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Centre for Crime and Justice Studies Monthly Bulletin: May 2011

Welcome to the free monthly ebulletin from the Centre.

 

If you would rather read this online, you can do so at http://www.crimeandjustice.org.uk/may2011.html

 


 

COMING UP...

Coming in June: Criminal Justice Matters

Same difference? Evidence vs ‘common sense’ in the Coalition Drug Strategy

Professor David Nutt and Sophie Macken, guest editors of the themed section, invite experts to critically examine the Coalition’s new Strategy. Fiona Measham considers the policy challenges for regulating ‘novel’ drugs; Emma Wincup explores the proposals to tackle problem drug use through welfare reform and Eric Carlin argues that a failure to refocus from criminal justice to public health means the Strategy will ultimately fail.

In the topical issues, Craig Jackson, David Wilson and Baljit Kaur Rans consider the usefulness of criminal profiling, while Peter Hungerford-Welch cautions against streamlining the trial process, arguing that ‘speed must not be achieved at the expense of the right of the accused to a fair trial.’ Don’t get CJM? Click here http://www.crimeandjustice.org.uk/mem.html for info on becoming a member.

 

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

The first briefing, out in June, 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, pencilled in for July, looks in detail at the experiences of young adults in the three T2A pilot areas (http://www.t2a.org.uk/pilots) and draws policy conclusions.

 

‘2011 Eve Saville Lecture’ – save the date

Susie Orbach will be delivering the lecture on Wednesday 16 November.

Full details will be available nearer the time. To register your interest, please email: events@crimeandjustice.org.uk.

 

 

OTHER STUFF

A new book

‘Promoting social cohesion: Implications for policy and evaluation’ edited by Peter Ratcliffe and Ines Newmanhas been published by the Policy Press. Roger Grimshaw (Research Director) and his colleague Kate Smart wrote a chapter entitledAssessing the impact of social cohesion initiatives in a media age: methodological and theoretical considerations’. Click here http://www.policypress.co.uk/display.asp?K=9781847426949&sf1=keyword&st1=Promoting+social+cohesion&m=2&dc=4  to read more.

 

Corston Independent Funders Coalition celebration

Richard Garside (Director) attended a reception celebrating the achievements of the Corston Independent Funders Coalition. Richard is currently reading Dario Melossi's 'Controlling Crime, Controlling Society' http://www.polity.co.uk/book.asp?ref=9780745634289 and thinks it's a corker.

 

 

TAKE A LOOK AT THIS...

Making a killing

The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) released a new report entitled ‘Making A Killing: How Prison Corporations Are Profiting From Campaign Contributions and Putting Taxpayers at Risk’. Click here https://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2011/05/04-3  to read the report.

 

Valedictory lecture

Click here http://www.justice.gov.uk/inspectorates/hmi-probation/docs/Andrew_Bridges_Tribute_16_May11-rps.pdfto read the lecture given by Andrew Bridges, Chief Inspector of Probation, at the University of Oxford on 16 May 2011. Also read the uncorrected transcript of evidence taken in public and reported to the House of Commons on ‘the role of the probation service’ here. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201012/cmselect/cmjust/uc519-vi/uc51901.htm

 

Children’s experience and attitudes towards the police, personal safety and public spaces

Interviews with children aged 10 to 15, provide analysis of children’s contact with and attitude towards the police. Find out more here.

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/science-research-statistics/research-statistics/crime-research/hosb0811/

 

Detaining asylum seekers

Detention Action has published a report on the government's policy of detaining asylum seekers in immigration removal centres while their asylum applications are processed. Click here http://www.detentionaction.org.uk/files/uploads/FastTracktoDespair.pdf to read the report. The Children's Society has published a report: 'What have I done? The experiences of children and families in UK immigration detention: Lessons to learn'. Click here

http://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/news-views/press-release/new-research-reveals-renewed-child-detention-fears to read the report.

 

Families at the core of the ‘Big Society’?

Click here http://www.number10.gov.uk/news/speeches-and-transcripts/2011/05/speech-on-the-big-society-64052 to read David Cameron’s speech on 23 May 2011 in full.

 

‘Corruption risk’

The campaign group Transparency International, has published a report on the ‘corruption risk’ for ex-ministers because ‘the revolving door between government and business is spinning out of control’. Click here http://transparency.org/news_room/latest_news/press_releases_nc/2011/2011_05_17_revolving_door#1  to read the report.

