Here’s what has happened to education in UK prisons in the past 5 years

Has the “rehabilitation revolution” stalled?

Source: Martyna Starosta on Vimeo

Source: Martyna Starosta on Vimeo


The “rehabilitation revolution”  promised by former Justice Secretary Chris Grayling in November 2012 has yet to materialise.  This is especially true when it comes to a key pillar of rehab: education.  Read the rest of this entry »

Prisons in the press – 5 February

Plans for prisoners to be allowed to smoke in their cells and a Duchess behind bars 

... Image: Shaun Amey

The Duchess of Cornwall visited Brixton prison. Image: Shaun Amey


Prisons in the press brings you the best articles from the past week to keep you up-to-date on prison news.

Read the rest of this entry »

Christmas for prisoners – Part 1

It’ll be lonely this Christmas

... Image: Orange County Archives

Christmas is far from a happy time for most prisoners. Image: Orange County Archives

“You’re completely powerless. Apart from sending a couple of Christmas cards and speaking to family on the phone, there is nothing you can do, there is nothing you can offer or help with. You’re just alone.”

This is Christmas behind bars, according to former prisoner and Prison UK: An Insider’s View blogger, Alex Cavendish.
Read the rest of this entry »

Comment: Cautiously optimistic about Gove’s prison reform promises

Eric Allison scrutinises Gove’s proclamations about reforming the prison system 

Michael Gove Conservative Party conference 2015

“We shouldn’t ignore the failures in our criminal justice system. And the biggest failure of all is the failure in our prisons,” Gove told the Conservative party conference. Photo: Conservatives.


In my first column for Prison Watch UK, back in August, I touched on the appointment of Michael Gove as justice secretary. I said he was at least talking honestly about the massive problems in the prison system
and had overturned the ridiculous ban – imposed by his predecessor, Chris Grayling – on sending books to prisoners.

Since then, Gove has taken it up a notch. At the Conservative party conference he continued to talk truthfully about the problems in the prison system. But he also went much further, further in fact than I have heard a politician go in many a long year.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comment: Prison cigarette ban is just the MoJ blowing smoke

New measure to stop smoking in prison is just MoJ covering its own back, writes Eric Allison

Prisons smoking ban

Will the smoking ban in prisons really put a stop to cigarettes? Photo:
Ali Catterall

There are times when I seriously question the sanity of politicians who decide penal policy.

Take the book banning fiasco last year. The then justice secretary Chris Grayling decided that relatives and friends of prisoners could no longer send books to them. Read the rest of this entry »

Will new Justice Secretary Michael Gove engage with prison critics?

The Howard League for Penal Reform on the new Lord Chancellor 

New Justice Secretary Michael Gove. Source: Daily Telegraph

New Justice Secretary Michael Gove. Source: Daily Telegraph


Andrew Neilson, the Director of Campaigns at the Howard League for Penal Reform, says that Michael Gove will have to learn from the mistakes of his predecessor and be more open to engagement.  Read the rest of this entry »

What the Conservative government will mean for crime, sentencing and prisons

What we know so far about the Tories’ justice plans

Michael Gove, justice secretary reshuffle David Cameron

Take a deep breath, Mr Gove, you have your work cut out for you. Source: Policy Exchange .

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