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Centre for Crime and Justice Studies Monthly Bulletin: June 2011

This bulletin can also be viewed online at www.crimeandjustice.org.uk.


WHAT HAVE WE BEEN UP TO?

cjm 84: Drugs

In the latest issue of Criminal Justice Matters, guest edited by Professor David Nutt chair of the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs, http://www.drugscience.org.uk/ experts contribute a series of articles that critically assess and challenge the Coalition's Drug Strategy. The topical and comment sections cover a range of contemporary issues including the usefulness of criminal profiling, the exercise of power and authority in prison, and debating the use of victim personal statements in court. To see the issue contents click here. http://www.crimeandjustice.org.uk/cjm.html Blogs based on the articles by Alex Stevens and Jamie Bennett have been added to the Works for Freedom website and can be read and commented on here: http://www.worksforfreedom.org/infocus.

 

 

‘Is penal reform working?’

IN FOCUS highlights a new project from the Centre: Reform Sector Strategies which explores the arguments and approaches employed by the progressive penal reform sector since the late 1990s. Our aim is to generate open and forward looking dialogue about the development of coherent policies to move away from our reliance on criminal justice. Click here: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a938565678~frm=titlelink to read the article and to contribute to the debate email: rssproject@crimeandjustice.org.uk.

 

 

Human evolution, history and violence: An Introduction

The latest issue of the British Journal of Criminology is out. This special issue brings together original contributions by scholars from various disciplines that examine how evolutionary and historical research can advance our understanding of violence. The introductory editorial by Manuel Eisner can be accessed here: http://bjc.oxfordjournals.org/content/51/3/473.full.

 

 

COMING UP...

Community sentences: a solution to penal excess?

...is the question CCJS consider in a paper to be published in July. The paper, part of our Reform Sector Strategies project, considers the impact that the promotion of community sentences with the intention of reducing the prison population has had since the late 1990s and challenges whether more and better community sentences are capable of contributing to significant different, reduced prison population.

 

 

Two briefings by Professor Danny Dorling and Richard Garside for the Transition to Adulthood Alliance (T2A), supported by the Barrow Cadbury Trust

We have decided to publish the two briefings together in July. The first, ‘Young adults in transition: the local picture in national context’, examines the contrasting life experiences and life outcome of young adults in different parts of the United Kingdom. The second briefing will look in detail at the experiences of young adults in the three T2A pilot areas and draws policy conclusions.

 

 

OTHER STUFF

Got something to say about justice? Then write for cjm...

Criminal Justice Matters magazine (cjm) engages critically with research, analysis and policy development on contemporary social justice and criminal justice issues in the UK and abroad. If you have something to say on policy or want to share research, ideas or practice in a space that welcomes critical analysis and debate, then get in touch. Just send us a short paragraph outlining your proposed article to: tammy.mcgloughlin@crimeandjustice.org.uk.

 

 

‘I am policed, judged and sanctioned but no one has seen me, nor have I been “sensed” in any human way. In key respects, I have not been there: my electronic trace has been there and that is what registers for the purposes of governance.’ 

The winner of the British Journal of Criminology Radzinowicz Memorial Prize for 2010 has been announced…and it is Pat O'Malley of the Faculty of Law, The University of Sydney, Australia for Simulated Justice: Risk, Money and Telemetric Policing. The winning essay can be read here: http://bjc.oxfordjournals.org/content/50/5/795.full.

 

 

York deviancy conference

The CCJS staff will be at the York deviancy conference between the 29June and 1 July 2011. Roger Grimshaw (Research Director) will be presenting a paper on housing policy, social harm and criminal justice careers and Helen Mills (Associate: Research and Policy) will be presenting a paper asking what might be an alternative to the ‘alternatives to custody’ debate for progressive penal reformers.

 

 

Sanctions & rehabilitation: charting change

On 01 June 2011, Arianna Silvestri (Associate: Research and Policy), Malwina Kaczmarek (Project Assistant intern) and Lorenzo Del Castillo (Policy and Research intern) attended a Criminal Justice Statistic Network conference, ‘Sanctions & rehabilitation: charting change’ organised by the British Society of Criminology at the Home Office.

