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Custodial the

Review

The Custodial Review informing the Prison, Border Agency and Police Services Edition 85

Fingerprints and Drug Testing see p18

Major investigation smashes nationwide prison drone gang see p7 The Custodial Facilities Forum see p25

Prisoners should be allowed to vote because ..... “In A Democracy Everybody Counts” see p10 Prison protection from PATOL see p28

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Contents Issue 85

the Custodial Review Editorial Sales: Tracy Johnson, Martin Petty Tel: 01234 348878 sales@custodialreview.co.uk Administration: Lyn Mitchell Design/Production: Amanda Wesley

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News

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Stopping drones, the logical way

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Major investigation smashes nationwide prison drone gang

Production Editor: Richard Shrubb Contributing Editor: Wendy Hewitt Publisher: Steve Mitchell The Publisher holds all copyright and any items within may not be reproduced in any way, for any purpose, without the written permission of the Publisher. This publication contains Crown Copyright material reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen’s Printer for Scotland.

Copyright: the Custodial Review Published by Review Magazines Ltd, 53 Asgard Drive, Bedford MK41 0UR. Tel: 01234 348878 E-mail: info@custodialreview.co.uk Website: www.custodialreview.co.uk

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British prison pioneers war against drones

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Prisoners should be allowed to vote because ..... “In A Democracy Everybody Counts”

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The Howard League for Penal Reform

HM Prisons Executive and the Home Office do not sponsor or in any way support this Publication in any substance, commodity, process, equipment, editorial or service advertised or mentioned in this book, nor are they responsible for any inaccuracy or statement in this publication. Whilst every care has been taken to ensure accuracy, the information contained within, this publication is based on submissions to the Publishers who cannot be held responsible for errors or omissions. The Publishers cannot be held responsible for any article, advertisement, picture or photograph supplied by Advertisers and Associations which may contravene the Official Secrets Act or that have not first been cleared by the Home Office of Prisons Executive, should that have been necessary.

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Fingerprint drug test proves popular with both clients and staff at leading detoxification centre

Are you getting your copy?

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Fingerprints and Drug Testing

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News

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The Custodial Facilities Forum

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Prison protection from PATOL

The publisher will consider financial reimbursement for relevant articles. If you have an article, or wish to compose one, on a relevant topic then please contact the publisher on stevem@pirnet.co.uk. It’s subject to acceptance so please contact prior to starting and it will appear on the Custodial website. Annual Subscription £30. Free to qualifying individuals Custodial Review is now accepting articles from serving officers in the Prisons, Police and Immigration centres and staff within the whole custodial industry. All articles will appear on the Custodial website and will appear in the magazine subject to the Publishers discretion. Approx length 1500 to 2000 words. We are also pleased to accept news and information. Please contact the Publisher, Steve Mitchell, stevem@custodialreview.co.uk or on 01234 348878 for more details.

Qualifying individuals within the Custodial sector can receive a FREE copy of the Custodial Review. If you are not receiving your copy, or you have a colleague who would like one, let us know! We will need your name, title, position & FULL address. Custodial Review is THE magazine for the Immigration, Customs, Prison and Police services. It’s growing all the time and more popular than ever. To obtain your copy, or to subscribe please forward your up-to-date information to: The Custodial, Review Magazines Ltd, 53 Asgard Drive, Bedford MK41 0UR. Tel: 01234 348878 Email: sales@pirnet.co.uk or go onto www.custodialreview.co.uk and click ‘Subscribe’.

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review

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Government on track to hit target of 2,500 new prison officers ahead of schedule

to engage with new schemes and initiatives to attract the best and most committed talent.”

almost 2,000 prison officers have been recruited since the launch of a campaign to bring in 2,500 additional officers by the end of this year, new figures released by Justice Secretary David Gauke have revealed 15th February 2018.

Justice Secretary enforces robust action to improve prison safety

a further 1,582 new recruits have been offered roles and are booked onto Prison Officer Training (POELT) courses, meaning the Government is on target to recruit the 2,500 officers nine months ahead of schedule.

Figures recently released show there was a net increase of 1,970 officers from October 2016 to December last year, up from 17,955 to 19,925. The boost in staffing numbers will help deliver the new Offender Management in Custody model which will provide prisoners with a keyworker to support them in custody. The recruitment efforts form part of a wider drive to ensure that all prisons are fully staffed so that they can deliver safe and decent regimes. Prison officer recruitment will continue over the coming months and new recruits, alongside existing staff, are being given improved Suicide and Self Harm (SASH) prevention training, with 14,300 staff members having now received it. Justice Secretary David Gauke said: “I want to commend our hard-working prison officers who do a vital job in protecting the public every day, often in very challenging, difficult and dangerous circumstances. These figures show we are on target to recruit 2,500 additional prison officers.” “I am determined to tackle the issues in our prisons head on and I am committed to getting the basics right so we can focus on making them safe and decent places to support rehabilitation. Staffing is the golden thread that links the solutions we need to put in place to drive improvement, so I am delighted our recruitment efforts are working.” “This announcement shows that the government’s nationwide drive to recruit the best talent from around the country into the prison service – regardless of age or background – is working.” “Governors are being given greater flexibility over their local recruitment and encouraged

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“By having more staff on the ground, staff will be better supported to do the job they came into the prison service to do, and spend more time reforming offenders.”

A new process introduced by the Secretary of State, David Lidington, will mean that prisons that require urgent attention will have 28 days to introduce tough measures that will drive improvement.

Prisons Chief Inspector can now directly alert Justice Secretary where serious failings are found in establishments

Justice Secretary will publish his response and a plan of action within 28 days of the report being received

The urgent notification process is part of a package aimed at improving the safety of people in prisons

From 30th November 2017, and for the first-time, the Secretary of State will be directly alerted by the HM Chief Inspector of Prisons (HMIP) if an urgent issue needs addressing to ensure that recommendations are acted upon immediately. A team of specialists will be brought together to ensure immediate action is taken, along with a more in-depth plan to ensure sustained improvement is seen for the prison in the long term.

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“This process forms part of the broader work of the Secretary of State to enhance our responses to external scrutiny.” Peter Clarke, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, said: “I welcome the new ‘Urgent Notification’ protocol which the Secretary of State for Justice has signed and which will now play a key role in the work of HM Inspectorate of Prisons to inspect the treatment and conditions for many thousands of prisoners and other detainees held in custody.” “In particular, I welcome the principle of transparency and accountability underlying this new protocol. The Secretary of State has accepted that he and his successors will be held publicly accountable for delivering an urgent, robust and effective response when HMIP assesses that treatment or conditions in a jail raise such significant concerns that urgent action is required.” Senior officials in HMPPS and MOJ will be directly involved in the work to ensure immediate action is taken, along with a more in-depth plan to ensure we see sustained improvement for the prison in the long term.

Hospitals, prisons and Jobcentres to refer people at risk of homelessness Organisations have a duty to help those at risk of becoming homeless and refer them to a housing authority.

This team, who are accountable to Ministers, will have 28 days to set out what steps the prison and department are taking to improve safety and bring the prison up to the required standard. Secretary of State, David Lidington said: “Openness and transparency are powerful instruments of change and I believe we should be accountable so the public can see exactly what we are doing to turn prisons into safe places where offenders can change their lives.” “A team of specialists will now respond when HMIP trigger Urgent Notification to urgently drive improvements and ensure that prisons are safe, secure and providing a regular regime.” “To implement these actions plans and improve safety, the recruitment of an additional 2,500 prison officers is key and we are already halfway towards reaching that target.” Page 4

For the first time, prisons, probation services, Jobcentres and NHS Trusts will be among the organisations that have a duty to help those at risk of becoming homeless and refer them to a housing authority, Minister for Homelessness Heather Wheeler confirmed. In new guidance published on 22nd Feb, the government has outlined how councils and public bodies must support the homeless or those at risk of losing their home under their new duties introduced by the Homelessness Reduction Act. The Act – the most ambitious legislative reform for decades – places new


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legal duties on English councils to intervene at an earlier stage to prevent homelessness. Councils will now be required to ensure the advice and information they provide is designed to meet the needs of particular at risk groups including care leavers, people leaving prison, people who have left the armed forces, survivors of domestic abuse and those suffering from a mental illness. In addition to new duties to refer those at risk of homelessness, the reforms will include:

Providing free information and advice on preventing homelessness and the rights of homeless people, to all residents, including information tailored to the needs of particularly vulnerable groups A new duty for those who are already homeless so that that local authorities will work with them for 56 days to help secure accommodation Minister for Homelessness Heather Wheeler said:

“Everyone should have a home to call their own and we have put in place strong protections to guard families and individuals against the threat of homelessness.”

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“Our reforms – putting prevention at the heart of everything we do – are designed for lasting change and to back this up we’re investing almost £1 billion over the next 4 years to break the homelessness cycle once and for all.” The government has backed the Act with £72.7 million of funding to help councils to deliver these changes. In time, it is expected that the increased preventative work brought about by the Act will lead to substantial savings for councils. The confirmation of which public bodies have a duty to refer is part of a wider package of regulations made ahead of the roll-out of the Homelessness Reduction Act in April.

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the National Police Chiefs’ Council to develop a ‘test and learn’ project in Brighton & Hove focusing on homelessness prevention. The government is already taking significant action to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping through:

Providing £315 million to local authorities for their work on homelessness, and an additional £402 million in Flexible Homelessness Support Grant funding, which local authorities can use to work more strategically to prevent and tackle homelessness pressures in their areas

Announcing £28 million for 3 Housing First pilots in Manchester, Liverpool and the West Midlands to support longterm rough sleepers off the streets and help them to end their homelessness. Individuals will be provided with stable, affordable accommodation and intensive wrap-around support. This will to help them recover from complex health issues, for example substance abuse and mental health difficulties and sustain their tenancies

The government is also investing £9 billion to build more social housing, including council homes

Alongside the new duty to refer, the government is continuing to work closely with key sector organisations to identify different ways services can contribute to preventing homelessness and supporting the successful implementation of the Act. In particular, the department is working with the National Housing Federation to explore how housing associations can support the Act, including by making referrals, and working with

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Stopping drones, the logical way

by Andy Loakes of PDA Electronics

Drones are increasingly being used to get contraband into prisons. Adept drone pilots can deliver the contraband to designated cell windows or pre-designated drop off points with ease. Until now the solutions to stop these aerial deliveries have proved difficult and labour intensive. PDA Electronics Ltd however have just introduced a new system called REPULSE® This system produces unique interference signals on both 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz. This creates a bubble that extends over 1km in front of the unit. In effect it creates an electronic ‘no fly zone’ which will defeat all commercially available drones’ attempts to penetrate it. Any drone entering this field will be immediately “repulsed” and the drone is forced to return to its take off point. This enables areas, such as prisons, to be fully protected against the wide range of commercially available drones. Unlike many other solutions the Repulse system is designed for continuous operation and therefore offers a 24/7 protection. Until now authorities have tried to protect areas of concern by using geofencing which involves identifying areas as no fly zones on the electronic mapping the drones use. However it only took a matter of hours to find a software method of removing all these geo-fenced areas from the mapping the drones use. To prove this PDA has (with permission) flown over these protected areas using this ‘hacked’ mapping and videoed the trips to prove that flying into geo-fenced areas is possible. Interestingly these no fly zones only apply to the mapping used by most drones and do not appear on

the Civil Aviation Authority mapping. All UK prisons have now been geo-fenced by drone manufacturers in their flight mapping. An alternative to the software map hack method is to place aluminium foil over the top of the drone body to prevent the reception of GPS signals. This method makes the drone more difficult to control as there is no automatic correction due to wind issues. Given the number of prison establishments still being targeted by drones it would seem that the criminals have already discovered these techniques. The PDA Repulse system fully protects an area from both these methods that enable drone incursions. In some countries the emphasis has been on detecting drones but what use is that?

