Places of ‘violence, squalor and idleness’ where one prison officer ‘wouldn’t keep a dog’: Prisons are in their ‘worst state for 10 years’

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HM Chief Inspector of Prisons for England and Wales, Nick Hardwick launches his latest and last Annual Report 2014-15 Nick Hardwick’s stark final report as Her Majesty’s Inspector of Prisons will have made grim reading for the new Justice Secretary. The report for 2014-15 reveals that by almost every measure, adult male prisons in England and Wales have been deteriorating. They are less safe than five years ago, with more prisoners murdered, killing themselves, self-harming or being attacked. They are overcrowded and undermanned. Assaults on prison staff More...

by Trevor Grove | Published 5 days ago
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Barack Obama meets David Attenborough

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In May 2015, Sir David Attenborough, on his 89th birthday, met Barack Obama, President of the United States at the White House. President Obama, the boy from Hawaii, grew up watching More...

Time to destroy courtroom cages?

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Without them there’s a better chance of acquittal says John O’Connor Nothing can take away the sense of fear and intimidation when your trial commences with you standing More...

Tipping the scales

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In many criminal trials there are two competing principles at odds with each other. On the one side you have the rights of the prosecution witnesses; specifically their right More...

Up in smoke

Up in smoke

Why a smoking ban in prisons has led to trouble Down Under The July introduction of smoking bans in prisons triggered a prison riot of historical scale and intensity in the More...

TV or not TV?

Last week, there were two news stories about television. The first, in the Mirror and Express stated that it was ‘outrageous’ that the Ministry of Justice had spent £8.4 More...

‘My Friend Tom’

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An ex police officer discovers the truth about crime and punishment The above words were uttered by Russian novelist More...

Self-harm in prison

Rethink mental illness

Self-harm is very common in prisons and the number of incidents continues to rise. The Ministry of Justice recently More...

One J-Cloth per day?

I write regarding the shortage and rationing of cleaning materials, i.e. J-Cloths. I am located in a double cell and we are told to collect all cleaning materials by 10.30am. The laundry orderly states that the cleaning...

Legal highs can kill

I am a recovering addict so this is written with experience of some of the dark places drugs can take people, both mentally and physically. I have just been watching the Daily Politics Show and a so-called...

Refurbished computers for ex-prisoners

I left Leyhill in May 2014 with the intention of setting up a business that would not only provide refurbished laptops to prisoners as they left, but give them the chance of employment as well. Reclamation agencies...

Refurbished computers for ex-prisoners

I left Leyhill in May 2014 with the intention of setting up a business that would not only provide refurbished laptops to prisoners as they left, but give them the chance of employment as well. Reclamation agencies...

Can prison work?

Can prison work? This is entirely dependent on the objective. If functioning individuals are what we want then the current system is clearly flawed. This is because whatever the political stance, the truth is that punishment still...

It makes you think

I felt compelled to write after reading Quote of the Month (Miss Wells) in the June issue. It really made me think about the impact offences have on individuals and how they reach much further than just...

The PIPE unit

I am writing to you from the PIPE unit, here at HMP Frankland, which stands for Psychologically Informed Planned Environment. This is a unit for Category A prisoners who have been in the prison system for many...

Thank you Northallerton

I just want to say thank you to the staff at HMYOI Northallerton despite the prison closing recently. Even though it was a long time ago that the officers there helped me, they left an impression on...

Massaging the figures

Here at The Mount they have a tyrannical approach to OBCs (Offending Behaviour Courses), or ‘tick box exercises’ as the staff call them. You will be placed on courses regardless of what crime you have committed. ADM...

Battery farm style courses

Here at HMP Humber I’m starting to notice a pattern emerging from the Programmes Department (OMU). Prisoners are being lined up for courses such as TSP and RESOLVE in a battery farmer’s system, filled with promises of...

British (in)Justice, why it is so easy to prosecute sex offences

For those of you who are still unaware of the facts, no evidence is required to convict on sexual offences. The Criminal Justice & Public Order Act 1994, the Sexual Offences Act 2003 and recent statutory amendments...

Bone marrow donors

In the July issue we had a letter from Somes McFarland at HMP Gartree enquiring about becoming a bone marrow donor. He asked: ‘Can anyone enlighten me on what to do next? And who can I apply...

Ridiculous and discriminatory letter…

ANTHONY LOWERY – SUFFOLK I have many friends who are unfortunately in prison and I am an ardent reader of Inside Time and a campaigner for improving prison conditions. Having just read your July issue I am...

No comparison

I read with interest a letter a letter in the May issue, from someone at HMP Highpoint, about conditions in prison, but at the end of the letter the writer tried to compare the prison system of...

Taking liberties without Legal Aid

This is my third attempt to get a letter out to you, both my previous attempts were returned with a covering letter quoting PSI 37/2010 Prisoner’s Access to The Media; para 2.2 ‘refers to prisoners/members of staff...

Threatened by staff

I feel I must write about a recent event that left me shaken to the core and worried for my own safety in this prison. In late May I was in a workshop when I was verbally...

Deaf prisoners

I am a deaf prisoner who has been moved from one prison to another. HMP is not very deaf-friendly but there are certain small changes that would help. I believe that all deaf prisoners should be issued...

Joint Enterprise is an outdated doctrine

My sister and I are both serving life sentences under the ridiculous Joint Enterprise law. We did not commit the murder, we were not present when the murder was committed and we did not know the people...

Banks on sentence

  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 recently. The app is for Apple iPads and Windows 8 tablets and computers and costs £99 (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 available when the print copy and app are purchased together. If you have access to a computer, you can follow Robert on Twitter: More...

Inspector calls – August 2015

Nick Hardwick – HM Chief Inspector of Prisons Inside Time highlights areas of good and bad practice, along with a summary of prisoner survey responses at HMPs Pentonville and Peterborough (Male). These extracts are taken from the most recent Reports published by HM Inspectorate of Prisons. HMP Pentonvill Cat. B local for sentenced and remand menManaged by HMPS CNA: 908 Population: 1,264 (Feb 2015) Unannounced Full Inspection: 2-13 February 2015 Published: 14th May More...

STRANGE BUT TRUE

 The French-language Scrabble world championship has been won by a New Zealander who does not speak a word of French, competition..

Do you know…?

More people world-wide now say they favour the US and Barack Obama, with an average of 69% approval in 40 countries..

Finally, a picture especially drawn for Inside Time from Mark Critchley.

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He wrote rather sadly that we’ve never printed any of the poems he’s sent us and now it’s too late because More...

I’m very pleased to be able to read and write about another very good prison magazine.

This is called Take A Drake and comes from HMP Drake Hall, a women’s prison. I was sent it by the..

n There was a heatwave in London the day I went to the Royal Court of Justice – uniform on the streets shorts and sandals.

My boiling hot Central Line tube train broke down for half an hour so it was with some relief that I..

Faith

Screen Shot 2015-08-03 at 00.47.57 Inside Time’s Paul Sullivan looks at world religions and faiths. This month he focuses on Islam Islam means peace and submission..

National prison radio

National prison radio Help make NPR even better… National Prison Radio is your station, so help us make it even better. We want to..

Ministry of Justice Apologises!

Prisons Minister Andrew Selous said in a written ministerial statement that prisons had been recording information about overcrowding, incorrectly, for the last six years The National Offender Management Service Annual Reports failed..

A message to the new Justice Secretary Michael Gove

We want them to have self worth, so we destroy their self worth To be responsible, so we take away all responsibility To be part of our community, so we..

CCRC: ‘performing reasonably well’

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..

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