Top ten most popular Prison Watch UK stories 2015

From A Poor Imitation of Death, by Ara Oshagan

From our article on photography in prisons. Photograph: Ara Oshagan

From sex in prison to youth incarceration in Russia to poetry and pictures: here are the most important stories, issues and facts from this year’s most popular stories.

10. Comment by The Guardian’s Eric Allison: The ‘ugly stain’ of IPP indeterminate sentences

With indeterminate sentences being so controversial, it’s no wonder this article about IPP was read so much.

Source: International Centre for Prison Studies

Source: International Centre for Prison Studies

9. Which European country throws the most young people in prison?

This popular post about youth imprisonment was full of surprises: Russia, which jails the most men and women, incarcerates fewer young people than most.

Women and mothers in prison criminal justice system

8. Women and mothers in the criminal justice system – liveblog

Organisations and professionals working with women offenders and ex-offenders met in June to talk about women, mothers and children in the criminal justice system.

An impressive range of speakers delivered short talks, including Yvonne Rodgers from Barnardo’s talking about how children are re-affected and Laura Seebohm from Changing Lives talking about support for women involved in sex work and sexual exploitation.

7. Joint enterprise: is a 300-year-old law sending innocent people to prison?

Is it really possible that a law originally devised to stop aristocrats from duelling is now being used to lock up working class people and ethnic minorities?
Nowadays joint enterprise tends to be used to sentence gang members in urban areas, writes John Casey.

6. Muslims in British Prisons

The horrific murders of 17 people in Paris in January were carried out in part by two Muslim men who had been in prison – Chérif Kouachi and Amedy Coulibaly. They reportedly met in a French prison, where both allegedly fell under the influence of an extremist mentor.

In Britain, stories about the “shoe-bomber” Richard Reid and extremist preacher Abu Qatada have also cast a spotlight on Muslim prisoners. But what is the real situation in England & Wales for Muslim prisoners? Find out here.

From Juvies, by Ara Oshagan

From Juvies, by Ara Oshagan

5. Images of life behind bars that will surprise you

Scroll back through our curation of words and pictures from four photographers who show you a side of prison life you might not have thought about before.

4. Three documentaries that challenge myths about British prisons

Step inside Broadmoor, Gloucester and Pentonville, three notorious prisons, with the help of these documentaries and our post providing the context.

3. 10 of the biggest problems facing Britain’s prisons today

Budget cuts, assaults, overcrowding and ‘incidents of height’ – this post about the blatant and the surprising problems in prisons was our third most popular this year.

2. Are these the UK’s 10 worst prisons?

From violence to drugs to bullying to overcrowding, the United Kingdom’s prisons have reached crisis point.

The second most popular post from this year looks at 10 of the most extreme examples.

1. Everything you wanted to know about sex in prisons – but were afraid to ask

Some of the most surprising findings from the Howard League’s Commission on Sex in Prison, as well as many quotes from prisoners telling what sex in prison is really like. Most views with 15,000 so far. 

Have you an idea of what will be popular in 2016? We’d love to hear from you. Email us: ukprisonwatch at gmail dot com. 

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