Knowing that a threat is coming still doesn’t deal with the problem. It’s like having a camera in your house and you watch a criminal enter your property and ransack it. The only real solution is area denial protection. This applies even more so if it’s a terrorist attack when the drone could be carrying either explosives or chemical weapons. The basic Repulse unit is housed in a compact and rugged Peli-case which only weighs just over 2kg (including the battery) This makes it ideal for quick deployment . The internal battery provides up to six hours of operation. For longer or more permanent deployment, the unit can be powered by a larger battery or a 12VDC mains powered supply. Its low powered transmissions are designed so that there is virtually no interference to anyone using a WIFI system nearby so allowing the system to be deployed in areas close to housing and offices. The Repulse system is now being considered for the protection of aircraft and airfields in many countries outside the UK. “Why not the UK?” you may ask. Well, the CAA have deemed it illegal to interfere with any aircraft in flight and then went on to designate a drone as an aircraft thereby creating a dilemma. In the UK if the drone is less than 7kg in weight (which covers most commercially available drones) it can fly where it likes as far as the CAA is concerned. It is time to bring legislation up to date to allow the use of defence systems such as Repulse for this new form of threat to both security and safety. For more information contact PDA Electronics Ltd,Tel: 01494 -257911, email: sales@pdaelectronics.com or visit www.pdaelectronics.com

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Major investigation smashes nationwide prison drone gang A major organised crime gang that used drones to smuggle drugs, weapons and mobile phones with an estimated value of up to £1.2million into prisons across the United Kingdom has been smashed following a two-year probe by prison intelligence officers and police. Ringleader Craig Hickinbottom co-ordinated a gang of 10 others from his prison cell to carry out 49 drone flights into a number of establishments, with some flights carrying individual payloads worth as much as £85,000 behind bars. A meticulous investigation that involved the analysis of drone and mobile phone data of the defendants – alongside the use of covert cameras to capture them piloting drones outside a prison – led to the criminal empire being dismantled. The 11 gang members have now been handed sentences totalling over 32 years by a judge at Birmingham Crown Court after either admitting or being found guilty of a range of offences. Prisons around the West Midlands were repeatedly targeted as part of the drugs conspiracy but analysis of drones used by the gang identified drops at prisons across the country and in Scotland between July 2015 and November 2016. Stolen cars were used to transport contraband as close to prisons as possible before members of the gang loaded up drones and flew them to specific cell windows for distribution on the inside. Prisons Minister Sam Gyimah said: “It is clear this gang ran a nationwide drugs operation, using sophisticated technology to transport substances into our prisons and heap misery onto the offenders they had in their clutches.” “We have invested significant resources into boosting our prison intelligence units and I am delighted that their meticulous work –

operating jointly with colleagues from law enforcement agencies – is having such a positive impact.” “Criminals who involve themselves in this type of behaviour should be left in no doubt that we are continuously developing our means of investigation and will stop at nothing to bring them to justice. This case is clear evidence of the desire our staff have to win the war on drugs in prisons.” DC Andy Farmer, Investigating Officer from West Mercia Police, said:

“This was a painstaking and complicated investigation undertaken by a small, dedicated team of detectives from West Mercia Police, assisted by the Regional Organised Crime Unit.” “The prison system should be a safe environment for people to live and work in and a place of reform; this type of activity jeopardises the good order of the prisons and leads to difficult working environments for staff.” The defendants in this case are responsible for large scale supply of prohibited items into prisons which includes drugs, weapons, phones and tools which could be used to facilitate an escape or to conceal illicit items. The sentences reflect the serious nature of the offending by this group and should serve as a

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deterrent for anyone considering embarking on a similar venture. The joint HM Prison & Probation Service (HMPPS) and West Mercia police investigation started in July 2015, when police officers saw a package being thrown from a car towards a gate at the back of HMP Hewell in Worcestershire. Over the next 16 months, prison and police officers intercepted 15 drone drops linked to the gang from prisons across the West Midlands, including HMP Hewell, HMP Featherstone in Wolverhampton, HMP Birmingham and HMP Stoke Heath in Market Drayton. Some of the drones seized were analysed by Operation Trenton – the team of investigators that was by the Ministry of Justice earlier this year in response to the growing threat to prison security posed by drones. The intelligence gleaned was then passed to police. It emerged during the course of the investigation that Craig Hickinbottom was the ringleader behind the criminal enterprise, using mobile phones to direct operations from his prison cell. Mervyn Foster was his key contact on the outside, involving himself in all of the individual drone flights. Meanwhile, evidence revealed that Hickinbottom’s partner, Lisa Hodgetts, managed the money on behalf of the gang and ensured everyone was paid. She has accepted that she laundered in the region of £125,000 for the gang. Police discovered at one point that she paid Foster by giving him a static caravan and plot in North Wales and had told her local authority continues overleaf u

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Major investigation smashes nationwide prison drone gang continued that she wanted to buy her £72,000 councilowned property outright, despite earing a modest income as a beautician. As police built their case against the group, covert camera footage from the perimeter of one prison helped to identify a number of the gang members operating drones outside and analysis of mobile phone data helped to provide evidence of a link between those on the outside and offenders in prison. Hickinbottom admitted four counts of conspiring to bring contraband into prison, and conspiracy to supply psychoactive substances. Foster, who was described as the conspiracy’s “prime organiser on the outside”, worked with John Quinn, who admitted three counts of conspiracy and another of conspiring to supply psychoactive substances. Foster had others assist with packaging and transport: Terry Leach, Ashley Rollinson, Yvonne Hay, 41, and her boyfriend Francis Ward. Foster obtained some of the drugs he sent in from Artaf Hussain, who pleaded guilty to being concerned with the supply of cocaine. On the inside, Hickinbottom was assisted with distribution in jail by cousin and coconspirator John Hickinbottom. His cellmate Sanjay Patel used one of the illegal mobile

phones which had been flown in - an offence he admitted. The total drugs seized from those drones had a potential prison value of £370,000. There were a further 34 flights to prisons across the United Kingdom, including flights to HMP Perth in Scotland and HMP Doncaster. The contents of the packages from those drones are unknown. Based on the value of the items seized, police estimated that the prison value of items from the remaining flights would be in the region £1.2million. Background on counter-drone work Last year, a team of investigators – known as Operation Trenton - was formed in response to the growing threat to prison security posed by drones, which have been used as a method of smuggling drugs and mobile phones into establishments. Working alongside national law enforcement agencies and HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS), the 40-strong team inspects drones that have been recovered from prisons in a bid to identify and track down those involved in smuggling contraband. The efforts are helping to effectively tackle the use of drones technology. So far, 17 people have been convicted for using drones to get

contraband into prisons. They are serving sentences of more than 50 years in prison as a result of their illegal actions. The specialist team of officers contain staff from the police and HMPPS. They bring together intelligence from across prisons and the police to identify lines of inquiry, which will then be passed to local forces and organised crime officers. The Government is taking unprecedented action to tackle the supply and use of drugs, including an innovative drug testing programme, the training of over 300 specialist drug dogs, and upgrades to CCTV cameras across the estate. They have also invested heavily in modern technology, including the roll-out of body worn cameras and £2m on handheld and portable mobile phone detectors to help clamp down on drug-dealing behind bars. A £3million intelligence hub has also been established to tackle organised gang activity behind bars.There is also investment of over £14million annually to build the HM Prisons and Probation Service Serious Organised Crime Unit and enhance our intelligence and search capability, allowing them to better gather, interrogate and use intelligence to disrupt criminal activity at national, regional and prison level.

British prison pioneers war against drones A Channel Island prison has become the first in the world to use a new system designed to stop drones smuggling drugs, weapons and other contraband over perimeter walls.

Nottingham-based company Drone Defence has worked on the idea in the past year. Founder and CEO Richard Gill said: “It disrupts the control network between the flyer and the drone.

A group of British companies has collaborated to install a comprehensive perimeter protection package at Les Nicolles Prison on Guernsey, including the new “Sky Fence” technology.

“The drone then activates return to home mode and it will then fly back to the position where it had signal with its flyer.

It creates a 600m shield around the prison to detect remotecontrolled drones then uses a series of ‘disruptors’ – sensors to jam the drone’s computer – to block its frequency and control protocols and divert it back to where it came from.

“Someone described it as the final piece in a prison’s security puzzle. I think it could have a significant worldwide impact.” Eclipse managing director Alan Drinkwater said they had modified existing technology to create Sky Fence.

Drones have become a major security problem in Britain’s prisons and are increasingly used to smuggle in drugs, weapons, phones and other valuables. Les Nicolles has ordered around 20 disruptors on the perimeter fence line and within the jail.

Prisoner governor David Matthews said: “This is the first time this technology has been used in any prison anywhere in the world. I would like to see it adopted in other UK prisons because it has become a significant problem.  This is about prevention.”

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The new system in Guernsey is part of a £1.7 million security upgrade that also includes new cameras, new fencing and sensors, a new lighting system and new alarms. A multi-use games area for prisoners has also been set out within the walls. Les Nicolles is a mixed category prison which holds both men and women, young offenders and adults, and has a capacity of just 139. It opened in 1989 and its population has fallen to an all-time low in recent years. It is independent of the mainland prison and justice system and is run by the State of Guernsey.

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Prisoners should be allowed to vote because ..... “In A Democracy Everybody Counts” By Mark Leech Editor:The Prisons Handbook Eight years ago David Cameron said it made him “physically ill” to be forced to give prisoners the vote, he revealed a shocking disregard of democracy, human rights and put quite simply, justice itself. Following his remarks I was invited onto various news programmes and asked to explain why it was that I thought David Cameron was so wrong. “Are you suggesting Mark that the likes of lan Huntley should be given the vote?” asked one interviewer; “rapists and paedophiles should really be able to vote then should they?” asked another, while a third laughed at my suggestion that in all honesty the public were actually more interested in why prisoners shouldn’t vote, than prisoners were as to why they should; but it was true nonetheless. And to come straight to the point, yes ‘the likes of’ lan Huntley should be allowed to vote - and for the record so too should ‘the likes’ of paedophiles, rapists, murderers, robbers, drug addicts and thieves. Why? That’s easy. For the very simple reason that we live in a democracy and the one thing that marks out a democracy, from a dictatorship, is that in a democracy everybody counts; man, woman, black, white, tall, small, fat, thin, gay, straight, good, bad and, yes, even very bad too everybody, every single person, ‘counts’. Let’s be clear I am not saying that every prisoner should be allowed to vote, only that where we remove or suspend the right to vote it has to be based on reason not rhetoric - in short there has to be a clear connection between the crime committed, and the sentence passed for it. Take the case of a man who goes out on Friday night, gets drunk, gets involved in an argument that descends into a fight, is arrested for assault and appears in court on Monday morning - when I ask politicians whether a the Custodial Review

man in this position should lose his driving licence, every single one says the loss of his driving licence should not be a part of the sentence “because he had not committed a motoring offence”.

Many nations, including Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland, have no form of electoral ban for imprisoned offenders at all. In others, however, severe restrictions make it very difficult in practice for offenders to vote.

Quite so.

In Cyprus, for example, an inmate must happen to be out of prison on the day of the elections, which is perhaps the basis for David Lidington’s recent exploration as to whether this can be used to comply with the 12 year old ECHR ruling that the UK is in breach of the Convention.

So why do we remove the right to vote from prisoners who have not been convicted of any electoral offence? If the right to vote is removed because someone, whatever their crime, has been sent to prison, why not also remove their right to marry, access healthcare, choose and practice a religion, speak to a solicitor, have a fair trial, or lodge an appeal? You cannot remove one right on the basis of a prison sentence without explaining why other equally basic civil rights are not relinquished for the same basic reason too. Where someone has been convicted of electoral fraud then removal of the right to participate in elections for a fixed period, should be a sentence open to the courts, imposed by a judge and subject to appeal - what it should not be is a stick wielded by politicians for ulterior, selfish and irrational motives. There is another basic objection that I have to removing the prisoners’ general right to vote - and this has nothing to do with crime, indeed it is much more fundamental than that- it is that all politicians have a vested interest in this subject.

