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Centre for Crime and Justice Studies Bulletin February 2011

WHAT HAVE WE BEEN UP TO?

 

Doing justice locally? The Liverpool Community Justice Centre

We’ve published a report about the Liverpool Community Justice Centre, the first and most ambitious site for community justice in England and Wales. Based on interviews with Centre staff, defendants and members of the local community, as well as reviewing sentencing data, the report considers the extent to which innovation has occurred at the Centre. Download the report here: http://www.crimeandjustice.org.uk/opus1828/Doing_justice_locally.pdf.

George Mair, the writer of the report was interviewed on BBC Merseyside radio: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p00dxc23/Tony_Snell_in_the_Morning_23_02_2011/ (the interview begins at 1hr 17 mins).

 

Breaking the cycle

What should we make of Government promises of a ‘rehabilitation revolution’?, asks Jon Collins, Director of the Criminal Justice Alliance. Comment here: http://www.worksforfreedom.org/infocus/94-breaking-the-cycle Also Rebecca Roberts, Senior Policy Associate at the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, discusses myths in the criminal justice system and the consequences these myths may have.Discuss your thoughts here: http://www.worksforfreedom.org/infocus/95-mythmaking-in-criminal-justice.  Want to share your thoughts? Send your blog suggestions to info@worksforfreedom.org.

 

Criminal justice under the coalition

On 18 February an invite only seminar took place, focusing on thinking critically about the Coalition government’s approach to criminal justice processes. Speakers at the event included Professor Eugene McLaughlin, Professor Rod Morgan and Professor Lee Bridges. It was a stimulating day and we are planning a publication in late 2011.


 

 

OTHER STUFF

 

Anti-social news

Will McMahon (Policy Director) appeared on the BBC TV’s Six and Ten O’clock news on 7 February challenging the government’s new(ish) anti-social behaviour strategy.

 

Economic Social Research Council seminar

Roger Grimshaw (Research Director) attended the first seminar at the University of Leeds in the ESRC funded seminar series on ‘The Third Sector in Criminal Justice’. For more click here http://www.law.leeds.ac.uk/research/projects/the-third-sector-in-criminal-justice.php.

 

Mature debate

Mel Kerrison (Project Assistant Intern) attended the Transitions to Adulthood seminar at the House of Lords on maturity of young adults and the criminal justice system, with an interesting talk on brain development in young adults.

 

Racism in prison

Will McMahon was quoted in the Morning Star in an article about racial discrimination in prisons. For the article click here http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/content/view/full/101480.

 

Dedicated Drug Courts – the future of criminal justice?

The MOJ has investigated the processes that contribute to the effective operation of the dedicated drug courts. Roger Grimshaw was an adviser to the project team. See here for more http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/ddc-process-evaluation.htm.


 

 

COMING UP...

 

The labours of Sisyphus?

In the latest issue of Criminal Justice Matters, due in the second week of March, contributors unpack criminal justice myths and the misrepresentations that occur in popular debate. Authors seek to challenge what ‘crime’ is and who the ‘criminals’ are in a collection of challenging articles. To find out more about Criminal Justice Matters click here http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/title~content=t789039843~db=all.

 

Accommodation wanted for a CCJS intern from Italy

...who is starting to work with us from the end of March. Do you have, or know of, a double room available to let in London, close to transport links? Somewhere within easy reach of CCJS offices in Vauxhall would be ideal. If you can help, please contact Lorenzo at delcastillorenzo@gmail.com.


 

 

TAKE A LOOK AT THIS...

 

State of detention

The first annual report of the UK’s National Preventive Mechanism has been published, giving an overview of the state of detention in prisons, police custody, children’s secure accommodation, immigration, military and mental health detention. For more click here http://www.justice.gov.uk/inspectorates/hmi-prisons/docs/National_Preventive_Mechanism_Annual_report_2009-2010(web).pdf.

 

Restorative justice at ‘heart’ of CJS

The Rt Hon Nick Herbert MP Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice talks about restorative justice in the Big Society http://www.justice.gov.uk/news/speech-nh-restorative-justice.htm.

 

Public racial attacks

Research by the Institute of Race Relations highlights the continued prevalence of racial attacks and abuse occurring late at night and, often fuelled by alcohol: attacks outside licensed venues being common and often unprovoked.  For more see here http://www.irr.org.uk/2011/february/ha000011.html.

