Monthly News Bulletin
Email Bulletin June 2012
WHAT HAVE WE BEEN UP TO?
A call for action: tackling penal excess
We are sending out an appeal to those who want to build a broad based coalition to confront penal excess focused on the long term goal of radically reducing the size and scope of criminal justice. Building on our Reform Sector Strategies project that came to an end last month, we want to work collaboratively to develop a programme of initiatives to expose the realities of criminal justice, oppose its expansion, promote a radical reduction and identify reforms that will reduce our reliance on criminal justice. We will be hosting a meeting at our London offices on Thursday 13 September at 1.30pm. To read more about it, get involved and register your interest, click here.
The June issue of Criminal Justice Matters magazine is now out. Guest editor Peter Francis, has pulled together an excellent series of articles considering areas such as security, racism and corruption in sport. To read his introduction click here. To find out what else was included in the June issue of CJM, follow this link.
TAKE A LOOK AT THIS...
Telling it how it is....
The figures are now back on our most downloaded Criminal Justice Matters magazine articles. At the top of the chart is `The hall of mirrors: criminal justice myths uncovered' available to download here. In second place is `Getting real about gangs' from Simon Hallsworth and Tara Young. `The truth and lies about race and crime' from Will McMahon and Rebecca Roberts is in third place. The first one is available free of charge - to make sure you can access the others online and receive a regular paper copy of CJM why don't you become a CCJS member?.
Richard Garside's latest blog reviews a session held at the Home Affairs Committee where committee members `seemed to struggle with the divide between current drugs policy and the implications of scientific evidence of relative drug harms, as explained by Professor David Nutt and Les King'. Elsewhere, the Guardian reports on criticisms from David Nutt that the classification system prevents scientists from properly researching possible therapeutic uses of some drugs for conditions such as schizophrenia and depression. The Guardian, (31/05/12)
YJB: Worth rescuing?
The Youth Justice Board was threatened with abolition last year but following opposition in the House of Lords, the plan was abandoned. Anna Souhami, Rod Earle, Enver Solomon, Stephen Case and Kevin Haines offer their commentary on whether it was worth saving in the June edition of Criminal Justice Matters magazine. You can view the article free of charge here.
The value of owning a home - and the value of needing one
Roger Grimshaw, Research Director, comments on the struggle for decent housing and stability for people in contact with the criminal justice system.
Mortgages and homicide
Velez and Richardson in the recent edition of the British Journal of Criminology look at the relationship between banking investment and homicide rates in Chicago. To view the abstract or article and others from this edition of BJC, click here
Take a look inside.....
Gender identities in prison, the experiences of men serving indeterminate sentences, the imprisonment of children looked after by local authorities and issues surrounding the August 2011 riots are just some of the topics covered in the May issue of Prison Service Journal. The electronic version is hosted on the CCJS website here
Are you working for freedom?
Have you registered your organisation yet on Works for Freedom, our online resource for information sharing on good practice for meeting people's needs? Tell us a bit about yourselves and what your organisation does: www.worksforfreedom.org
No British Dream for UK's poorest youngsters
The Centre for Crime and Justice Studies' new project `Compare Futures' will be launched next month. Funded by the Nominet Trust, this new online resource will allow access to data comparing the educational, employment and personal circumstances of young adults in every neighbourhood across England. We'll send you the link in next month's bulletin.
Against rehabilitation: For reparative justice
As mentioned in last month's bulletin, Pat Carlen, Professor and editor-in-chief of the British Journal of Criminology will be giving this year's Eve Saville memorial event on 6 November, 2012, early evening in central London. Pop it in your diary. More details on how to register to attend will follow soon.
HAVE YOU SEEN?
Racial bias and police practice
Research from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) calls for a review of the use of stop and search, criticising the disproportionate targeting of certain groups. Elsewhere, Jon Burnett of the Institute for Race Relations argues that police indifference perpetuates racial violence.
Be careful what you wish for
The New York Times has conducted a ten month investigation into the big trend in corrections in the US - the mass investment and expansion of halfway houses. The privately run halfway houses in New York State often accommodate up to 1,000 people. Brought in to help tackle the large prison population and promoted as `therapeutic communities' with a focus on helping people to prepare for a life outside of prison, the investigation has revealed suspicious links between politicians and the companies running the institutions, inadequate staffing, exploitation and abuse of residents and poor security. The articles in the series make fascinating reading and you can view here in three parts - part 1; part 2 and part 3.
The 12 steps to recovery
Presentations from a recent British Society of Criminology Symposium on `Controversial Issues in Prisons' can be listened to here along with John Moore of the University of the West of England giving his 12 steps on recovery from being a prisons reformer.
Resisting the eclipse
Our partners at the ICCCR at the Open University are holding their annual conference in September to explore what prison ethnography has to offer in an era of mass incarceration. To find out more, click here.
IN THE NEWS...
Talkin `bout a revolution
The PM has hailed an `historical step in the biggest welfare revolution in over 60 years'. To read on see, (The Independent, 26/06/12). Jeremy Seabrook's `Comment is free' piece claims that `Cameron's attack on feckless poor has a very long history', (The Guardian, 26/06/12). You can read the welfare reform speech here.
Britain's DNA database `uncertain and illiberal'
A report by civil liberties campaigners has found that innocent people are failing to be deleted from Britain's DNA database. (The Independent, 05/06/2012)
`The system is failing' sexually exploited children in care homes
Barnardo's has warned that children who have experienced sexual exploitation and trafficking are `being put in further danger' in care homes. (The Guardian, 07/06/2012).
How G4S is `securing your world'
Budgetary pressure, political will and the lack of debate over public service privatisation has seen G4S grow exponentially according to The Guardian, (20/06/12). There are also predictions that police privatisation is set to expand in the next five years.
PM: `140 year ban on prisoner voting should remain'
Cameron has `vowed to defy a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights to give prisoners votes as the Coalition and Labour united to defend Britain's sovereignty'. (Daily Telegraph, 24/05/2012)
NUMBERS OF THE MONTH
40 - According to the Daily Mail (05/06/12), a `Facebook' crime takes place every 40 minutes..... From `killings' to `grooming'. Apparently.
25 - Billion pounds is the estimated amount of money lost in tax avoidance by wealthy homeowners transferring their property ownership into corporate hands. (The Independent, 08/06/12)
CARTOON OF THE MONTHThis made us laugh - Steven Bell in the Guardian (19/06/12) on Iain Duncan Smith being accused of blaming poor people for his own policy failures.
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
"There isn't a town, village or hamlet in which children are not being sexually exploited".
Sue Berelowitz, the Deputy Children's Commissioner for England.
SPAM OF THE MONTH
`The police investigation is under way now. You'll be really sorry about what you have done'.... was the title of a recent spam message sent to our CCJS inboxes. Apparently there is `proof' and if we don't respond in 48 hours we are going to get reported. We'd like to publicly say, we don't know what we've done. We don't remember doing it and just in case, we are very sorry!
TWEETS OF THE MONTH
HelenatINQUEST: Our letter on `The terrible anomaly of deaths in mental health detention': The Observer @bmhuk @retthink @mindcharity