 

 

Goodbye and good luck

Goodbye to intern Malwina Kaczmarek and many thanks for your work at CCJS. Malwina made a great contribution to the Centre since joining us at the start of the year. Malwina will be focusing on her final MA essay at Kings College London and is then looking for a job in the voluntary sector.

 

 

TAKE A LOOK AT THIS...

Better jury decision making?

‘A discussion among 12 people does not allow the whole group to share their ideas’ according to the authors of ‘Twelve (not so) angry men: Managing conversational group size increases perceived contribution by decision-makers’. Click here: http://www.port.ac.uk/aboutus/newsandevents/news/title,134904,en.html to read the press release.

 

 

Inflation suffered by the poor

The Institute of Fiscal Studies has published a report titled ‘Poor experience higher inflation than rich’. You can read the report here: http://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/5605.

 

 

Unequal before the law?

An independent report, entitled ‘Unequal before the law? The future of legal aid’, has been launched at Parliament from the ‘Commission of Inquiry into Legal Aid’. Click here: http://www.younglegalaidlawyers.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=166&Itemid=56 to read the report.

 

 

Sexualisation of children

The government has published a report on the commercialisation and sexualisation of children, read it here: https://www.education.gov.uk/publications/standard/publicationDetail/Page1/CM%208078.

 

 

Dealing with re-conviction rates

Figures published by the Ministry of Justice http://www.justice.gov.uk/news/features/feature260511a.htm show that since 2000, the number of people sent back to jail has quadrupled. A judge has criticised the use of short jail sentences to reduce prison overcrowding, warning that they create a ‘revolving door’. For more see The Daily Telegraph (15/06/2011) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/8575498/Judge-warns-short-prison-sentences-lead-to-reoffending.html.

 

 

Prison easier than community sentences?

The Howard League for Penal Reform has published a report, showing that many prisoners preferred a short-term prison sentence over a community sentence. Read it here: http://www.howardleague.org/shortsentences0/.

 

 

Report into dignity and nutrition for older people

Published by the Care Quality Commission here: http://www.cqc.org.uk//newsandevents/pressreleases.cfm?cit_id=37384&FAArea1=customWidgets.content_view_1&usecache=false.

 

 

Call to end the 50-year war on drugs

The Global Commission on Drug Policy haspublished a report on future perspectives for drug policies. You can read it here: http://www.globalcommissionondrugs.org/Report.

 

 

New anti-terrorism strategy

The Home Secretary, Theresa May, has launched a new ‘Prevent’ strategy. The counter-terrorism programme includes asking doctors and other health professionals to identify people who are ‘vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism’. Read it here: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/news/prevent-strategy.

 

 

IN THE NEWS

The US Supreme Court votes to reduce California prison population by over a quarter

It argues that the ‘viciously punitive regime’ has been underfinanced. About 46,000 are likely to be released on parole. For more see the Financial Times (27/05/2011).

 

 

Policy sacrifice carried out but no head on plate

The combined forces of Murdoch, the Tory right and errr... Ed Miliband....have forced a u-turn on sentences in published Justice Bill, but the Cameron has not brought them the head of Ken Clarke.....yet. The Sun says ‘The climbdown is a victory for The Sun's crusade against soft justice.’ Read more: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/3649442/Justice-Secretary-Ken-Clarke-tears-up-his-half-baked-plan-to-slash-jail-sentences-after-the-PM-steps-in.html#ixzz1PtfkaVkL .  Next question: where are the savings supposed to be made coming from?

 

 

Mother’s ruin? A million alcohol-related admissions in a year

This is the highest number ever in England and figures show admissions have more than doubled since 2009. Click here: http://www.ic.nhs.uk/news-and-events/news/alcohol-related-hospital-admissions-top-1-million-new-report-shows to view the NHS Information Centre report. Meanwhile the world’s biggest spirits company will pay £4 million to stop expectant mothers drinking alcohol. For more see the Daily Mail (13/06/2011) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2002701/Diageo-sponsors-training-advise-pregnant-women-dangers-alcohol.html.