We would not allow the man who had his house burgled to sit on the jury of the man charged with the offence, people would say he could not be independent and they’d probably be right, yet we allow politicians, whose career, livelihood, salary and future promotion prospects depend on votes, to decide who can vote in an election - and far more importantly, who can’t. I don’t object at all to the question as to whether prisoners should be able to vote actually being asked, or debated, on the contrary I welcome transparency - I simply say that there are basic inalienable civil rights that we all enjoy unless they are explicitly removed as a part of a sentence by a Judge, not a politician with vested interests. It is not as if the UK view of prisoner voting has widespread support in other countries; it doesn’t. Page 10

Lidington’s plan to restrict the right to vote to those serving less than one year, who are in an open prison, and cleared for ROTL, in effect means they want to do the least possible to comply with the law - but if enacted as planned it may still fall short of what is required in terms of compliance; see the case of Frodl v Austria explained below. In Slovakia, prisoners can legally vote but no provision is made to allow them to do so. Closer to home, the Republic of Ireland lifted its ban in 2006, passing legislation enabling all prisoners to vote by post in the constituency where they would ordinarily live. The first thing they did in South Africa after the release of Nelson Mandela was to give every single prisoner the right to vote because they had spent too long living with societal apartheid to allow it to continue to infect their electoral system; and electoral apartheid is what we have in the UK as long as we say one section of the community- prisoners - cannot vote whatever their crime. In 13 European countries, electoral disqualification depends on the crime committed or the length of the sentence. Italy, Malta and Poland, for example, ban those deemed to have committed serious crimes. In Greece, anyone sentenced to life receives a permanent voting ban. Germany’s law actually urges prisons to encourage their inmates to vote, although it does ban those whose crimes undermine “democratic order”, such as political insurgents. You see Germany, with its chequered human rights history (like that of South Africa) ‘gets it’ where Lidington doesn’t. Germany ‘gets it’ that there is a risk that by excluding people from taking part in the very essence of a democratic process by voting, they will accept that exclusion and not only become disengaged, but then they’ll stick two fingers up to your society by starting their own way of doing things which results in gang culture, crime and lawlessness.


Germany is not alone. A point David Lidington might like to remember is that until the 2005 case of Frodl, Austria banned all those sentenced to more than one year. However Frodl, a convicted murderer challenged this and won, meaning that Austria now allows the vote in all cases except where the offence is particularly relevant - such as electoral fraud. The court in Frodl effectively ruled that the disenfranchisement of prisoners could only happen on rare occasions: namely, where a prisoner was detained as a result of the abuse of a public position or a threat to undermine the rule of law or democratic foundations. Frodl is not the only case either, the UK has twice been found (in the case of Hirst) to be acting unlawfully in banning all prisoners from voting and this was again made clear in the 2013 case of Söyler where it was held that Turkey’s automatic and indiscriminate ban on prisoners’ voting rights was unlawful.

The Söyler case concerned a complaint brought by a businessman convicted for unpaid cheques that he was not allowed to vote in the 2007 Turkish general elections while he was being detained in prison or in the 2011 general elections after his conditional release. The Court found in particular that the ban on convicted prisoners’ voting rights in Turkey was automatic and indiscriminate and did not take into account the nature or gravity of the offence, the length of the prison sentence or the prisoner’s individual conduct or circumstances. The application of such a harsh measure on a vitally important Convention right had to be seen as falling outside of any acceptable room for manoeuvre of a State to decide on such matters as the electoral rights of convicted prisoners. Other than the UK, the only other European countries with an outright ban on prisoners voting are Russia, Armenia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Luxembourg and Romania; hardly countries

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leading the way in human rights and political thinking. The UK Government need to realise the European Convention on Human Rights is not some ‘a la carte’ menu in a restaurant, where you can pick and choose what rights you want to enforce and those you wish to ignore, all the rights protected by the Convention are enforceable - and let us not forget the UK signed up to this Convention half a century ago. The UK led the way in post-war Europe and drove this historical treaty forward - fifty years later if anything should make anyone ‘physically ill’ it is not the prospect of giving prisoners the vote, but the shameful way we now seek to walk over hard-won rights and freedoms that our ancestors considered so vital to any democracy that they fought and died for them – and did so in their millions. Mark Leech FRSA © www.markleech.com

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Howard League responds to Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation report on enforcement and recall The League has responded to a thematic report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation report on enforcement and recall, published on Friday 9th February. Research by the Howard League last year showed that the number of people being recalled to prison had spiralled out of control following the part-privatisation of probation in England and Wales. As recalls have soared, so pressure has grown on a prison system already failing to cope with overcrowding, a lack of resources and record levels of violence and self-injury. Frances Crook, Chief Executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “This is the latest in a long line of critical inspection reports that show how private probation companies, which have already been propped up with extra taxpayers’ money, continue to fail the public.” “The Howard League is calling for contractors to be held to account. When a privatised railway franchise fails, trains are cancelled and passengers are inconvenienced. When a privatised probation service fails, people get hurt.” “It is time for the government to end this dangerous experiment and recreate a single, successful, probation service using the best from the system we used to have.”

Legal aid for prisoners to be reinstated Following successful challenge by the Howard League and the Prisoners’ Advice Service Legal aid was reinstated for three key areas of prison law from Wednesday 21 February after the cuts were successfully challenged in court by the Howard League for Penal Reform and the Prisoners’ Advice Service. The two charities brought a judicial review more than four years ago following the decision of the then Lord Chancellor, Chris Grayling, to remove almost all areas of legal aid for the Custodial Review

prisoners. The cuts were ruled to be unlawful by the Court of Appeal in April last year.

sentence either unrepresented or having to pay lawyers to attend their hearings.”

The changes are to be implemented through a statutory instrument. It is the first time that any areas of law have been brought back into the scope of legal aid since the cuts came into force in December 2013.

“This is clearly only part of the fight to reestablish a decent, fair and universal legal aid system; however it is a step in the right direction, which we are proud to have been able to take.”

In the years since the cuts were introduced, violence and self-injury in prisons have risen to record levels, with more prisoners than ever before calling the Howard League and the Prisoners’ Advice Service to seek help. Calls to the Howard League legal advice line have increased by 62 per cent since the cuts came into force. Calls to the Prisoners’ Advice Service increased from 14,000 to 25,000 in 2017.

The charities’ arguments challenging the cuts were heard by three Court of Appeal judges in January and February 2017.

The government initially applied to appeal the Court of Appeal’s ruling, but ministers withdrew the application in October last year. Laura Janes, Legal Director at the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “The cuts have coincided with record high prison numbers, self-injury and suicide rates. For those of us who visit prisons week in and week out, as I do, it has never been so grim, even for children. The government has paid heed to the judgment, and we hope that it will make a positive difference. Our concern is that during the years of drought, as with other areas of legal aid, many providers have given up or lost their expertise.

“The Howard League has tried its best to weather the storm, at great financial cost and creating a huge burden on our staff.” Calls to the Howard League advice line have risen by 62 per cent since cuts to legal aid came into force. Deborah Russo, Joint Managing Solicitor of the Prisoners’ Advice Service, said: “Successive governments have cut the legal aid budget to the bone and we are therefore extremely pleased to have won this reversal of a part of that cut. Many of our clients are in high security prisons and in desperate need of legal aid in order to make representations about decisions regarding their Category A status or placement in Close Supervision Centres. Even more so are lifers and indeterminate sentence prisoners who, since the last round of prison law legal aid cuts until now, have faced pre-tariff reviews of their

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Before the hearing at the Court of Appeal, the government agreed that legal aid would be available for cases concerning: mother and baby units; resettlement; licence conditions; and segregation through an exceptional funding scheme. This left five key problems for the court to consider: pre-tariff reviews by the Parole Board where the Board does not have the power to direct release but advises the Secretary of State for Justice whether the prisoner is suitable for a move to open conditions; categorisation reviews of Category A prisoners; access to offending behaviour programmes and courses (“OBPs”); disciplinary proceedings where no additional days of imprisonment or detention can be awarded; and placement in close supervision centres (“CSCs”). In a detailed judgment, the Court of Appeal carefully scrutinised the full run of cases that go through the system and whether the existing alternative processes and procedures were capable of filling the gap left by the removal of legal aid in a way that would ensure fairness. The court found that the high threshold required for a finding of inherent or systemic unfairness has been satisfied in the case of pre-tariff reviews by the Parole Board, Category A reviews, and decisions as to placement in a CSC. Pre-tariff reviews are where an indeterminate sentence prisoner has been referred to the Parole Board by the Secretary of State for Justice before the expiry of his/her minimum term for advice on a move to open conditions. CSCs were introduced to deal with the most disruptive or dangerous prisoners, who pose a risk to other prisoners. The decision to place a prisoner in one of these centres, which creates a serious restriction on the prisoner at great expense to the public purse, is complex and important. The court was not persuaded that the lack of legal aid available in two areas – for OBPs and prison disciplinary proceedings where no additional days of imprisonment or detention can be awarded – is unlawful on the ground of systemic unfairness.


Howard League report explores policing of children’s homes Police forces are receiving a high number of call-outs from some children’s homes, which drain their resources and increase the risk of children in care being criminalised, research by the Howard League for Penal Reform revealed on Monday 18 December. A new report published by the charity finds that police take their safeguarding duties extremely seriously, but forces are also spending considerable time and resources dealing with minor issues in children’s homes that should not be brought to their attention. One force told the Howard League that it had been called because a child had squirted a member of staff with water. Another force was called by a home about a boy who had pulled down a curtain. One police officer told the charity that he felt on occasion that homes called the police to help them ‘tuck up’ teenagers who refused to go to bed. More than one officer said that they sometimes felt that the police were being used as a ‘taxi service’ to pick children up and take them back to homes. Policing children’s homes is expensive. It is not possible to quantify the costs nationally, but one police force told the Howard League that it would be cheaper to place an officer on the door of one of the most demanding children’s homes in their area on a full-time basis rather than responding individually to each call from that home. The findings are outlined in a Howard League briefing paper – the second to be published as part of the charity’s two-year programme to end the criminalisation of children in residential care. The report reveals that many police forces are taking measures to solve the problem, by working closely with children’s homes and local authorities to reduce unnecessary callouts and prevent vulnerable children being drawn into the criminal justice system. Research published by the Howard League previously has shown that children aged 16 and 17 living in children’s homes are 15 times more likely to be criminalised than other children of the same age. Keeping children out of the criminal justice system helps prevent crime. Academic research has shown that the more contact a child has with the system, the more entrenched they are likely to become, which increases reoffending rates.

Frances Crook, Chief Executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “The Howard League is proud to have played a key role in reducing child arrests across England and Wales. Working together with the police, we have ensured that tens of thousands of children will have a brighter future and not be dragged into a downward spiral of crime and custody.” “There is still much work to do, however, and our research has found that children in residential care are being criminalised unnecessarily. Police, local authorities and children’s homes must work together to rise to this challenge.” “The best scenario for a child living in a children’s home is not to have any contact with the police at all, just like any child living at a parental home. Ensuring that there is the least possible contact between police and children living in residential care would free up police time to deal with more important matters and prevent children having their life chances blighted by an unnecessary criminal record.” During the course of its two-year programme of work to end the criminalisation of children in residential care, the Howard League has met and heard from senior officers and their staff in more than half of the 43 police forces in England and Wales. All the forces told the charity that the total number of calls they were receiving from children’s homes was a serious concern. They reported huge differences in the levels of demand that individual children’s homes placed upon them. All forces had examples of homes that were perceived to be excellent and of homes that they were very worried about. The Howard League has been told about cases where police have taken steps to get homes closed down. Conversely, the charity has also been given examples of children who were frequently getting into trouble or going missing but, when moved to a good home, stopped coming to the attention of the police. Police forces said that they wanted to improve their responses to incidents of missing children who were at risk of harm. There was criticism, however, for call-outs where the safe location of the child was known to staff at children’s homes. The head of the missing persons unit in one force said that police were frequently called very early to homes in circumstances which resolve themselves. The officer added that police had also been called out for children Page 13

who were known to be on the bus on their way home but were running a bit late. The report considers the steps being taken by individual police forces to address the issue of criminalisation of children in residential care. We detail a few. Dorset Police saw a 49 per cent reduction in call-outs from residential children’s homes between January and August 2017, compared with the same period in 2016. The force has achieved this by working closely with Dorset Combined Youth Offending Team, the local authority and private care home providers. Care home staff in Dorset have been trained in restorative conversations and are now better able to deal with challenging behaviour without recourse to the police. The force has worked with care home staff and managers to make them more confident in dealing with such things as first-time use of Class B and Class C drugs. Dorset Police control room staff have all been trained on a multi-agency protocol, which was implemented with children’s homes and others to reduce the criminalisation of children in care. Sussex Police has developed a Missing Children Reporting Procedure, which provides a checklist for homes to run through before they call the police. It clarifies the homes’ responsibilities, prompts a review of actions that should be taken before the police are called, highlights potential risk to the child, and sets out the information that homes should provide to the police if a report is necessary. The force wants to avoid ‘informal criminalisation of what might otherwise be considered normal boundary-testing behaviour’. West Yorkshire Police has designated two police community support officers (PCSOs) to work specifically with staff in children’s homes in the Wakefield area, where call-outs had been particularly problematic and demanding. The force also has a crime reduction officer who is specially trained and tasked with working with vulnerable children and adults. The officer holds non-judgmental interviews with children to understand why they have gone missing and to see how the police can support them to prevent it. One such interview revealed that a child was simply going to McDonalds to use the wi-fi. The missing incidents came to an end when the children’s home installed wi-fi at the request of the police. In the London borough of Waltham Forest, the Metropolitan Police is to begin training care home staff in restorative approaches. The force continues overleaf u the Custodial Review


is working with Waltham Forest Council and children’s homes to develop individual ‘trigger plans’ for children who go missing. The trigger plans will encourage children’s homes to take on appropriate levels of parental responsibility for risk assessment. They will mean that agencies’ responses to missing episodes are more closely aligned to the risk involved – the action taken when a child is at risk of sexual exploitation, for example, will be different to when a child, albeit breaking a curfew, is known to regularly meet a friend or sibling in the local park and is keeping in contact by phone.

Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) children accounted for 60 per cent of all child arrests by the Metropolitan Police last year, Analysis by the Howard League for Penal Reform revealed on 27th November, that the Metropolitan Police made more than 20,000 child arrests in 2016, of which more than 12,000 were of BAME children – the highest proportion recorded by any police force in England and Wales. Across England and Wales, police forces made fewer than 88,000 arrests of children in total last year, down from almost 250,000 in 2010. BAME children accounted for 26 per cent of all child arrests. The Howard League, which has led a successful campaign to reduce child arrests, has analysed its figures following the findings of the Lammy Review, an independent review of the treatment of, and outcomes for, BAME individuals in the criminal justice system. The Lammy Review, chaired by David Lammy MP, called for a principle of ‘explain or reform’ to apply to every institution in the criminal justice system: “If agencies cannot provide an evidencebased explanation for apparent disparities between ethnic groups then reforms should be introduced to address those disparities.” Frances Crook, Chief Executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said:

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“The Howard League is proud to have played a key role in reducing child arrests across England and Wales. Working together with the police, we have ensured that tens of thousands of children will have a brighter future and not be dragged into a downward spiral of crime and custody.” “There is still more work to do, however, and the disproportionate number of BAME children being brought into the system is of great concern. It raises serious questions about decision-making throughout the criminal justice journey – from the police’s decision to arrest, to the remand and sentencing decisions of the youth courts.” “The Lammy Review has called on police forces and other criminal justice agencies to either explain disparities or reform. Our analysis of child arrests data is intended to assist this discussion.” The Howard League’s figures, compiled from data supplied by police in response to Freedom of Information requests, show that the Metropolitan (60 per cent), Bedfordshire (42 per cent) and West Midlands (41 per cent) forces recorded the highest proportions of BAME child arrests in 2016. The lowest proportions were recorded by the Cumbria (2 per cent), Durham (2 per cent), Cleveland (3 per cent), Norfolk (3 per cent) and Northumbria (4 per cent) forces.

The first recommendation of the Lammy Review is that a more consistent approach to recording data on ethnicity should be agreed across the criminal justice system. The Howard League’s research found that such an approach is required – as recording practices varied between police forces, often significantly. Two police forces – Norfolk and Suffolk – failed to record ethnicity in more than half of the arrests that they made in 2016. Thames Valley Police did not provide ethnicity figures at all, while Derbyshire Police was only able to give data for a seven-month period. Lancashire Police changed its recording system midway through the year. BAME populations vary in size from police force area to police force area, and a lack of population data specifically in relation to boys and girls aged 10 to 17 makes it

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difficult to assess whether forces are making a disproportionately high number of BAME child arrests. A guide comes in the form of a table on the Home Office’s crime-mapping website, www. police.uk, which lists, for each police force area, the proportion of the total population that is BAME. Although this information relates to people of all ages, it provides at least an indication of the police areas where most BAME children are likely to live. The figures raise some questions for police forces and politicians to consider, in light of the Lammy Review’s call for criminal justice agencies to ‘explain or reform’ – particularly in areas where the proportion of BAME child arrests is significantly higher than the BAME proportion of the total population. The Metropolitan Police recorded a 60 per cent BAME child arrest rate while policing an area with a 40 per cent BAME population. BAME children accounted for 42 per cent of child arrests in Bedfordshire, a policing area where only 23 per cent of the total population is BAME. In the West Midlands, where 30 per cent of the total population is BAME, police recorded a BAME child arrest rate of 41 per cent. Earlier this year, the Howard League published a briefing, Child arrests in England and Wales 2016, which showed how reducing the number of children entering the system had stemmed the flow of children into custody. The briefing stated that the positive trend across police forces had been led at a national level, most notably by the National Police Chiefs’ Council, which has prioritised improvements in the policing of children. However, while the number of children in prison has fallen, the proportion of BAME children in custody has risen, raising questions for the Crown Prosecution Service and the youth courts. In a report published earlier this week, HM Inspectorate of Prisons drew attention to the disproportionate number of BAME children in custody. The report, Children in Custody 2016-17, revealed that almost half of children in jails were BAME. The Howard League regularly meets and corresponds with police forces and shares examples of good practice in local areas. Keeping children out of the criminal justice system helps prevent crime. Academic research has shown that the more contact a child has with the system, the more entrenched they are likely to become, which increases reoffending rates.


A welcome fall in deaths in custody but new record highs for violence and self-injury in prison Violence and self-injury in jails have soared to record levels as overcrowding continues to put pressure on the prison system, figures seen by the Howard League for Penal Reform revealed on Thursday 25th January. Official data published by the Ministry of Justice show that 28,165 assaults were recorded in prisons in England and Wales in the 12 months to the end of September 2017 – a 12 per cent rise on the previous year. They included 7,828 assaults on prison staff – a 22 per cent rise compared to the previous 12 months. Incidents of self-injury rose by 12 per cent to 42,837 over the same period. It means that incidents of assault and self-injury are at their highest levels since current recording practices began in 1978. The figures show that 295 people died in jails in 2017, including 70 people who lost their lives through suicide. 184 people were recorded to have died of natural causes. Investigations into the deaths of a further 38 prisoners remain incomplete, with more information awaited. There were three apparent homicides in prison in 2017. The number of prisoners losing their lives through suicide has fallen significantly. In 2016, 120 people died – the highest number on record. 12 of these self-inflicted deaths in 2016 were women, whereas two women lost their lives in prison through suicide in 2017. Andrew Neilson, Director of Campaigns at the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “Against a backdrop of continued problems affecting prison safety, there has been a welcome reduction in the number of people who have lost their lives through suicide.” “Given that 2016 was the worst year on record in this area, however, improvement was a must. There is no room for complacency when it remains the case that a prisoner dies by suicide every three days. We have no way of knowing how many more lives have been saved by quick-thinking staff, many of whom are working in intolerable conditions.”

“As the prison system buckles under the weight of chronic overcrowding and staff shortages, the wave of violence and self-injury rises higher and higher. The new Secretary of State for Justice and his minister for prisons must respond boldly and urgently to this national emergency, to prevent more people being hurt.” “Reducing the prison population would save lives, protect staff and stop others being swept into deeper currents of crime, violence and despair.”

New report on prison officers calls for urgent action to save the profession Action on staffing levels, rates of pay, and officer development is urgently required in English and Welsh prisons, research by the Howard League for Penal Reform and the justice sector trade union, Community, revealed on Monday 13th November. Dangerously low staffing levels, a poorlydefined job description, insufficient training and a perceived lack of decision-making power have left officers feeling ignored, ineffective and unable to achieve their aims. Morale is low among staff in private prisons and few see a long-term future for themselves in the service. The concerns are raised in The role of the prison officer, a joint report by the Howard League and Community, the trade union representing staff across the justice sector. The report presents the findings of focus groups and surveys with 27 prison officers working in the private sector for a range of companies. A number of officers working in public-sector prisons also gave evidence to the project. Prison officers said that they were enthusiastic for change and wanted to play a role in helping people to turn their lives around. They want systemic change so that they are able to continue to develop their skills and receive the support that they need to succeed in their roles. The report calls on private companies, ministers and officials to demonstrate that they value prison officers. They must recognise their staff as professionals, fulfil their potential and ensure that officers are able to build rewarding careers. Frances Crook, Chief Executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “This report, based on

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findings from focus groups and surveys with people working on the front line, underlines the need for urgent reform of the whole system. The Howard League’s experience is that staff morale is low in public prisons as well as private prisons.” “The problems will not be solved by simply recruiting more prison officers. While devolving responsibility to governors, ministers ought to take steps to ensure that the workforce is motivated, empowered, educated and allowed to exercise professional discretion.” “This must come hand-in-hand with bold action to reduce the prison population, which would protect staff, save lives and make the public safer.” Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary of Community, said: “Community members in the justice sector carry out important jobs in difficult circumstances. This report confirms that government must urgently address the problems in our justice system.” “There are simply not enough staff in prisons to keep people safe, and those officers that are there are not paid nearly enough. If we want prison officers to be effective, then we need to show we value their work. We need proper training and career development, as well as practical and emotional support to help deal with the challenges of the modern prison.” “Community, the union for the justice sector, stands ready to engage constructively with government and employers to help make our prisons safe for the staff working in them, and effective tools of reform for prisoners.” All who participated in the project said that there were not enough officers working in their prisons. In some, there were staff shortages and prisons were recruiting. Other prisons were technically fully staffed, but the staffing levels were so low that they did not have enough people to achieve the basics of keeping people safe and delivering a full regime. One officer said: “There are two officers on a spur of 61 men… when everyone is back for lunch, one has to supervise medication and the other has to go and collect the food from the kitchen. This means there is nobody else on the spur, the model incorporates completely unsupervised continues overleaf

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association time and with all the other tasks we have to do it really means that one officer is alone all morning and another in the afternoon.”

training ranged between seven and nine weeks in length. Officers viewed this as being far too short for the difficult and complex role they were carrying out.

Another officer said:

One officer said that training at his prison “is death by PowerPoint…there’s a mandatory five-day course on control and restraint (CNR). It’s not a pass or fail – just an idea of what happens.You are told that CNR can only be enforced by a three-officer team, but there are never three on a wing – most of the time you would be on your own. I think it’s too detached from reality. There’s no training for what to do when you’re on your own”.

“On our house block we have 60-odd on a wing and I work it by myself. I work 0715 to 2000 and I might only see and speak to another officer a couple of times a day…I cover two floors and so might not know about an incident in a cell until the following day”. “We had a murder a few months ago. There wasn’t enough staff on at night and nobody came when the alarm was rung. They thought one experienced staff member could run the house block on their own.” Inadequate staffing meant that prisons were fundamentally unsafe for staff and prisoners, researchers heard. One officer said: “We had a murder a few months ago.There wasn’t enough staff on at night and nobody came when the alarm was rung.They thought one experienced staff member could run the house block on their own.” Many officers no longer felt that they could make a difference as the conditions in their prisons meant that they could not form quality relationships with prisoners. Low staffing levels, high workloads and frequent rotations to different parts of the prison made many officers feel powerless to achieve what they saw as a central part of the role. One officer asked: “What am I doing for them apart from holding them on behest of a judge? There is nothing to help them.” Another said: “We’re at rock bottom and it’s going to take a lot to get that back.” Many of the officers working in private prisons felt that their companies were not sufficiently focused on recruiting people who understood and had the right skills. Several reported that new officers sometimes arrived without a full understanding of the realities of being a prison officer and as a result quickly left. This high turnover put enormous strain on longerserving officers. In the prisons that the officers worked in, basic

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The report recommends that the government should support the setting-up of a specialised training and standard-setting college, akin to the College of Policing, to set standards to promote high-quality training across prisons in both the public sector and the private sector. Such a college would also provide an ethical framework and guide good practice, both of which are currently missing. A number of officers told the project that the starting pay was reasonable in most areas of the country, but needed to rise as staff became more experienced and took on more responsibility. Others thought that the starting salary needed to be higher and commensurate with police officers and social workers in the area. One officer said: “You can go and work in Aldi for £18,000 a year without having to deal with the things we have to deal with. It’s nowhere near to what we should be paid for what we’re doing”.

