Frances Crook’s blog
Frances Crook, Chief Executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, provides informal comments on the issues of the day.
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Custody Time Limits
The court system is creaking with delays that have been exacerbated by Covid. I am hearing of cases delayed by months, or even years.  Read more
Strengthening the independent scrutiny bodies
A consultation is closing with Ministry of Justice stakeholders on strengthening the independent scrutiny bodies through legislation. The consultation itself took the form of an online questionnaire, but I thought it would be good to outline the Howard League’s response on my blog.   Read more
Remembering deaths in custody
I have been going through my records of deaths in custody. I have kept a careful record of every single person who has died in prison in England and Wales since 1988.  Read more
Questions from members
Our members and regular supporters are the very beating heart of the charity. We rely on them for information about what’s happening across the country and for their activity in holding local decision makers to account.  Read more
Our legal work with young people in prison – feedback from families
Our legal service works with children and young adults prison, supporting them with a wide spectrum of unmet legal need, from helping them find somewhere safe to live on release to challenging their conditions in prison.   Read more
This is membership week!
The Howard League for Penal Reform was founded a century and a half ago as a membership organisation and since the 1960s when we became a charity we have benefitted from having members.  Read more
The heatwave has been trying for all of us, but it has been unbearable for people in prison
The prison estate went into lockdown more than 140 days ago. For almost all of that time, most people in prison have been confined to their cells for more than 22 hours a day – often longer.  Read more
Children’s rights in prison still exist during Covid
Since the lockdown began, most children in prison have been in conditions of severe isolation, without family visits, face to face visits or therapy.  Read more
Young adults and the criminal justice system
On 17 July 2020, I wrote a letter to the Lord Chief Justice urging him to encourage a tailored approach to sentencing young adults (18–25 year olds) in the criminal courts.  Read more
Community Awards: nominate your work, we want to hear from you
One of the consequences of the lockdown is that I have missed visiting the fantastic projects run by voluntary groups, police and health agencies that help people turn away from conflict with the law.  Read more