 

 

Police discretion on offences

At least one in three offences, including violence, is not being acted on by police because they decide that there is little chance of solving it. For more see The Daily Telegraph (01/06/2011) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/8547978/Police-screen-out-crimes-that-are-too-hard-to-solve.html.

 

 

Fewer sentenced to prison for knife possession

Figures published by the Ministry of justice shows that more than 80 per cent of offenders caught with a knife are being given non-custodial sentences despite the guidelines issued to the courts in 2008 said the starting point should be 12 weeks custody. For more see The Daily Telegraph (06/06/2011) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/8552722/Four-in-five-knife-offenders-escape-jail.html.

 

 

More care on elderly home residents

Europe’s human rights chief Thomas Hammarberg said the quality of care offered to British elderly residents is deteriorating because private firms cut services to reduce costs. For more see The Daily Telegraph (15/06/2011) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/8575680/Elderly-Britons-in-care-homes-crisis-Europes-human-rights-chief-warns.html.

 

 

Taking cybercrime seriously?

The head of the country’s e-crime unite claims that public and industry ‘need to wake up to dangers’  of the risks of falling victim to increasingly sophisticated criminal networks that are operating on-line. For more see The Guardian (01/06/2011) http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/may/31/cybercrime-online-security-police-warning.

 

 

Crown Prosecution Service: hiding the truth?

New evidence could demonstrate that the Crown Prosecution Service withheld tapes that show the innocence of six defendants accused of conspiracy in a protest against Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station in 2009.  For more see the Guardian (08/06/2011) http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/jun/07/mark-kennedy-police-spy-secret-tapes.

 

 

Jail officials ‘at the heart of corruption’

On 13 June 2011, a jury heard that two prison officers who had engaged in sexual relationships in exchange of favours ‘were at the heart of corruption’. For more see the Daily Mail (14/06/2011) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2003087/Prison-governor-guard-gave-weekend-releases-exchange-sex.html.

 

 

Sex offenders’ register reform

The Home Secretary, Theresa May, has laid a draft proposal to allow people on the sex offenders' register in England and Wales to appeal against indefinite registration. This follows a Supreme Court ruling. For more see The Guardian (15/06/2011) http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/jun/14/sex-offenders-register-right-to-challenge.

 

 

‘Children are being let down by the system’

The children’s charity Barnardo’s claims that 2,756 children were known to have been abused in 2009 when convictions brought for child sexual exploitation totalled just 89 in England and Wales in that year. For more see The Times (15/06/2011).

 

 

Sleepwalker drink-driving

A doctor stopped for drink-driving is found innocent because he was not conscious of his actions at the time of the alleged offence. He was sleepwalking. For more see The Visitor (09/06/2011) http://www.thevisitor.co.uk/news/lancashire-news/police_stopped_sleepwalk_doctor_1_3456353.

 

 

COMMENT

 

Need for a feminist perspective

Jackie Ashley claims that an honest discussion about the sexualisation of young girls needs a feminist perspective. For more see The Guardian (06/06/2011) http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jun/06/f-word-girls-sexualisation-feminist.

 

 

Daily Mail issues a warning to Ken

The Daily Mail (06/06/2011) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1394706/Going-soft-crime-betrays-Tory-voters.html claims that the Tories could lose many voters if they do not maintain their ‘promise to send more criminals to jail’.

 

 

Health-based justice

Carlene Firmin underlines the importance of a health-based more than justice-based care for children in custody in order to prevent vulnerability and isolation. For more see The Guardian (08/06/2011) http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/jun/07/children-custody-nhs-healthcare

 

 

QUOTE(S) OF THE MONTH

 

‘Witnesses initially mistook PC Caulfield for a mugger but then realised he was a uniformed officer, the jury was told on the first day of his trial at Southwark Crown Court’.

Rosa Silverman, from The Independent (08/06/2011), http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/police-officer-attacked-tourist-for-urinating-in-bush-2294295.html on the police officer who allegedly attacked a tourist for urinating in bush in August 2009.


 

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Date Published:

21/06/2011

 

Source:

Centre for Crime and Justice Studies