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Wednesday, 8 March 2017

354 deaths in prison, up 38% 119 self-inflicted deaths up 32% 37,784 incidents of self harm, up 23%

The new service to replace the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) will be Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS)
  • New service will be responsible for rolling out government’s reform programme
  • New leadership programme and new promotion opportunities for staff
  • New role of Director with specific responsibility for women across the whole system
The effective abolition of NOMS, (christened Nightmare on Marsham Street in its early days due to the confusion it created) – follows the Prison Safety and Reform White Paper published last November. From 1st April 2017 Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) will have full responsibility for the operational management of people in custody and the community, including strengthening security in prisons, tackling extremism and building intelligence about criminal gangs. The paper outlined an overhaul of the prisons estate with the forthcoming Prison and Courts Bill due to make rehabilitation for people in prison a key duty of prisons for the first time ever. There will be new leadership and promotion programmes for prison and probation officers to “further professionalise and build pride” in the service and the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) will be taking on responsibility for overall future policy direction, setting standards, scrutinising prison performance and commissioning services. 
 “Creating HMPPS will bring clarity to managing our prisons and probation services while further professionalising staff and building pride in their work,” said Justice Secretary Liz Truss. “Our prison and probation officers do a vital job and they deserve to work in a world-class organisation which supports them in reforming offenders and keeping the public safe,” she added. CEO of the new service Michael Spurr was cautiously optimistic about his new role. “There is a great deal to do,” he said, “but I am confident that with the additional resources the government are providing, we can transform the system and deliver the high quality of service the public deserve.”

A secret Facebook Group

where prison staff boast about attacking being probed by police ......

354 deaths in prison, up 38%
119 self-inflicted deaths up 32%
37,784 incidents of self harm, up 23%
18,510 recorded prisoner on prisoner assaults, up 28%
6,430 assaults on staff, up 40%

There was more than a little scepticism amongst insiders when just one year ago Peter Clarke was appointed HM Chief Inspector of Prisons.  
In his first media interview since taking up the post he was asked  how he would summarise his experience of the past year, and how did he feel about the record numbers of self-inflicted deaths and incidents of self-ham in our prisons. “It’s been a very interesting and very busy year,” he says with obvious understatement. “I couldn’t have come into this job at a more crucial time, when prison reform is at the very front of the public and political agenda in a way that it hasn’t been for many decades.”
 This last year has confirmed that. The latest figures from the Ministry of Justice on self-inflicted deaths in custody are deeply troubling, as is the continuing increase in the level of self-harm, 
When the inspectorate makes recommendations intended to improve safety in jails, they should be taken seriously. All too often, they are not. I’ve found it extraordinary that some of the most difficult and challenging prisons we’ve been to are those where our recommendation have simply not been implemented or apparently not been taken seriously.
 Some of them are quite shocking – seventy recommendations and perhaps fifteen have been achieved. 
 In one recently we’d made twenty recommendations about safety and only two had been achieved.” 

Clarke took over the role of HMCIP Nick Hardwick, whose prison inspections were famed for leaving no stone, or prison lock, unturned in his endeavours to uncover the truth about conditions in the country’s jails. Hardwick’s fearless reporting of the facts apparently brought him into some conflict with the views of former Justice Secretary Chris Grayling, who decided not to renew Hardwick’s contract. 
When Michael Gove took over as Justice Secretary in July 2015 it was he who appointed Peter Clarke as Inspector. But if there was any notion that Clarke would be a less troublesome prisons overseer than his predecessor, his rigorous and unrelenting inspection reports over the last 12 months have firmly put them to rest.
Why is it, does he think, that in such an advanced civilised society as ours most of our prisoners live in such poor conditions? 
“I think it’s because we’ve become accepting and inured to it. ”
A good way of taking the temperature of our prison system on any month of the year is to read the pages of Inside Time I say. Does he read it? “Every month,” he says. “I’d go as far as to say that reading Inside Time was a very important part of my induction for this job. It gives a really good perspective of the situation.” And what exactly attracted him to the role in the in the first place? “Well if you look at the forty years now that I’ve been in public service, every role I’ve had has been marked by independence and almost all of the jobs I’ve done have been about finding out about things, establishing facts and reporting on them, and what could be more interesting and more important at this time than this role.”

Leadership, he says finally, is crucial to the good running of a prison. “There is good practice, some very good practice in many of the prisons I’ve visited and where we find it we will report on it so it can be picked up and replicated. And there is bad practice and we will report on that too. But when I go around a prison and get asked if I’m the governor, what does that say about the visibility of the governor? Strong leadership is essential.”

Work and Pensions Committee

 Haspublished the Government’s response to its report on the support for ex-offenders leaving prison.
 which indicates that the Government has accepted the case made for many of the Committee’s recommendations and is looking for ways to take them forward, including considering a range of ways to incentive employers to take on ex-offenders leaving prison. The suggestion of offering reduced National Insurance contributions to those employers is particularly “noted with interest”.

Today’s report shows that current government policy is failing people with convictions. There is no one person in government with responsibility for helping prison leavers into work and no clear strategy for how different agencies should work together to get people with convictions into employment.

“We are delighted that the Work and Pensions Committee has listened to the evidence that we submitted and has made a number of recommendations which, if implemented by government, would vastly improve the chances of people with convictions to become positive members of society rather than burdens of the state. Only a quarter on people leaving prison have a job to go to, yet stable employment significantly reduces the likelihood of people re-offending in the future.”
“Employers need to be encouraged to change their recruitment practices, and piloting a reduction in National Insurance contributions for those who actively employ people with convictions is a welcome step forward. Unlock supports the Committee’s recommendation of taking the “ban the box” campaign further by considering putting it on a statutory footing for all employers. We know that this practical change in recruitment practice, alongside other ‘fair chance recruitment’ measures, increases the chances that employers will recruit people with convictions.”

