Centre for Crime and Justice Studies
October 2014 ebulletin
We are recruiting:
WHAT HAVE WE BEEN UP TO?
Out for consultation
Our Director, Richard Garside, has written on the challenge of explaining criminal justice developments across the United Kingdom. He also wants to hear what you have to say. If you have already responded, thanks very much. If you haven’t had a chance to tell us what you think,have a look at Richard’s piece and follow the link at the bottom of the article.
Reading the runes
Our Research and Policy Assistant, Matt Ford, has been looking at what the main party conference speeches tell us about future criminal justice developments. In short, don’t expect seismic shifts by whoever wins next year’s election.
‘I would build…’
Earlier this year we asked you to tell us what parts of the criminal justice system you would like to live without. We are now challenging you to tell us what you would build in its place. Our Deputy Director, Will McMahon outlines here the general idea. Rebecca Daddow has started us off with a piece about building stronger communities. You can tweet us using #iwouldbuild, send a few sentences to firstname.lastname@example.org or offer to write a longer comment piece for our website.
I would not build…secure colleges
This month our Director Richard Garside was one of the co-signatories to a letter published in The Daily Telegraph criticising the government’s plans to build a ‘secure college’. Richard, along with some of the other co-signatories, was later invited to a meeting at the Ministry of Justice. Richard has since written to Andrew Selous, Minister for Prisons, explaining his concerns. Read all about it here.
Punishing young black men
Last month we launched a new strand of our Justice Matters project: tackling the ‘ethnic penalty’. Join us on 28 January 2015, when we will beholding an event to take the conversation forward.
‘Some people still have difficulty accepting that the police can be racist and corrupt….’
This is just one of the observations made at our Eve Saville lecture this month by Imran Khan, lawyer for the family of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence. Drawing on his in-depth knowledge of the case, Imran talked about the many known and suspected instances of police corruption, surveillance, and racism surrounding the investigation. He concluded that these are an endemic feature of policing in Britain. Imran’s slides are available to download from our website.
Is there an alternative to policing?
Professor Tim Hope and Dr Waqas Tufail debated this question at our event on 22 October. Building on an article he wrote earlier this year, Tim argued in favour of a ‘minimalist’ approach rather than total abolition.Waqas drew on his research, explaining how the police use other agencies to legitimate their intervention in a wide range of social issues. He proposed adopting a reducing social harm approach within local partnerships that specifically exclude the police. A copy of their slides and a summary from Twitter are both available on our website.
Rule of law, not rule of mob
Richard Garside wrote about the controversy surrounding the release of Harry Roberts, following 48 years in prison for killing three policemen. lsquo;When you live in a society that is governed by the rule of law, not all decisions will be to your liking’, he wrote. ‘Accepting that many decisions are difficult, and respecting the work of those who have to balance a number of competing demands, is part of the deal’.
Our Euro Star
As part of our work on the European Prison Observatory, Research Director Roger Grimshaw spoke about Grendon prison’s therapeutic communities approach at a workshop in Lyon, France. Also speaking at the event was Sylvain Châtelet, an ex-prisoner who, during his detention at the prison of Arles, went through a programme based on dialogue and mediation between the prisoners and the guards.
HAVE YOU SEEN?
The killer harms of imprisonment
In an article on our website, John Moore discusses Harris Inquiry into deaths in custody. He fears that the focus will be on the individual vulnerabilities of those who have died rather than the increasingly harsh and brutal nature of incarceration.
In the same week the Chief Inspector of Prisons, Nick Hardwick, released his annual inspection report, which blamed the sharp rise in prison suicides on staff shortages and a rising prison population.
Our partner organisation, the International Centre for Comparative Criminological Research at the Open University, has launched a blog. The first post, by Deborah Drake, Catriona Havard, and John Muncie, considers problems with risk factor analysis. We liked it so much we have also published it on our website.
With this free cjm content, we are really spoiling you…
The September issue of cjm carried a special focus on criminal justice marketisation. A number of the articles are available for free on our website.
British Journal of Criminology latest issue
The November issue of the British Journal of Criminology is now available to download (subscription only). It includes a number of articles on policing.
Mike Guilfoyle offers another insightful anecdote about his time as a probation officer.
Prisoners and looked after children – a common cause?
On Monday 17 November we will be holding an event on preventing poverty among looked-after children and among prisoners. Representatives of UNLOCK and the Careleavers’ Association will be among the speakers.
Violence against women: From intervention to prevention?
On Wednesday 19th November 2014, we will be hosting a roundtable event to consider the existing knowledge about policies that prevent violence against women. Find out more about the meeting here.
Human rights in prison – Britain and Europe compared
This seminar on Tuesday 25 November will discuss how the United Kingdom compares with other European countries when it comes to human rights in prison. The event offers an opportunity to discuss and debate the findings from our European Prison Observatory project.
Preventing mistreatment in detention: How is the UK doing?
Also as part of the European Prison Observatory project, on Tuesday 16 December we will be holding a conference to examine the United Kingdom’s record in meeting its international obligations to prevent the mistreatment of prisoners.
Criminology and war: a symposium
Register today for this special symposium on Tuesday 20 January. Dr. Ali Wardak, and Professor John Braithwaite (by Skype), joint winners of the 2014 Radzinowicz Prize, will discuss ‘Crime and War in Afghanistan’. They will be joined by Professor Sandra Walklate, co-editor ofCriminology and War, and Dr David Whyte, prize-winning author of ‘The Crimes of Neo-Liberal Rule in Occupied Iraq’.
Justice Matters for young black men: tackling the ethnic penalty
This event on Wednesday 28 January will discuss the reasons for the disproportionate targeting of young black men by the penal system.
TAKE A LOOK AT THIS…….
Aditya Chakraborti calls for an end to corporate welfare, after new research by the University of York estimated that direct subsidies, grants and other forms of government support to business amount to £85 billion per year.
Working in Breadline Britain
A report by Panorama this month highlighted the gap between wages and the cost of living. The documentary explained that although income growth has been far outstripped by rising prices during the recession, the problem of wage stagnation for lower earners preceded the economic downturn.
Clearing the fog
An article by Ally Fogg in The Guardian addresses some of the myths surrounding crime statistics. Essential reading!
Health of Parliament Square trumps human rights?
Alex Nunns on the Red Pepper blog outlines ‘9 farcical bits of policing’ at the recent Occupy Democracy protests in Parliament Square.
NUMBERS OF THE MONTH
2: The number of companies named as preferred bidders to run more than half of probation services in England and Wales, according to The Guardian.
26: The UK’s ranking out of 142 countries on gender equality according to the 2014 Global Gender Gap Index published by the World Economic Forum. In 2013 the UK was ranked 18th and in 2006, 9th.
114: Number of women in the UK who have been killed by suspected male violence between January and September 2014, as counted by Karen Ingala Smith.
125: The number of people in prison who have committed suicide in the last 20 months, according to The Guardian.
9,830: The fall in the number of officer grade staff working in public prisons between August 2010 and June 2014 according to the Howard League of Penal Reform.
£100,000: The total amount paid in damages to 14 children assaulted in secure training centres between 2004 and 2008.
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
“We would not be looking for prison like substitutes for the prison, such as house arrest safeguarded by electronic surveillance bracelets. Rather, positing decarceration as our overarching strategy, we would try to envision a continuum of alternatives to imprisonment – demilitarization of schools, revitalization of education at all levels, a health system that provides free physical and mental care to all, and a justice system based on reparation and reconciliation rather than retribution and vengeance.” Angela Davis, Are Prisons Obsolete?