The Howard League for Penal Reform has responded to the Annual Report of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Probation Frances Crook, Chief Executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “The government’s mishandled Transforming Rehabilitation programme was supposed to turn lives around, reduce reoffending and make us all safer. Instead, it has been a public safety disaster, and today’s report is a sober, sensible and quietly devastating verdict on the reform programme.

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It is also a large and rusty nail in its coffin.” “Breaking up the public probation service, with a large part of it handed to private companies, created a fragmented, two-tier system that was never going to work. As the Chief Inspector has made clear, the problems stretch far beyond worries about funding; this is a fatally flawed model.” “The so-called ‘community rehabilitation companies’ are failing the public. Many are not commissioning the range of specialist services that are needed. Some people do not even meet their probation worker face-to-face, but instead get supervised by phone calls every six weeks or so by junior professional staff carrying workloads of 200 cases or more. “Each of these woeful developments could be foreseen and was foreseen. The Howard League gave warning time and time again that this would happen.” “It is time for the government to end this dangerous experiment and recreate a single, successful, probation service using the best from the system we used to have.”

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Fingerprint drug test proves popular with both clients and staff at leading detoxification centre CAIS – a personal support charity providing in patient drug and alcohol detoxification services - has run a successful pilot of the fingerprinting drug screening system – the world’s first fingerprint-based portable drug test. CAIS is focused on helping people recover from addiction and rebuild normal, productive lifestyles. Results from its trial revealed highly positive feedback from both its detoxification clients and CAIS staff – confirming the drug test as portable, quick and easy to use, less invasive than other methods, and more dignified for CAIS clients. Nine out of ten CAIS detoxification clients who took part in the post pilot survey said that they preferred being tested by the system in comparison to traditional screening methods that require urine or saliva samples for analysis. According to Leon Marsh, Director of Community Services at CAIS: “Our detoxification programmes involve regular drug tests for our residents to monitor their progress and assist in their recovery. CAIS

has traditionally used urine cups for drug screening - which can prove difficult, both for those clients who find it embarrassing to urinate when required, as well as for staff who have to handle and process the urine samples. We were therefore very interested when we learnt about fingerprint drug testing to see how the new technology performed in practice. After our pilot we can confirm that the solution has been very well received by both our clients and staff - particularly for its flexibility and more dignified approach.” Clive Wolfendale, Chief Executive for CAIS added: “When I first heard about fingerprint-based drug screening I was excited about the opportunities it presented for our charity, and particularly how it could be used to make the testing element of our drug detoxification programmes less stressful for our clients. We work with over 600 clients each year at our Hafen Wen detoxification centre, and that adds up to a lot of time and costs taken up by drug testing. Anything we can do to improve the experience and process by speeding it up has to be a good thing. Our pilot has shown that with the system, sample collection takes a few seconds with results in minutes. Not surprisingly, this helps free our staff to support other important detoxification activities.” CAIS clients have found fingerprint drug testing to be ‘more dignified, less

embarrassing and less invasive’. According to CAIS staff, the screening method has been a ‘more convenient way to test, requiring only one member of staff’, and ‘certainly more efficient in terms of time taken to obtain samples as opposed to urine collection’. CAIS is a registered charity and leading voluntary sector provider of personal support services in Wales. CAIS helps people who are having problems with addictions, mental health, personal development and employment – as well as offering assistance and information to their families and friends. It offers a wide range of services, including residential treatment and rehabilitation, counselling, peer mentoring, supporting people in their homes, assisting people back into work or education, group work and other motivational interventions. CAIS also offer a comprehensive range of training courses, together with training and support for employers. We are very active in the field of employment interventions including the development of our own social enterprises. CAIS is committed to working in partnership with others in keeping with the All Wales Strategy - Tackling Substance Misuse in Wales. All CAIS services aim to help people recover from addiction and rebuild normal, productive lifestyles in the belief that people can and do change. www.cais.co.uk

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Fingerprints and Drug Testing

The abuse of illicit substances is cause for concern in the United Kingdom with the government estimating that drug trafficking costs approximately £10.7 billion each year. Substances such as cocaine (crack and powder cocaine), opiates (diamorphine) and ecstasy are the most consumed substances and are easily attainable in the UK (National Crime Agency, 2016). Treating substance addiction will improve general public health by preventing infection and reducing the spread of

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disease (Public Health England, 2016). It is estimated that 45% of all acquisitive offences are committed by offenders under the influence of illicit substances. As a result, in the recently published “Modern Crime Prevention Strategy” (Home Office, 2016), the Home Office outlined an approach to reduce the number of drug users through treatment, prevention and enforcement. Monitoring of substance abuse costs the National Health Service (NHS) around £488 million per year,

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by Miss C D Costa

and the aim is to help heavy drug users rebuild their lives, deter the younger generation from experimenting with drugs and use law enforcement to monitor critical zones in the UK. Another key area where drug testing is on the rise is workplace drug testing (Ironmonger, 2014). This has been supported by reports in the literature that suggest that regular testing led to improved productivity and attendance (Carpenter, 2007, Fortner et al., 2011).


Current methods rely on the collection and analysis of biological fluid such as blood, urine or saliva. These are well-established but impose a few problems. Such samples are biohazardous and often require trained staff for sample collection (e.g. phlebotomist). The sample collection procedure cannot always be monitored due to privacy concerns (urine collection) and is often invasive (blood collection). Because of the hazardous nature of the sample, handling and transportation requirements are high and can be expensive. The use of fingerprints for drug testing mitigates these issues. The sample collection method is quick (~10 seconds), safe (no known biohazards) and potentially cheaper and easier to transport. Because the identity of the donor is embedded in a fingerprint sample, the test is traceable and difficult to falsify. Researchers at the University of Surrey have shown that in spite of the prevalence of cocaine in the natural environment, cocaine screening from a fingerprint is remarkably robust, with a recently developed method applied to drug users providing 99% detection rate and a 2.5% false positive rate. The new fingerprint method provides the rapid (less than 1 minute) and detection of cocaine (and most recently opiates) and respective metabolites in fingerprint samples using a new mass spectrometry technique. The method offers superior selectivity and sensitivity over antibody-based tests currently used by probation, prison and police services. The fingerprint sample is collected on a triangular piece of paper, which is then positioned on the instrument for analysis. To the paper containing the sample, a liquid and a voltage is applied, resulting in the extraction of the drugs/metabolites into a mass spectrometry instrument for detection. The mass spectrometer works by measuring the weight of individual molecules. Specific molecules have specific weights, which can be measured very accurately allowing for the identification of the substances present in the sample.

The study, undertaken in collaboration with the Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI) and Intelligent Fingerprinting (IFP), looked at a total of 239 samples collected from drug users at NHS rehabilitation clinics (16 participants) and from the general population (40 participants). The test produced a 99% true positive rate, which was corroborated against standard saliva drug testing and patient testimony. The analysis of samples collected from the general population (not known to be drug users) yielded a 2.5% false-positive rate. The provenance of the positive results observed in the general population was not confirmed, but it could be the result of environmental contamination (e.g. bank notes). Only cocaine was detected in these samples and not the metabolites, possibly giving an indication of contact with cocaine rather ingestion. One other advantage of using fingerprints for drug testing is the capture of the patient unique fingerprint pattern in the sample. Fingerprints are routinely used for identification purposes due to the uniqueness of the fingerprint pattern. Thus, falsification of a fingerprint-based test is much more difficult as the sample can be collected without interfering with the privacy of the donor. To explore this characteristic of the biological sample, a fingerprint pattern visualisation step was included in the workflow prior to analysis, with no major effect on the qualitative result of the drug test. The inclusion of this step in the protocol can be used for donor identification in cases of disputed results and to ensure chain of custody. Future work on this technology will focus on expanding the range of substances that are detectable using the test to cannabinoids, amphetamines and other heavily abused drugs of abuse. Such test can also be used for therapeutic drug monitoring to ensure treatment compliance. This is of particular relevance for groups of people that are under a community treatment order and that closely monitored due to pre-diagnosed disorders (often mental disorders).

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Current instrumentation used for fingerprint testing is big and laboratory based. The miniaturisation of laboratory equipment, certainly mass spectrometry equipment, almost inevitably results in loss of sensitivity and selectivity. However, new and developing instrumentation is being explored for applicability to this test. The availability of a portable testing device would increase the number of application areas for a fingerprint based test. Examples would include police road-side testing and in-house testing in prisons and probation services. It is expected that such technology will be ready for adoption in the next 10 years. National Crime Agency. 2016. Drugs [Online]. Available: http://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/ crime-threats/drugs [Accessed 07/08/2016 2016]. Public Health England. 2016. Drugs and alcohol [Online]. Available: http://www.nta.nhs.uk/uploads/ whyinvest2final.pdf [Accessed 07/08/2016 2016]. Home Office 2016. Modern Crime Prevention Strategy. Carpenter, C. S. 2007.Workplace Drug Testing and Worker Drug Use. Health Services Research, 42, 795-810. Fortner, N. A., Martin, D. M., Esen, S. E. & Shelton, L. 2011. Employee drug testing: Study Shows improved productivity and attendance and decreased workers’ compensation and turnover. Journal of Global Drug Policy and Practice 5, 1-22. Written by Miss C D Costa. She graduated from the University of Surrey in 2013 with a First Class Honours Master of Chemistry in Chemistry with Forensic Investigation. She remained at Surrey to do a PhD, which was completed in April 2017 on the ‘Detection of cocaine and respective metabolites using fingerprints’. She is currently a Liaison Fellow at the University of Surrey’s Ion Beam Centre. In her current role, she continues to be involved with fingerprint research as well as the development and application of new and emerging analytical techniques.

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HMCIP report into HMYOI Cookham Wood – boys locked up when they should receive education and therapy Education and therapy for boys at Cookham Wood young offender institution (YOI) was undermined by a custody regime which kept the 15-18-year-olds locked in cells whilst skilled and enthusiastic professionals waited for them in empty rooms, prisons inspectors found. According to the HM Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP) report of an unannounced visit in August 2017, low attendance at the wide range of group-based services led to a “significant waste” of resources. Inspectors concluded that Cookham Wood had “many redeeming features,” including an extended team of enthusiastic and skilled staff. It assessed “the vast majority of teaching, learning and assessment” as good, with boys achieving very well. Cancelled education sessions had reduced in the two months preceding the inspection, from cancellation rates of 40% between April and June 2017. The report noted that: “Individual work was complemented by a range of focused group sessions, including art therapy and managing emotions and resilience groups. Difficulties remained in getting boys to group sessions, largely because of the lack of escort officers.” Poor regime and delays in movements affected access to all services. Peter Clarke, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons said: “While we did not underestimate the risks presented by some of the boys and the need to manage their movements carefully, some of the unlock procedures were unnecessarily cumbersome and created further delays to an already curtailed regime.” Inspectors also found Cookham Wood, holding 161 boys, to be less safe and more violent than at the previous inspection in 2016, with little evidence of an effective strategy to reduce violence. Mr Clarke added: “The main prison regime was also poor and unpredictable. The lack of time out of cell restricted access to education, interventions and meaningful interaction with staff and other boys. What was perhaps most unforgivable was that there were many skilled staff and partners who were keen to work with boys to help them progress but their efforts were frustrated by the failure to unlock boys on time, if at all.”

