.

Hot off the press

The ban on prisoners who have a history of absconding being moved to open prisons has been declared unlawful by the high court. The Times has the story.

Sodexo announced plans to replace probation officers with machine style kiosks in a bid to cut costs. Alan Travis of the Guardian reports.

What will be the impact of reducing our ever-expanding prison population to an algorithm? John Podmore writes about the commodification of rehabilitation in the Guardian this week.


On camera this week

The BBC marked the 25th anniversary of the Strangeways Riots by bringing together the ring leaders of the trouble with the prison guards they rose up against. With unparalleled access and remarkably candid testimonies, this documentary brings a real insight into the conflict.


In comment this week

Have we failed to learn the lessons from Strangeways? Twenty five years later our prisons remain dangerously overcrowded. Charlie Gilmour of the Independent asks, are we about to see a repeat?

“A massive and dangerous social experiment that will not, and cannot, work.” Tasmin Rutter of the Guardian speaks to probation staff. Increasing workloads, inadequate training and divided teams, just some of the complaints in the wake of privatisation.

For a full break down of the privatisation of the probation service take a look at the Prison Watch UK timeline.

TWITTER: @prisonwatchuk 

3 Comments on “Prisons in the press – 13th April”

  1. L C says:

    The prisons are overcrowded with innocent people who have been dragged from their happy homes and families. Why. Why are crimes being fabricated. Why are there so many decent honest kind family men not being beleived. There are two sides to every story. Why are the police only interested in one side. Because they are being forced to get convictions. It doesn’t matter whether they are wrongful convictions. Why? Why has this not been mentioned by any of the politicians.


  2. I believe the true source of overcrowding is the almost non existent attempt to tackle the fallout of drink and drugs abuse, the total underfunding of the mental health section of the NHS and a complete lack of political will to move away from society’s perceived desire to imprison every single criminal; a myth perpetuated by the tabloid press.
    If the prison population was denuded of persons with mental health issues, people who’s crimes were rooted in alcohol or drugs issues and the myriad of others whose imprisonment serves no good purpose whatsoever, the remaining prison population would have the benefit of a budget that gave them half a chance of rehabilitation in humane conditions leading to a significant reduction in recidivism.


    • TheSleeper says:

      Talked with someone close who finally got out. They said that prisons in no way want to reform or rehab anyone. Why would they want to get rid of the hand that feeds them.


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