“We are pleased that the Ministry of Justice is working on a new employment strategy. This needs to be done jointly with the Department for Work and Pensions and place significant focus on people with convictions in the community. Crucially, it must recognise that no level of training or education in prison will overcome the negative approaches taken by employers, so supporting and challenging employers in their recruitment practices needs to be a fundamental part of this strategy. More broadly, government needs to fundamentally reform the law around criminal records disclosure to prevent the unnecessary and disproportionate barriers that people face long after they’ve served their sentence.”

The Committee encouraged employers to change their recruitment process and made a number of recommendations to both government and companies, including:

  • Extending Ban the Box to all public bodies, with exclusions for the minority of roles where it would not be appropriate for security reasons
  • Piloting the reduction of National Insurance contributions for those employers who actively employ people with convictions
  • Consider making banning the box a statutory requirement for all employers and develop practical guidance to help employers recruit people with a criminal record
  • All prisons should be required to demonstrate strong links with employers, including local businesses
  • Government clearly state who has ultimate responsibility for helping prison leavers into work
  • All Jobcentres should have a specified person who specialises in helping ex-offenders into employment with expertise on matters such as disclosure of convictions
  • Recognising employers that actively employ people with convictions by factoring it into procurement and commissioning decisions.

What have the  Howard League Reform said post date.

The manifest of the IPP, this is a sensible, level-headed and just reform. We cannot continue to incarcerate thousands of people because of something they might do. It is manifestly unfair and it is causing chaos inside prisons as people are caged for years past the date they expected to be released with no end in sight.


Project: Fair Access to Employment award-winning charity

We're encouraging employers to recruit people with convictions and deal with criminal records fairly. We're also challenging discrimination.

What we do
Unlock is an independent, award-winning charity for people with convictions which exists for two simple reasons. Firstly, we assist people to move on positively with their lives by empowering them with information, advice and support to overcome the stigma of their previous convictions. Secondly, we seek to promote a fairer and more inclusive society by challenging discriminatory practices and promoting socially just alternatives. What does this mean in practice? Worried about your criminal record? We provide advice & support.Work and Pensions Committee has published the Government’s response to its report on the support for ex-offenders leaving prison, which indicates that the Government has accepted the case made for many of the Committee’s recommendations and is looking for ways to take them forward, including considering a range of ways to incentive employers to take on ex-offenders leaving prison. The suggestion of offering reduced National Insurance contributions to those employers is particularly “noted with interest”.



Siobhan Ryan
I see Amnesty International as a high profile organization renowned for their worldwide intervention for the atrocious crimes commited against humanity and one cannot even put into words the commendable work that you do. Yet even on British territory and what makes it more deplorable is the fact that it is legalised through the Imprisonment for Public Protection  (IPP) law that has since been abolished in 2012 there are currently 4000 + IPP prisoners subject to this inhumane law whereby a prisoner remains entrapped in prison indeterminately with no known release date despite having served their sentenced time known as a tariff hence serving extra years and years in prison unable to secure a release due to the legislation that they have to satisfy certain criteria which will be impossible to prove. And even if they are eventually released they remain on licence and can be recalled back to prison on the hear say of a probation officer and once again remained detained indeterminately even tho' they have served their time for the original crime that they committed  Statistics show that this has resulted in the highest risk of suicides amongst this category of prisoners and it is psychological torture for the prisoner to be incarcerated indefinitely. The IPP families campaign website run by Katherine Gleeson is relentlessly challenging the government to amend this law for the prisoners still subject to it. Therefore I think that any support that can be given by Amnesty International to Katherine Gleeson to support the cause of ending this law can only be beneficial to the prisoner caught up in the total injustice and inhumanity of being detained indefinitely. If you  are not already aware of the website please look up on the internet the IPP Families Campaign website for a the lates update. Any support will be appreciated.
Kind regards 
Siobhan Ryan

Also See  reply from Amnesty International   

Subject: RE: Inhumane entrapment of prisoners in British prisons personally tortured under the IPP law
To: "Siobhan Ryan.
Dear Siobhan Ryan,
 The large numbers of prisoners in the UK are still jailed under the now abolished IPP sentencing policy is hugely concerning. It is not an issue Amnesty has yet been involved with, and unfortunately this has largely been the result of remit and resource issues. When making decisions about which cases we work on careful consideration is paid to the level of effectiveness we believe we’ll have, and also the amount of crossover that might occur with the work of other organisations.

In this instance there are a number of other UK organisations whose expertise would lend itself to this important issue, including Liberty, Justice Gap, Howard League and the Prison Reform Trust.

I’m sorry we can’t have a more direct involvement, but do get back in contact with us if you have any further questions.

Kind regards,

Supporter Communications Team

Amnesty International UK
Human Rights Action Centre
17 - 25 New Inn Yard

Tel:        (020) 7033 1777

Kem You have my email address contact me I received a 22 month ipp and ended up serving over 10 years I had no proven adjudications recorded against me nothing just unable to progress due to the poor structure and resources made available
Umm I Guess the only time most people think about injustice is when it happens to them 
McSherry Unfortunately....people dont care till something affects them personally....thats the sad reality in life....instead of being united they choose to stay divide
Owen Absolutely bang on. Treat people badly and you will cause psychological damage.





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