Last week, I had the huge privilege of delivering the 2022 Howard League Lecture in honour of Lord Parmoor. You can watch a video of the lecture here and/or read the transcript below. The lecture was titled “‘Son of a convict’ – law, human rights and the politics of punishment”. —– It is a huge […]
Last week, the Criminal Justice Joint Inspectorate (CJJI) published a progress report on the impact of Covid-19 on the criminal justice system. It describes a system where fatigued staff are struggling to deliver adequate services, and no agency – least of all prisons – is back to ‘business as usual’. This bleak description will be familiar to anyone who has followed the Howard League’s blogposts about life in prison during the pandemic.
When a child is in trouble, we should do all that we can to give them the care and support they need. This may sound obvious, but as the Howard League has seen through its legal work, and as a long line of official inspection reports makes clear, prisons holding children fail routinely to reach this standard. Prison is no place for a child.
During a hearing of the Justice Committee in Parliament on 13 July, when the Minister and the head of HM Prisons and Probation Service were asked about how girls were going to be cared for now that Rainsbrook secure training centre (STC) was closing down, they indicated, perhaps inadvertently, that they were thinking of putting the young girls into prisons holding boys.
Last autumn, a young Black autistic man called our advice line: a prison officer swore at him and when he reacted with a similar insult, he was restrained by multiple officers. To add insult to injury, he was then issued with a disciplinary charge for talking back to the officer who had verbally abused him.
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