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Howard League Blog

Informal comment from the charity

  • 19 Nov 2021
    A debate on the IPP sentence that showed Parliament at its best

    In Monday’s committee stage debate on the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, Members of the House of Lords discussed a series of amendments on the sentence of imprisonment for public protection (IPP). The Bill has been rightly viewed as an example of penal policy at its worst – punitive, illiberal and unevidenced. In contrast, Monday’s debate showed Parliament at its best.  Read more

  • 8 Nov 2021
    Thinking differently about the future

    It is a privilege and pleasure to have completed my first week as Chief Executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, following in the footsteps of Frances Crook.  Read more

  • 29 Oct 2021
    Frances Crook says ‘thank you’

    This is my last day as chief executive of the Howard League.  Read more

  • 7 Oct 2021
    A 10-point action plan to change prisons and build safer communities

    I have written to the new Secretary of State for Justice, Dominic Raab, with ideas for a radical plan of action, as we understand he is preparing for publication of a White Paper on the future of prisons. Change is needed in a system that is antiquated and failing victims, the taxpayer and perpetrators.  Read more

  • 1 Sep 2021
    Making Black Lives Matter in the Criminal Justice System

    Two months ago, the Howard League published a practical guide for antiracist lawyers. The guide outlines some of the discrimination faced by Black defendants within the criminal justice system and wider society.  Read more

  • 13 Aug 2021
    Vaccination in prisons

    When the vaccination programme started to be rolled out, we urged the Ministry of Justice to implement a prison-by-prison strategy. This is not what happened, and now it seems that the various authorities and experts are blaming each other for the low take-up.  Read more

  • 3 Aug 2021
    New prisons are not being built with rising temperatures in mind

    The climate is changing. Some estimates indicate that the UK could experience summer days of 40 degrees. New prisons are not being built with this in mind. Environmental claims are being inflated and the huge expansion in prison-building will be environmentally damaging, as well as being unsuitable and possibly dangerous for prisoners and staff.  Read more

  • 28 Jul 2021
    It is time to stop building prisons

    Prisons are used to dealing with the failures of other services. They shouldn’t be, but they are.  Read more

  • 21 Jul 2021
    ‘Time well spent’ in prisons

    When Suella Braverman, the Attorney General, went on maternity leave there was a little shuffling of the chairs.  Read more

  • 15 Jul 2021
    If girls need to be in custody, they should be in local authority units, not prisons

    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.  Read more

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