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The average time out of cell over the six months prior to the inspection was estimated at 4.5 hours a day, with a significant number of boys receiving far less. Strengths at Cookham Wood included work with boys in their early days in custody, when they were well supported in reception and on the induction unit. Boys with potentially life-threatening medical conditions were encouraged to wear a medical alert wristband to help custody staff ensure their safety, which was good practice. Mr Clarke noted that a new governor had been appointed weeks before the inspection, with encouraging plans to address the issues highlighted by the report. Michael Spurr, Chief Executive of Her Majesty’s Prisons and Probation Service, conceded that staffing shortages had impacted on the regime but said that staff recruitment had been prioritised and, with the new staff in place, the Governor would be able “to provide a more consistent regime, reduce violence and provide better support for the young people”.

Peterborough women’s prison – respectful but undermined by deteriorating safety and concerns over force and strip-searching Peterborough women’s prison was found to be “not sufficiently” safe for prisoners, the first time in years that a women’s jail was assessed at this level, according to HM Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP). Safety had been ‘reasonably good’ at the previous inspection in 2014, but in 2017 inspectors found that this key aspect of prisoners’ lives had deteriorated. While violence was relatively low, women felt intimidated by verbal bullying and antisocial behaviour. Use of force was far too high, “at more than double what we usually see in women’s prisons”. Inspectors saw examples where not every opportunity to de-escalate the situation had been used. As in 2014, inspectors remained concerned by the over-use of strip-searching. The report noted that - whilst the local searching policy required searches to be intelligence-led - in practice a strip-search could be authorised by any senior officer. There was no central record of strip-searching across the prison to enable managers to satisfy themselves of its proportionality. Page 20

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Mr Clarke said the over-use “was particularly disappointing given the heavy investment in training staff about how past trauma can be reignited in the prison setting.” Over 250 staff had completed Becoming Trauma Informed training, and some prisoners had also participated, but it had focussed more on the physical environment than on processes or relationships. HMP & YOI Peterborough is the only prison in England and Wales that holds both women and men on a single site. Peter Clarke, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, said: “We had concerns that instability on the male side was affecting the prison’s ability to focus sufficiently on the relatively more settled female prison.” Peterborough held 360 women from the age of 18 but, as a resettlement prison, had a high “churn” and a complex population. Most women only stayed for a few weeks and, on arrival, 65% of women said they felt depressed and over a quarter said they felt suicidal. Twothirds had mental health problems. Mr Clarke said that 60% of women had felt unsafe at some time since arriving and 28% felt unsafe at the time of the inspection. The proportion of women who said they have been victimised by prisoners or staff was higher than in 2014 or at similar prisons.Verbal bullying and antisocial behaviour were the main reasons for these perceptions. Levels of self-harm were high in the prison but a small number of women accounted for a significant proportion of these incidents. Though they had some reservations, including the use of paper “strip-clothing” in some cases, inspectors found the care for women who selfharmed, and those with complex needs, was good. There were weaknesses in some aspects of health care for women. However, the environment of the jail was generally excellent and staff-prisoner relationships were good overall, though many staff were relatively new and inexperienced. Overall, Mr Clarke said, it was a more mixed report than before. The prison remained basically respectful, but serious deficits in health care meant that the assessment in this area was not as positive. On the other hand, outcomes in purposeful activity had improved and resettlement remained very strong. The leadership team at Peterborough were motivated to provide good outcomes for the women, but had been distracted by significant challenges in the male prison. Michael Spurr, Chief Executive of Her Majesty’s Prison & Probation Service, said: “Sodexo have responded swiftly and positively to the report. There is a renewed focus on the specific needs of the women, and a continues overleaf u


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dedicated Operational Manager has been appointed to drive safety improvements. The positive outcomes for Purposeful Activity and Resettlement demonstrate that highquality work continues to be delivered at Peterborough and we will work closely with Sodexo to ensure the weaknesses identified in the report are addressed.”

HMP Liverpool – abject failure to provide safe and decent jail Prison leaders, from local to national, presided over an “abject failure” to provide a safe, decent and purposeful regime at HMP Liverpool, according to Peter Clarke, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons. In a report outlining jail conditions that inspectors regarded as the worst they could remember, Mr Clarke said it was “hard to understand how the leadership … could have allowed the situation to deteriorate to this extent.” Inspectors found squalid living conditions, with dirt, litter, rats and cockroaches, and an environment in which drugs were easily available and violence had increased. Mr Clarke noted that, whilst much of the responsibility fell to local prison managers, there had been broader organisational failure. Local prison managers had sought help from regional and national management to improve conditions without receiving adequate support. HMP Liverpool, a Merseyside category B prison with “a very strong sense of local identity”, held 1,115 men at the time of the unannounced inspection in September 2017. Since the previous inspection in 2015, the prison had deteriorated in terms of respect and purposeful activity – both were assessed as poor in 2017. Safety and resettlement work, other key elements, were judged as ‘not sufficiently good.’ The bare statistics did not adequately describe the failure to offer a safe, decent and purposeful environment, according to Mr Clarke. He identified key issues:

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There was a backlog of some 2,000 maintenance tasks. Facilities management at the prison “was in a parlous state.”

Mr Clarke added: “The inspection team was highly experienced and could not recall having seen worse living conditions. Many cells were not fit to be used and should have been decommissioned. Some had emergency call bells that were not working but were nevertheless still occupied... There were hundreds of unrepaired broken windows, with jagged glass left in the frames. Many lavatories were filthy, blocked or leaking. There were infestations of cockroaches in some areas, broken furniture, graffiti, damp and dirt.” He described piles of rat-infested rubbish which had to be cleared by external contractors rather than prisoners employed as cleaning orderlies due to the health and safety risk. “In other words, this part of the jail had become so dirty, infested and hazardous to health that it could not be cleaned.” Mr Clarke criticised the “appalling conditions” in which one vulnerable man with complex mental health needs was being held. His cell had only a bed and was dark and damp with broken windows and light fittings, a filthy lavatory and leaking sink. Inspectors could see “no credible plan” to address these basic problems and there did not appear to be effective leadership or sufficiently rigorous external oversight to drive the prison forward in a meaningful way. Michael Spurr, Chief Executive of Her Majesty’s Prison & Probation Service (HMPPS), acknowledged that conditions were unacceptable and that effective measures should have been taken at a much earlier stage. HMPPS said a comprehensive action plan to address the Chief Inspector’s concerns had been published. A new Governor had been appointed and a strengthened management team put in place; capacity had been reduced by 172 places; over 700 prisoners had been allocated a named Prison Officer as their ‘Key Worker’; cleanliness had improved and the maintenance backlog almost halved. He added: “Liverpool has a dedicated staff who are committed to providing a safe and decent environment for prisoners. The Governor will get the support she needs to deliver the action plan and make the changes necessary”.

Violence of all kinds had increased. Over a third of prisoners felt unsafe at the time of the inspection, and 71% felt unsafe at some time.

Nearly two-thirds of prisoners said it was easy or very easy to obtain drugs. Drones carrying drugs and other illicit items were a substantial problem. Staff had recovered 32 drones in the six months before the inspection, more than one a week.

Half of the prisoners were locked in their cells during the working day.

HMP Usk and HMP & YOI Prescoed – still fundamentally successful prisons

There were failings in the leadership and management of activities and in health care.

HMP Usk, a small jail specialising in sex offender programmes, and the nearby HMP and YOI Prescoed, an open prison, remained

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“fundamentally successful” establishments, inspectors found in October 2017. The two prisons in south east Wales are distinct establishments three-and-a-half miles apart, but run by the same management team. Usk is a small category C training prison built in the 19th century that for many years has specialised in delivering sex offender treatment programmes. At the time of the inspection it held 274 men, nearly all convicted sex offenders assessed as posing “a high risk of harm to others”. Prescoed held 252 men, with only a small number of sex offenders. Its key aim is to prepare men for release back into the community, and it uses release on temporary licence (ROTL) extensively. Peter Clarke, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, said: “For many years we have reported that both Usk and Prescoed are fundamentally successful institutions delivering their key responsibilities very well. This was again the case at this inspection, where we found some good work taking place at both institutions. We do, however, also identify some issues where some improvement is needed.” Both prisons were safe with very little violence and the most vulnerable men were generally well cared for. Both were also fundamentally respectful prisons with good staff-prisoner relationships, though black and minority ethnic men were less positive about staff-prisoner relationships and the reasons for this needed to be better understood. In HMP Usk, most men lived in overcrowded cells. However, both prisons were clean and prisoners received what they needed to live decently. Usk had a high proportion of older men and there was good work to support them. At Prescoed, there was excellent support to help men with substance misuse problems to find work. Time out of cell at Usk was good and a positive range of extracurricular activities was offered. Men at Prescoed were only restricted to their units overnight. Inspectors also found a good range of education and work opportunities. However, whereas Prescoed continued to use release on temporary licence (ROTL) extensively, rehabilitation support at Usk was a more mixed picture. Mr Clarke said Usk now offered even more opportunities for men to reduce their risk through offending behaviour work and praised the new range of programmes which allowed men otherwise in denial of their offence to participate. However, oversight of offender management arrangements at the prison was weak, and offender supervisors did not actively support all men in reducing their risk and progressing. “Communication with offender managers based in the community was weak, which again undermined efforts around risk reduction, progression and release planning”. These deficiencies particularly impacted on the third of men at Usk who would not undertake


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offending behaviour programmes, and a strategy for managing this group was needed. Michael Spurr, Chief Executive of Her Majesty’s Prison & Probation Service, said: “I am pleased that the good work at both Usk and Prescoed has been recognised by the Chief Inspector, which is a credit to all the staff. The Governor is committed to building on the work to further improve performance. In particular, we are reviewing the Learning and Skills provision in order to improve the quality of education and training provided across both sites. We are also introducing officer ‘Key Workers’ to provide dedicated support as offenders progress through their sentence. This will improve the resettlement process and reduce the risk of reoffending on release.”

HMP Swansea – complacency and inexcusable failure to address suicides and high self-harm HMP Swansea was not responding effectively to high levels of self-harm and suicides of new prisoners, according to an inspection report by HM Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP). The report noted four self-inflicted deaths since HMIP’s previous inspection in 2014, all occurring within a week of arrival at Swansea. At the time of the previous inspection there had also been four self-inflicted deaths; all men taking their lives during their early days. The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman (PPO), which investigates deaths in prisons, had made “significant and highly relevant” recommendations to address suicides but the new report found that the prison had not fully acted on these. Peter Clarke, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, called the failure to implement the PPO recommendations “inexcusable – particularly as, in the previous six months, there had been 134 incidents of self-harm – three times the rate that was recorded at the last inspection.” Inspectors found that the risk assessment of new arrivals was weak and had not significantly improved. Mr Clarke said: “Basic procedures designed to improve safety, such as assessment, care in custody and teamwork (ACCT) documentation, were poor. In the context of the high levels of self-harm, suicide and prisoners presenting with mental health problems, this was inexplicable. Much more needed to be done to analyse and understand what sat behind the suicides and self-harm.” A third of prisoners said they felt depressed or suicidal on arrival at Swansea, 53% arriving with drugs problems and 32% with alcohol problems. Although these were higher

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proportions than in comparable prisons, “far fewer” prisoners than at similar jails said they had received drugs or alcohol help. Inspectors noted: “Mental health provision did not meet the high level of need, although the care that was provided was good.” The suicide constant watch cell was “unwelcoming, dirty and unfurnished.” In the early 1980s, Swansea had started the Listener scheme – prisoners trained by the Samaritans to support vulnerable fellow prisoners – and this developed into a nationwide service. In Swansea in 2017, enthusiastic and committed Listeners felt underused and undervalued. Inspectors also noted that:

Violence had risen in Swansea since 2014 and drugs were a significant problem.

Not all the 458 men could obtain the “very basics for everyday living”, such as socks, boxer shorts and sheets.

The Victorian, inner-city prison was overcrowded and “prisoners usually had to eat their meals next to their toilets, which did not always have seats or lids.”

‘Purposeful activity’ had fallen to the lowest possible HMIP assessment of ‘poor’. Mr Clarke said: “For a prison of this type to have a regime where half the prisoners are locked up during the working day, with unemployed prisoners locked up for around 22 hours each day, was unacceptable.”

Half of those released did not have ‘sustainable accommodation’ and there were no programmes for the many men who had problems with domestic violence.

