Prisons in the press – 7 July

Gloomy stats, drug spats and cyber attacks

tony blair chilcot inquiry credit Chatham House via flickr

Should Tony Blair face jail for his role in taking the UK to war in Iraq? Photograph: Chatham House

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

An estimated 7,000 schoolchildren in North Wales alone have a parent in prison, according to startling new figures. Read the news in context below.

Revealed this week

  1. “Horrific” stories about the possible effects of new psychoactive substances (NPS) emerged from HMP Lindholme. One young man had blinded himself, the prisons watchdog revealed. The Guardian has the story.
  2. Greater Manchester commits to new local prison, the Manchester Evening News reported this week. Town Hall chiefs are drawing up a list of sites for a new resettlement prison, an open facility for low-risk inmates from the local area. It is designed to rehabilitate them back into the community.
  3. Prison officers have staged walkouts or withdrawn labour at five prisons in England over the past five months, the BBC has learned. Prison Officers are banned from going on strike but the Prison Officers Association said the action was the result of staff concerns over their safety.
  4. Should teenagers be sent to prison for non-violent offences? This is the question a Plymouth Youth Court judge will have to consider when sentencing a 16 year old boy, who has been convicted of convicted of sending bomb hoaxes to American Airlines and Delta Air Lines via Twitter. The boy admitted to carrying out cyber attacks on the police and SeaWorld. The Telegraph has more.
  5. Urgent action must be taken after a tragic spate of deaths at HMP Woodhill, penal reform charity the Howard League has urged. The call came after the death of 31-year-old Thomas Morris, who the week before had taken his life in his cell the week before. who was found hanged in his cell last week. This is the sixth suspected suicide at the jail in the past seven months. The Milton Keynes Citizen has the story.

 

In context

An estimated 7,000 North Wales schoolchildren have a parent in prison, according to new data released by Wrexham Council.

The figures also showed 65 per cent of boys with a convicted father will likely go on to offend themselves, the Daily Post reported.

The data were released by the council as it begins to shape a scheme to break the cycle of intergenerational offending in families.

Unfortunately these figures are in line with those for England and Wales together. Of boys with a parent in prison, 65 per cent will offend themselves.

Children with a parent in prison are roughly three times more at risk of falling into antisocial or delinquent behaviour.

It is estimated that in 2010 more than 17,240 children were separated from their mother by imprisonment. These are the most recent figures available, and even these were an estimate.

 

In other news

It was a bizarre week around the world for celebrities ending up in jail, dodging jail or being called to face jail.

A Barcelona court slapped footballer Lionel Messi with a suspended sentence for three counts of tax fraud. Former Paralympian Oscar Pistorious received a six year prison sentence for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Meanwhile there were calls for former Prime Minister Tony Blair to face jail after his role in the Iraq War was scrutinised by the Chilcot Inquiry.

 

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