Prison Reform to Continue PDF Print E-mail

The new justice secretary, Liz Truss, is to press ahead “at pace” with her predecessor Michael Gove’s radical prison reform programme despite a fresh warning from the chief inspector of prisons that a surge in jail violence is putting it at risk.

Truss, responding to the warning from Peter Clarke, said it demonstrated why prison reform is so important. “I want to see radical reform and I am under no illusions about the scale of the challenge we face or how long reform takes … I will set out the next steps for this agenda in coming weeks, but I am clear that the vital work of prison reform will continue at pace,” she said.

Her statement will dispel fears among penal reformers that Truss was ready to ditch Gove’s plan, as she had co-written a 2011 book calling for prisons to be made “tough, unpleasant and uncomfortable” places of punishment.

[Read the full article from The Guardian]

Cross & the Crown PDF Print E-mail

More from the Church of England's Psalm 22 campaign here.



Compassion PDF Print E-mail


Charter for Compassison website

Effective Prisons PDF Print E-mail

from The Independent

Michael Gove

Successful prisons could take over failing ones as part of wide-ranging reforms of the criminal justice system, the Justice Secretary has said.

In a policy bearing strong similarity to his school reforms during his time as Education Secretary, Michael Gove detailed his plans to allow governors greater powers over what went on in their own jails, and use their expertise to lift up failing ones.

Mr Gove said he had been told by prison inspectors that the most effective penal institution was one in Colchester run by the military, where the commanding officer had wide-ranging powers to order what went on, and offer incentives to inmates for good behaviour.

The military correction training centre focuses on rehabilitation and has a reoffending rate a third of that of its civilian counterparts.

“If prisons aren’t performing well, they could be in a position where stronger prisons operate as their improvement partner in the same way as has been seen in schools, or the NHS with strong foundation trusts taking weaker ones under their wing,” Mr Gove told MPs on the Justice Select Committee.

Inside Prison PDF Print E-mail

The Guardian newspaper was recently granted access to two of the largest prisons in the UK: HMP Wandsworth and HMP Oakwood.

The articles about each provide an interesting insight into the challenges of running establishments that are redemptive in the way that the Secretary of State intends the nation's prisons to be.

Michael Gove and George Osbourne have both referred to Winston Churchill's prison reform agenda when he was Home Secretary.

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