Michael Spurr, Chief Executive of Her Majesty’s Prison & Probation Service, said: “The Governor and his team have taken immediate action since the inspection to strengthen safety arrangements in the prison and reduce self-harm. This includes work to improve the level of care and support given to new prisoners in the first night centre. A new senior operational manager has also been recruited to focus on safety and enhanced suicide and self-harm prevention training is being given to staff to increase interventions and support available to vulnerable prisoners.”

The Chief Inspector of Prisons triggered the urgent notification process for HMP Nottingham on 17th January 2018 Following the third inspection of HMP Nottingham in just over three years,

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the Chief Inspector of Prisons pressed the Secretary of State for Justice to intervene to ensure urgent action to save lives and protect fearful prisoners in the “fundamentally unsafe” prison. In the first use of the recently signed ‘Urgent Notification’ protocol, Peter Clarke put the Secretary of State, David Gauke, on notice that the prison required immediate action. The protocol, signed by Mr Gauke’s predecessor, David Lidington, allowed him 28 days to publicly respond. By letter of 17 January Mr Clarke stated that: “The principal reason I have decided to issue an Urgent Notification…is because for the third time in a row HMI Prisons has found the prison to be fundamentally unsafe”. Levels of self-harm had risen “very significantly” between the 2016 and 2018 inspections, with eight prisoners believed to have taken their own lives (although some cases are at inquest stage). Over two-thirds of men said they had felt unsafe in the prison at some time, and more than a third felt unsafe at the time of the inspection. There were high levels of drugs, violence and assaults and use of force by staff. The last two inspections had been announced to give the prison the opportunity to focus on the areas where improvement was needed. Despite this, inspectors had found serious failures in safety, failures that were repeated from previous inspections. Inspections in 2014, 2016 and 2018 had assessed safety as “poor” - the lowest possible grading. Mr Clarke expressed concern not only with the latest grading but also the lack of progress in implementing previous recommendations. Only two of 13 “crucial” recommendations on safety from 2016 had been fully achieved. On 13 February 2018, Mr Gauke responded to Mr Clarke’s Urgent Notification. The Ministry of Justice has published his response and the accompanying initial action plan at www.gov.uk/government/publications/urgentnotification-for-hmp-nottingham Mr Gauke accepted that “conditions in some of our prisons are unacceptable” and said he would not stand for them. He confirmed that the action plan, which was “only the beginning” would address the “unacceptable level of self-harm and deaths” by the creation of a new suicide prevention policy. In addition young adult offenders would no longer be held at HMP Nottingham for temporary periods in order to “help stabilise the prison”. Other key commitments made in the initial plan include: continues overleaf u

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A comprehensive safety audit by the national Operational System and Assurance Group, with input from the national Prison Safety Team

Deployment of a specialist Safety Taskforce into the prison to work intensively for several weeks with the establishment and the Regional Safer Custody team

Health commissioners to provide additional funding of approximately £200k per year to enhance 7 day a week mental healthcare

Specialist healthcare staff to spend more time with those most at risk of self-harm.

Mr Clarke said: ‘We welcome the Secretary of State’s response to the HMP Nottingham Urgent Notification. However, we see many action plans and we do not always find that they are delivered in practice. Given the scale of problems at HMP Nottingham, to achieve genuine improvements in safety and conditions will require vigorous, focused, regular and transparent monitoring of the progress of work by HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) to deliver the action plan.’

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The research findings show that the experience of having a mother in prison not only negatively impacts a child’s relationship with their mother, but can affect every area of their lives including their education, health, and well being. The knock-on effects of stigmatisation may also lead to social isolation and discrimination. The work highlights the importance of considering child dependents and understanding the profound impact that maternal imprisonment can have on children who themselves have done nothing wrong. In the past week research from 2 other countries has been published indicating that parental imprisonment in childhood also contributes to premature death as an adult.

Mr Clarke said:

New resources launched to highlight impact of maternal imprisonment on 17,000 children a year

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Staff were supervising boys with much greater confidence. Behaviour management arrangements had been properly reviewed and now had a greater emphasis on motivation than sanctions. Security was proportionate and use of force was better managed. Boys had good amounts of time out of their cells, with improved education and activities, and could eat communally in an ordered atmosphere, although few liked the food. The Parc unit was also cleaner. There was a greater level of consultation with boys. However, more needed to be done to promote equality, which remained weak.

Parc Young Persons’ Unit – good work to reverse recent deterioration in standards

Safety is a key challenge in all institutions for young people and recorded violence at the Parc unit, although falling, remained too high – though most incidents were low level. Linked to this, the unit needed to address boys’ poor perceptions of safety and victimisation. Nearly two-thirds of boys said they had been victimised by other boys. Despite this, inspection evidence indicated improvement in most aspects of safety. Boys were well received and correctly inducted into the unit,

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including 14 children, and 22 adults who were taking care of children during their mother’s imprisonment.

HMIP proposes to test the effectiveness of the measures outlined by Mr Gauke in a further inspection visit to HMP Nottingham, as yet unscheduled.

Peter Clarke, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, said Parc had often received positive inspection results and he welcomed work by the management to turn around a deterioration in standards at the previous inspection in December 2016. Parc held 43 boys up to the age of 18 at the most recent inspection in October 2017. Publishing a report on the inspection, Mr Clarke said: “At this inspection, it was clear to us that, with good leadership and a re-energised staff group, deterioration had been arrested and indeed quite significant improvement was evident.”

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safeguarding and child protection procedures were more rigorous and the care for those at risk of self-harm was much better.

“This is a good report. It was encouraging to see many of our previous recommendations attended to, which was to the great credit of the director and her staff, who had clearly worked very hard. Some very creative and caring approaches were seen in the work we inspected and we cited several examples of good practice. Staff were well trained, committed and confident, and it was clear to us that a firm platform for yet further progress was in place.”

The Young Persons’ Unit at HMP & YOI Parc near Bridgend in South Wales has shown “quite significant improvement’ in key aspects, including safety, in the past year, inspectors found.

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In an innovative partnership, supported by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Oxford University and the Prison Reform Trust have come together to create new resources, including films and briefings, for criminal justice professionals to help improve their understanding of the impacts of maternal imprisonment. It is estimated that 17,000 children every year are affected by maternal imprisonment in England and Wales. 95% (16,000) of these children are forced to leave their homes as their mother’s imprisonment leaves them without an adult to take care of them. Despite this, no government agency has responsibility for ensuring the welfare of these children is safeguarded and their rights are protected. Dr Shona Minson, a Research Associate at the Centre for Criminology at Oxford University has conducted research on the implications of maternal imprisonment for children. The study explored the lived experience of children whose mothers were in prison at the time of interview. It is thought to be the largest study of its kind that has been conducted in England and Wales, with members of 27 family groups taking part in the research, Page 24

Funded by the ESRC and supported by the Prison Reform Trust Transforming Lives programme Dr Minson’s research findings have been used to create information resources for all criminal justice professionals involved in adult sentencing decisions, to support sentencers’ understanding of the impacts of maternal imprisonment on children. Launching nationwide on 24 January, the resource includes short films and briefing papers, which will be used across the criminal justice professions including by the Judicial College, Magistrates Association, Law Society, Criminal Bar Association and Probation services. Dr Minson said: “My research found that children whose mothers are sent to prison are not afforded any of the same protections or support which are applied to children separated from their parents within the family courts as a result of care proceedings. Children of imprisoned mothers face extremely challenging circumstances which impact not only upon their immediate situations but also their future life chances.” It is hoped that these resources will ensure that all professionals involved in sentencing, have a more comprehensive understanding of the potential impacts on children if their mother is imprisoned, and this will enable children’s welfare to be effectively safeguarded. Welcoming the new resources, Jenny Earle of the Prison Reform Trust said “Most of the solutions to women’s offending lie in the community - and it is especially important where children are impacted that their best interests be considered and their voices be heard.” The video, which can be seen at http://www. prisonreformtrust.org.uk is one of a number of films designed to raise awareness of the wider impacts of maternal imprisonment. This film provides women who think they may be facing a custodial sentence with information and guidance on what they can do.


The Custodial Facilities Forum 15th &16th November 2018 Stable Events, specialists in forums across the built environment will host the third Custodial Facilities Forum on 15th &16th November 2018 at Whittlebury Hall Hotel, Northamptonshire. The forum is a must attend event for anyone involved in the design, build and management of custodial facilities the operators of prisons, youth detention centres, police custodial units, and customs and immigration facilities. Those actively delivering projects attend as complimentary delegates including accommodation, meals, networking drinks receptions and a superb gala dinner. Over one and a half days there’s a packed schedule of seminars covering the latest best practice in the design, build and maintenance, tailored 1-2-1 business meetings providing the opportunity to meet with the most innovative suppliers as well as the opportunity to network with fellow professionals through an enjoyable social programme. Toby Filby Managing Director of Stable Events said, ‘The Custodial Facilities Forum is now well-established in the calendar of those involved in custodial facilities. We appreciate the insights of Custodial Review’s editor Steve Mitchell with his in-depth understanding

of the sector in helping shape our seminar programme as well as being our media partner and seminar chair.” The forum will bring together the operators, architects, contractors, project managers, M&E consultants and the manufacturers and suppliers delivering projects in this specialist sector. It’s a refreshing way to do business and is a highly effective use of time with its mix of meetings, networking and seminars; Stable forums facilitated over 5,000 business meetings last year.

of Justice, HMP Berwyn, Mace, Willmott Dixon Construction, East Midlands Reform Prisons, as well other experts in this specialist sector. The custodial facilities forum will run alongside the highly successful mental health and dementia facilities forum on 15th & 16th November 2018 at Whittlebury Hall Hotel, Northants. To find out more and to register please visit www.cf-forum.co.uk or call Sue Ramcharan on 020 8288 1080 email sue@stable-events.co.uk

Last year’s speakers included the Ministry

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FP Hurley chose Fireworks Fire Protection Ltd for protecting the cells within the police custody suite at Bridgend and Merthyr Tydfil in Wales Fireworks designed and supplied a High Pressure Watermist system to protect this risk. A total of six modular hose reels where installed throughout the building to protect it from the risk of fire. The system is very effective as it has been proven during extensive testing with the Ministry of Justice to successfully suppress the fire at the first attempt and dramatically reduces the temperatures in the cell. USP’s for Watermist • Fast and effective control and suppression of fire. • Easily retro fitted using small bore stainless steel pipe. • Rapid project completion time & accessibly positioned within the complex.

Description of solution The Modular Hose Reel (MHRU2) fire fighting units consist of specially designed surface or recess mounted hose reel cabinets located in place of the existing standard hose reel cabinets. Each

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MHRU2 cabinet will utilise a single integral high pressure pump, complete with a 35m high pressure hose reel, lance, and prison specification nozzle (Approved for use by MOJ, SPS and Home office). Start and stop controls are contained within the hose reel cabinet. Each MHRU2 unit has two sets of volt free contacts that show power healthy and pump running. These can be used to send a signal to a BMS if required of the detention centre.

Experience Fireworks have installed equipment throughout UK prisons since 2006. The UK home office figures for current prison population is over 86,000 inmates and prisons in the UK are now mostly protected by our equipment. Watermist systems were selected by the Ministry of Justice and the Home Office after extensive fire testing at the UK Building Research Establishment proved that Watermist systems were much more effective than traditional hose reel systems and would save lives in prisons.

The BRE test criteria were: • Maintain a tenable atmosphere for a period of 20 minutes when fire tested

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in accordance with the specifications

• Discharge a relatively small amount of water • Deliver a spray of water mist with sufficient momentum to discharge droplets to the back wall of a cell. The Inundation was to last for 5 minutes after pre-burn and operation of internal cell fire detection systems, then a simulated ‘rescue’ of an inmate involving opening the door for a set period of one minute would occur, followed by Re-closing the door and waiting 10 minutes during which time the fire was not to resume.

