CCRC: ‘performing reasonably well’

CCRC

The committee referred in their report to my perception that the CCRC regularly vaults over the ‘real possibility’ test and jumps straight to the next question, which is whether, when push comes to shove, the CA will actually quash the conviction. In my view, those are separate stages. Karl Watson’s case, for example, passed the ‘real possibility’ test, I would suggest, after a judge indicated that he had received an unfair trial; but the CCRC asked themselves instead whether the CA would quash the conviction, a matter which, it could be argued, is none of More...

by Bob Woffinden | Published 1 month ago
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Suicides and mental health

Suicides and mental health

William Pulman asks – so what’s the solution to stop this epidemic of increasing suicides in prison? Mental health is a huge issue within prisons, for some prisoners More...

From over the wall – May 2015

FOTW

Terry Waite writes his monthly column for Inside Time A few days ago there was an article in the Weekend Financial Times in which the writer asked why it is that so many of our More...

Jonathan King writes… Eurovision

Eurovision

This May there’s a very important election coming up, something where millions of people vote on a highly important issue. The Eurovision Song Contest. I wasn’t that More...

Should prisoners have the right to vote?

Should prisoners have the right to vote?

Evie Pardoe wonders how prisoners can re-enter society if they are kept disenfranchised Arecent survey conducted by The Guardian asked ‘should UK prisoners be allowed to vote More...

The problem-solving path to support justice

America is a country of extremes. It’s a cliché to say it, but like most clichés it’s substantially true. It’s a country known for many extremes- climate, religion More...

Prisons likely to keep filling up whoever wins election

fill up

The crisis in British prisons will worsen under the next government whoever is prime minister. The British prison disaster More...

30th Annual Butler Trust Awards

Butler Trust Awards

HRH The Princess Royal presented 10 Awards and 20 Commendations to a total of 40 staff members and volunteers More...

Mail withheld at HMP Oakwood

  I am writing as my partner is having his mail withheld. I sent his postal order (posted 9th March) along with a letter, a card and a clipping from the local paper. The clipping was a...

Politicians for sale

‘I didn’t do anything wrong, I may have made errors of judgement, we all make errors of judgement because we’re all human after all’ Sir Malcolm Rifkind, February 2015 Now why didn’t I think of that? Jack...

The porcelain slop bucket

Since the prison system supposedly ended slopping-out (though we all know that’s not true in some prisons even today!) they have replaced it with something equally degrading – it is white and in full view of any...

‘Very upset at NOMS response’

Re my letter in the April 2015 issue of the paper, page 6 ‘Blanket policy’, I am very upset at the NOMS response to my claim of a blanket policy of opening legal mail and their reply...

The prisoners who can vote!

As one of the first handful of prisoners to challenge the Ministry of Justice on prisoners voting rights, I am outraged that I am still not allowed to vote, years after I started my first legal challenge....

‘Thanks to HMP Oakwood’

Just a few words of thanks to all the staff at HMP Oakwood (especially Rev David) for arranging for me to attend my dad’s funeral when he passed away recently. Serving a sentence while a close relative...

‘Disturbing revelations’ in Scottish CCRC

For many litigants in Scotland, a review of a miscarriage of justice application by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission is perhaps the last chance to overturn an unsound or unsafe conviction. But there are several disturbing...

‘Plaiting fog is easier than dealing with HMP Littlehey!’

  We hear repeatedly in the media of the wonderful, sheltered and pampered life that prisoners lead with all the technological luxuries possible. I wonder in which establish- ments this is actually happening, because I can tell...

Prisoners receiving wrong information about student loans

I have become aware that indeterminate sentenced prisoners at HMP Whatton and possibly at other prisons are being told that the Student Loan Company will not fund indeterminate sentenced prisoners. This appears to arise from a statement...

‘Pensions are not Government money’

The House of Lords, in R-v-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, ex-parte Carson [2005] affirmed the previous judgement of the European Court of Human Rights, that a state pension is a ‘possession’ of the citizen. In...