 

I spy pupils

A school in Coventry is being described as akin to a ‘high security prison’ with 112 CCTV cameras watching the children. Is there really a need to have one camera for every ten pupils? See the Daily Mail (10/02/11) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1355154/Coventry-Stoke-Park-School-112-CCTV-cameras-1-10-pupils.html.

 

Fruit new to black market in prisons

A report by the Howard League shows that children in young offender institutes are given such poor quality food, that fruit has become a means of bartering. To see the report click here http://www.howardleague.org/fileadmin/howard_league/user/pdf/U_R_Boss/Enough_on_their_plate.pdf.

 

Six months on: coalition’s commitment to civil liberties

Statewatch has published a follow-up to its June 2010 analysis of the Coalition government's commitment to civil liberties. For the report click here http://www.statewatch.org/analyses/no-118-uk-civil-liberties-six-months-on.pdf.


 

 

IN THE NEWS

 

Right to vote denied

Parliament has told the government not to give prisoners the right to vote, nor to pay compensation to those denied the right. For more see the Guardian (09/02/11) http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/feb/08/prisoners-right-to-vote?INTCMP=SRCH.

 

The unemployed generation

One in five young adults are unemployed according to the Office for National Statistics, which is the highest since 1992, raising concerns over a generation of school leavers unable to find a career path. For more see the Independent (17/02/11) http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/one-in-five-young-britons-out-of-work-2217143.html.

 

Farepak boss packs his bags

Sir Clive Thompson faces disqualification as a company director after action was taken against him over his connections to the failed Christmas savings club. (Financial Times 16/02/11) For the Centre’s co-produced briefing which gave the many failed customers of Farepak a voice click here http://www.crimeandjustice.org.uk/farepakvictims.html.

 

Drink driver’s samples on ice

Police have been told to hold samples in drink-driving cases after a forensic science lab has stopped processing blood and urine samples. For more see the Daily Mail (10/09/11) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1355312/Forensic-Science-Service-Drink-drive-cases-hold-leading-lab-axed.html.

 

Thirsty care

Nearly 700 elderly people died from dehydration and over 150 from malnutrition in care homes between 2005 and 2009, according to the Office of National Statistics. For more see the Telegraph (31/01/11) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/8292239/Hundreds-of-care-home-residents-killed-by-thirst.html.

 

Stop and mouse search

The children’s programme Rastamouse has been used to highlight racism within stop and search in a witty article. Click here to read the mouse police’s defence. http://newsthump.com/2011/02/14/rastamouse-five-times-more-likely-to-be-stopped-and-searched-than-fingermouse/.


 

 

COMMENT

 

Stop-and-search records axed

Not recording stop-and-search incidents will save police less than 30 minutes a month, and, it is argued, will lose them the trust of the public. See the Guardian (02/02/11) http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/feb/01/police-stop-search-data-equality?INTCMP=SRCH.

 

Injunction based on hearsay

Gang injunctions have been unveiled with the ability to be issued on evidence deemed insufficient for criminal proceedings. See the Guardian (09/02/11)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/feb/08/gang-injunctions-punishment-too-far?INTCMP=SRCH.

 

Wild animals in the community

This scheme will ‘mean children can view beasts every day, as lions sit under a cashpoint machine going, “Excuse me mate, you got a spare zebra?"’ See the Independent (09/02/11) http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/mark-steel/mark-steel-the-caring-sharing-way-to-bad-times-2208412.html.

 

Spot the difference: a gang and a group of friends

No-one really knows how to tell the difference between a gang and a group of friends, suggesting that ‘gangs’ and ‘gang culture’ are over-used. The Independent (01/02/11) http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/columnists/thomas-sutcliffe/how-not-to-beat-gang-culture-whatever-that-is-2200222.html.


 

 

QUOTE(S) OF THE MONTH

 

‘As the prospects get bleaker for a genuinely caring welfare state, the awful tragedy is that someone has to commit an offence (or be considered “at risk”) before the state will provide the services it should have provided anyway’.

Stanley Cohen, 1985, Visions of Social Control

 

‘Don’t settle for low politics and broken promises: be more demanding’.

Nick Clegg Liberal Democrat Election Manifesto 2010

 

 

Please email any feedback or suggestions to Melinda.kerrison@crimeandjustice.org.uk.

Date Published:

25/02/2011

 

Source:

Centre for Crime and Justice Studies