For further information on our products and services please call 0207 205 5793 or visit the website today. Fireworks Fire Protection Ltd Amber House Station Road Attleborough Norwich, Norfolk NR17 2AT 0207 205 5793 www.fireworks-ltd.com sales@fireworks-ltd.com


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Prison protection from PATOL A Securiton aspirating smoke detection (ASD) system from Patol is protecting the inmates and staff at one of the UK’s largest prisons following an installation at HMP Northumberland. The category C prison, with its capacity for 1,348 male offenders, is Britain’s seventh largest jail and is located in Acklington, 15 miles north of Newcastle. As with any prison, the safety of inmates is a prime consideration and when Sodexo Justice Services - the private sector operator responsible for HMP Northumberland - decided to review the prison’s fire safety measures, they approached the Static Systems Group. Static Systems has extensive experience in working with the Ministry of Justice and HMPPS (Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service) to provide communications and alarm systems to the Prison Service. Having evaluated the specific requirements of HMP Northumberland, Static recommended and installed the Securiton

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SecuriRAS ASD system, available in the UK from sole distributor Patol. ASD is widely used in custodial applications given that they present a number of challenges in terms of fire safety, including an increased fire risk from factors such as the potential for prisoners to smoke cigarettes in their cells or other parts of the facility, intentional lighting of clothing, bedding or rubbish by unruly inmates or faults with electronic equipment. Vandalism of/tampering with conventional point detectors can also be an issue, with ASD providing the opportunity to site the pipework out of reach of prison inmates but still allowing access to the detectors for ease of maintenance by authorised personnel. Precision and reliability are key focuses in the SecuriRAS technology – again both important factors in a custodial environment where keeping false alarms to a minimum is a prime consideration. Some eight detectors and the associated pipework were employed at HMP Northumberland, a mix of ASD 531 and ASD 532 detectors. The ASD 531 is a one-channel detector for monitoring smaller premises, offering quick commissioning through configuration directly from the device rather than requiring a PC. The ASD 532 is also a one-channel detector featuring a smoke-level

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indicator which offers a compact solution for small to medium-sized applications. Up to five alarm levels can be programmed within the detector sensitivity range of 0.002%/m to 10%/m and this, combined with the use of two detectors from the EN54-20 Class A, B & C approved range, enabled Static Systems to tailor the detection to the different environments within the facility, including the laundry and the gym. The laundry presented a particularly challenging environment, with its humidity and the chemicals used meaning that corrosion of the connections could prove an issue with point detectors. The SecuriRAS detectors were particularly suited to the humid environment with the pipework through which the air is drawn entering the detector from the bottom. This means that any condensation collects in the bottom of the pipe rather than entering the detector. Patol offers the option of fitting a water trap to allow any condensation to be viewed through a transparent sight glass. A patented lint filter also suppresses even the finest dust particles that would otherwise falsify the detection process. A further factor in the laundry was its rooflights, which, at over 800mm deep, required gooseneck pipework to ensure the area was fully protected.


ASD provides early detection of fire which is a significant benefit in buildings where large numbers of people need to be evacuated – in a prison this allows a safe and orderly evacuation of an offender population which, in the case of HMP Northumberland, could be more than 1,300. Eradicating false alarms is also an issue as evacuations need to be confined to actual emergencies. High reliability is a characteristic of the SecuriRAS range, with all of its detectors employing the same tried and tested HD detector with its large volume smoke chamber providing outstanding sensitivity combined with an impressive long service life. The detectors at HMP Northumberland feature a pre-alarm stage, to enable a potential fire incident to be investigated before instigating a full-scale evacuation. Created from the amalgamation of what were originally two separate prisons, HMP Northumberland took on its new name in 2011, with Sodexo Justice Services appointed on a 15-year management contract on 1 December 2013. For more information visit www.patol. co.uk or email info@patol.co.uk

Banning Smoking in Prisons As Prison Authorities the world over are considering the damage of second hand smoke within our jails, a blanket ban on smoking within our Prison systems is gradually being introduced. There is an overshadowing worry of litigation and compensation claims coming down the track of health damage caused by second hand smoke. However, the Prisoners themselves are none too happy. In the United States, 24 states prohibit indoor smoking and 4 prohibit smoking on the entire prison grounds. And in the UK, around 66 prisons have introduced a smoking ban, but plans to make all 136 prisons in England and Wales are well underway.  According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) “Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death and disease claiming over 100 million lives worldwide in the 20th Century.” They also claim that tobacco is the psychoactive substance most widely used by prisoners, with phenomenal usage rates ranging from 64% to more than 90% depending on the country and the setting.  But, tobacco use is so totally entrenched in prison life; it helps cope with boredom, deprivation, stress, anxiety and tension. It is a source of pleasure, and of course

not to mention the monetary value in an environment without currency. Introducing a tobacco ban is not going too easy nor welcome in prison communities. In the UK, riots have occurred within prisons over newly enforced smoking bans. Prisoners caught with tobacco products or smoking can face disciplinary measures, such as loss of privileges as well as potentially extra time added on to a sentence. However, a couple of days added on to a 5, 10 or maybe lifetime sentence, is neither here nor there, and worth risking for a daily cigarette. All of this makes cigarettes, big business creating an underground trade in tobacco products. In the US, just one whole cigarettes worth of tobacco, rolled in toilet paper covering can make 5 or 6 “pinners” (small hand rolled cigarettes), this can net the seller $30. Whilst in the UK, prisoners pay £20 for a single cigarette, and a small pouch of rolling tobacco can cost £200 Of course, it’s not just tobacco that is banned, any associated accoutrements, like lighters and matches are also banned. However, prisoners can make their own fire sources, with simply 2 AA batteries and a strip of foil! And, where there is a will, there is a way. Which is why, stopping contraband items before they get into the prison system is all the more imperative. Items as small as AA

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batteries, or foil, or even one cigarette, all need to be detected. One system that is currently operational in prisons in over 30 countries is the SOTER RS Body Scanner. This ultra-low radiation full body scanner can find contraband that has been hidden on a person, and more frequently, in, a person. Jan Steven Van Wingerden, CEO of ODSecurity, manufacturers of the SOTER RS Body Scanner said, “One of the strengths of our system is that regardless of how small an item is, and whether it has been ingested or inserted, the SOTER will find it. We pride ourselves on our products ability to find items that cannot be detected by conventional metal detectors or strip searches.” He continued, “It is important when searching for contraband that you can differentiate between human and other materials, to limit false positives, and wasted time. SOTER RS comes with its own software, and any hidden object, regardless of what material it is made from is found within 10 seconds!”  ODSecurity Based in the Netherlands and the USA, ODSecurity is part of ODHolding, whose core business is the sales of high quality medical and surgery equipment and instruments. It also develops and assembles electronic and mechanical equipment in electronic powered fine mechanics (Mechatronics) and X-Ray research equipment.

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Government commits £2 million support for female offenders who have been victims of domestic abuse The government’s consultation on domestic abuse, launched on 8th March 2018, includes a welcome commitment to £2 million of dedicated support for female offenders. Research collated by the Prison Reform Trust shows that 57% of women in prison report having been victims of domestic violence as adults. This is likely to be an underestimate. Commenting, Jenny Earle, Director of PRT’s programme to reduce women’s imprisonment, said: “We welcome the government’s recognition that coercive relationships can be a major driver to offending by women. It is time for concerted action to help women break the cycle of victimisation and offending that blights too many lives. The police, prosecutors, courts, probation services and the judiciary must work closely with women’s services to achieve the government’s aims of better outcomes for women and their families, and to reduce offending. The proposed Domestic Abuse Commissioner can play a key role in achieving a joined up approach to women who have been victims of much more serious offences than those for which they are commonly imprisoned.”

Charity specialising in behaviour change wins national prisoner rehabilitation award Khulisa, a small, innovative charity which exists to improve the wellbeing of the most socially excluded people in society, has won the 2018 Robin Corbett Award for Prisoner Reintegration for its work at HMP Forest Bank in Manchester. Over the last three years at HMP Forest Bank, 156 prisoners have completed Khulisa’s Silence the Violence programme and received over 200 hours of post-programme one-on-one support. As a result, there has been a 90% reduction in self-reported violent tendencies and only 8% of prisoners who completed the programme have been involved in a violent incident. The highly commended prize was awarded to Tempus Novo for its work getting prisoners into sustainable employment on release from prisons in Yorkshire. Commendations were awarded to Spark Inside for its coaching programme for prisoners at HMP Belmarsh; and to Anawim for the in-reach and through the gate services it provides to women at HMP/YOI Foston Hall.

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This annual award for outstanding rehabilitative work with prisoners by a charity or community group, working in partnership with prison staff, was set up in the memory of Lord Corbett, the respected chairman of the Home Affairs Committee. For ten years, until his death in February 2012, Robin Corbett also chaired the All Party Parliamentary Penal Affairs Group, to which the Prison Reform Trust (PRT) provides the secretariat. The emphasis of the award is on work that fosters personal responsibility and which calls on people in prison, and ex-offenders, to take responsibility to help themselves and to help others. The awards, kindly supported by the Worshipful Company of Weavers and the Chrysalis Programme, were presented to the winners by Lady Corbett at a meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Penal Affairs Group in the Houses of Parliament in the evening on Tuesday 6 March. The meeting was addressed by the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice Rt Hon David Gauke MP. The panel of judges included members of Robin Corbett’s family, the President of the Prison Governor’s Association, a Judge, the CEO of the Chrysalis Programme, the Director of the Prison Reform Trust, the Chair of the Howard League for Penal Reform, a Trustee of the Prison Reform Trust, an exoffender, and Lord Ramsbotham, a former Chief Inspector of Prisons and co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Penal Affairs. Judges were delighted be able to award a larger prize this year thanks to the generosity of the Chrysalis Programme. The first prize is raised from £3,000 to £5,000. Highly Commended which was £1,000 is now £3,000 and a new Commended prize has been added for £1,000 for each winner. Commenting, Lady Corbett, Chair of the judges, said: “In an exceptionally strong field, the judges were unanimous in their decision to award Khulisa the first prize for its outstanding work in behaviour change. Tempus Novo were worthy winners of the highly commended prize and we were delighted to award Spark Inside and Anawim welldeserved commendations. My husband Robin thought prison should be a chance to change the direction of a life. These charities are outstanding examples of what can be achieved by helping prisoners to help themselves.” Dominique Airey, Chief Executive of Khulisa, said: “We are honoured to be receive this year’s Robin Corbett Award for Prisoner Rehabilitation. It is the most wonderful recognition of our work delivering intensive mentoring and behaviour-change programmes in prisons and communities across the UK, alongside our early intervention and resettlement work. We believe powerfully in every person’s capacity to live healthy, crime free lives if they are given the support, Page 30

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supervision and rehabilitation they need. We can’t thank you enough for recognising our contributions, alongside so many extraordinary partners, towards creating a more nurturing, person-centred, truly rehabilitative justice system.” Steve Freer, CEO of Tempus Novo, said: “We are honoured to be highly commended by the Robin Corbett Award. This is a proud day indeed for all at Tempus Novo and it will further motivate us in our work to rehabilitate through sustainable employment. We now work with 40 local employers who are fast recognising the benefits to their bottom line of working with marginalised people, recruited through Tempus Novo.” Baillie Aaron, Founder and CEO of Spark Inside, said: “As a fairly new charity, it means a lot to receive this prestigious commendation recognising our impact. We wouldn’t be here today without our prison champions who go above and beyond to support our work. On behalf of our staff and trustees, I’d like to thank the judges for recognising the transformative power of coaching for those who live and work in prison.”

Money transfer costs reduced for people in private prisons Late last year, the Prison Reform Trust’s advice and information service received a number of enquiries from people held in private prisons, regarding the cost of electronically transferring money into their prison account from families outside. Public sector prisons have also recently introduced such a service, however, unlike in private prisons this service is provided at no cost to either the sender or recipient. In response, they approached Unilink, the provider of the Secure Payment Service, to discuss how the situation might be able to be improved for those held in private prisons. The PRT was pleased to find that following their approach to Unilink, they have agreed to reduce costs by an average of 20% after negotiating discounts with their suppliers. This is undoubtedly good news for families and friends who want to transfer money to their loved ones, however, the PRT remains concerned that there is a discrepancy at all. People have little choice on whether they are held in a private or public prison, a problem made all the more acute with pressure on prison places and difficulties in securing transfers. That some families have to pay, whilst others do not is manifestly unfair. Public prisons, rightly, offer this service for free, and the PRT continues to work with HM Prisons and Probation Service to see how this might be extended to private prisons in future.


Custodial Review Magazine Edition 1 2018  
Custodial Review Magazine Edition 1 2018  
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