Prisons in the press – 29 MayPosted: May 29, 2015
Parliament opens and another damning prison report is issued
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
1) Prisons report finds Dovegate prison to be overcrowded and understaffed.
Frances Crook of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “Dovegate is an overcrowded and understaffed private prison that has struggled to tackle serious problems. Levels of violence and self-harm are high, and illicit drugs are easy to obtain.
“This is an example of the challenges facing the new Secretary of State, who has inherited a system that has significant difficulties.”
Find the full report here.
How does Dovegate prison compare to the rest of the UK?
Last year 77 of the 119 prisons in England & Wales were overcrowded and the system’s capacity had reached 99 per cent according to the Prison Reform Trust.
Prison officer numbers were cut by 30 per cent cut between 2010-13 according to Howard League for Penal Reform. There was one officer per 2.9 prisoners in 2000, but by September 2013 this had increased to 4.8 prisoners per officer.
For a run down of the ten biggest problems facing Britain’s prisons, click here.
2) The Queen formally opened parliament this week. Her speech outlined plans for a Policing and Criminal Justice Bill. The provisions are broad but here a few key measures:
Putting a stop to people remaining on bail for months
reforming legislation of the detention of people under the Mental Health Act 1983
Find the full speech here.
Featured this week
Youngsters at Brent primary schools hear about the realities of prison life in a project to reduce gang crime. Juliet Rix of the Guardian follows the Your Life You Choose project.
Meanwhile across the pond…
In a landmark ruling, the Conservative state of Nebraska abolishes the death penalty. David Usborne of The Independent asks if this will herald the end of the death sentence in America?
In other news
Letters written by Ronnie Kray, infamous East End mobster, whilst behind bars in the 1980s, are expected to sell at auction for £15,000. The Guardian has the story.