‘Approved premises useless for preventing crime’

There are currently 102 approved premises (hostels) in England and Wales, each with running costs of well in excess of a million pounds per year. Research and performance data has shown that approved premises do not prevent...

‘Smoking ban in prisons is a minefield’

I would like to comment on the proposed smoking ban that is supposed to be coming to prisons. The prison system has absolutely failed to keep drugs out of prisons, let alone mobile phones, so just how...

‘NOMS not fulfilling their lawful duties’

Why is it that when I make a Freedom of Information (FOI) request asking ‘How many applications to intercept legally privileged calls has the Chief Executive of NOMS authorised between 2011 and 2014, and at what establishments...

‘No faith in the Governor or Prisons Ombudsman’

Recently a prisoner here at Wakefield received a response to a Freedom of Information Act request, in which he requested the figures for Category A prisoners who were de-categorised at the 5 dispersal high security prisons. The...

Prisons warned that the Inspectors are coming

I am in HMP Belmarsh serving a 20 month sentence and as a first-timer in prison I am shocked at how badly prisoners are treated. Prison is a disgrace. Health care is inadequate, cleanliness and sanitation are...

What role is a probation officer supposed to fulfil?

  I write with some disbelief, and a measure of disgust at the recent behaviour of a certain Luton Probation officer. Despite having months to prepare for what is only a two- yearly sentence planning meeting, the...

Telling it like it is

My deepest thank you to Sarah Baker for writing the excellent piece in the February issue of Inside Time (Fear, Brutality and secrecy’), which described with factual truth and accuracy a reality that existed in many prisons...

What makes an illegal immigrant

In August 2011, I arrived at Heathrow from Ghana, West Africa. I had finished University the previous year (Bsc In Marine and Fisheries Science) and had completed a year of National Service with a very reputable institution...

Banks on Sentence – May 2015

Robert Banks, a barrister, writes Banks on Sentence. It is the second-largest sell- ing criminal practitioner’s text book and is used by judges for sentencing more than any other. The book is classified by the Ministry of Justice as a core judicial text book. The 2015 edition of the book and app was published on 28 April 2015. The app is for Apple iPads and Windows 8 devices and costs £106 (incl. VAT). Updates will appear in the relevant paragraph. The print copy costs £106 and there will be regular updates on www.banksr.com. There is also a discount avail- able when the print copy and app are purchased together. If you have access to a computer, you can follow Robert on Twitter: @BanksonSentence More...

Do you know…? May 2015

President Putin of Russia has been carelessly threatening to use nuclear missiles against some of the NATO countries. At the same time some of the UK political parties have been demanding that UK nuclear weapons should be banned. But the secret is in the word ‘deterrent,’ and we would be vulnerable if we ever gave them up. After inde- pendence in 1991 Ukraine agreed in 1994 to give up all its nuclear arsenal. At the time it was the third largest in the world, More...

Muslim population is likely to double in size

The number of Muslims in the UK is expected to more than double by the middle of the century as their..

A Face in the Clouds

Like a face in the clouds.

English PEN is delighted to announce the 2014 winners, runners – up and highly commended of the prison More...

Month by Month by Rachel Billington – May 2015

Rachel honours the centenary of Gallipoli, one of WWI’s most controversial and tragic campaigns, where her own grandfather was killed Rachel’s..

Undercover at Yarl’s Wood

Serco says its focus is ‘Decency and Respect’ for the residents of Yarl’s Wood. But an investi- gation by Channel 4 News suggests a different reality for the mostly female..

The price of injustice

Innocent unless proven guilty? That’s not how the government sees it when deciding whether miscarriage of justice victims should be compensated for their ordeal. A clause in the Anti-social Behaviour,..

House of Lords: Secure colleges

Lord Ramsbotham (CB): I have a confession to make about the whole secure college proposal. For the first time in my life, I feel ashamed to be British because I..

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