 

Fall in child abuse deaths

University of Warwick research reveals that child deaths related to assault have fallen from an average of three a week in 1974 to one a week in 2008. Peter Sidebotham, who led the study, says that this is due to the child protection register, to the formalization of the protection of vulnerable children, to better support for vulnerable families and to a general growing public awareness of children’s needs. Click here http://press.psprings.co.uk/adc/may/adc207647.pdf  to read the research.

 

 

IN THE NEWS

Charged by post

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, said that some suspected minor offenders may in future be charged by means of a letter. ‘This could save up to 40,000 police officer hours annually’, May said. For more see The Guardian (09/05/2011) http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/may/09/theresa-may-power-prosecute-police. Click here http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/one-year-on to read the speech in full.

 

Legal aid reform: need for consideration

The Law Society criticises the proposed legal aid reform in a letter to the justice secretary, Kenneth Clarke. For more see The Guardian (18/05/2011) http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/2011/may/18/lawyers-demand-pause-legal-aid-reforms

 

Women involved in e-book piracy

The stereotypical view of internet pirates as teenagers is definitely broken by women over 35 illegally downloading e-books, according to the Digital Entertainment Survey. For more see The Daily Telegraph (18/05/2011) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/8518755/E-books-drive-older-women-to-digital-piracy.html

 

Teenagers’ deaths in prison

Five teenagers killed themselves in prison in a five-week-period. In 2005 nine teenagers died in custody; no more than five have killed themselves each year from 2006 to 2010. For more see The Guardian (05/05/2011) http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/may/04/teenage-deaths-prison

 

Police officers misconduct: need for transparency

An investigation by The Times shows that disciplinary hearings don’t take place in public. For more see The Guardian (09/05/2011) http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/may/09/police-closed-hearings-officers-misconduct

 

Right to protest

Police tactics, mass criminal trials and pre-emptive arrests influence the right to hold demonstrations in Britain, a coalition of campaign groups claims. For more see The Independent (09/05/2011) http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/right-to-protest-being-undermined-by-police-2281144.html

 

Tomlinson killing unlawful

On 03 May 2011, an inquest jury said that Ian Tomlinson’s killing was unlawful. See The Independent (04/05/2011) http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/pc-faces-criminal-charge-over-unlawful-killing-of-tomlinson-2278510.html to read more. The Guardian (09/05/2011) http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/may/09/tomlinson-police-witness-baton-attack revealed that three Met police officers reported the incident to the City of London Police within two days of Tomlinson’s death.

 

‘The biggest mis-selling scandal in UK history’

After a more than a decade of scandal, three million customers will receive more than £2,000 each from the four main banks as compensation for payment protection insurance. For more see The Independent (10/05/2011)

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/three-million-customers-due-for-payout-over-banks-ppi-policy-2281588.html

 

Security minister resignation

Baroness Neville-Jones quits the post of Security and Counter-Terrorism Minister giving no reason; her replacement is Angela Browning. The Daily Mail (10/05/2011) claims she has had a ‘difficult’ relationship with her boss, Theresa May. Click here http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1385358/Security-minister-Baroness-Neville-Jones-quits-rows-boss-Theresa-May.html for more.

 

Hiding vulnerable inmates from inspectors

The decision to not re-investigate two prison governors has shocked prison charities and the prison officers’ union. For more see The Independent (11/05/2011)

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/emails-reveal-prison-swaps-that-hid-inmates-from-inspectors-2282115.html 

 

Ministry of Justice research on reoffending

Research figures claim to show that reoffending rates are lower for community penalties than for very short prison terms. For more see The Daily Telegraph (11/05/2011) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/8504923/Longer-prison-sentences-deter-re-offending-study-shows.html and click here http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/research-and-analysis/moj/hazards-reoffending.htm  to read the research.

 

 

COMMENT

Tomlinson’s death investigation

Read Chris Greer and Eugene McLaughlin, including a link to a recent BJC issue, here.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/may/03/ian-tomlinson-inquest-live-blogging

In The Guardian (11/05/2011) http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/may/11/inquest-trial-for-tomlinson-family Helen Shaw and Deborah Coles, Co-directors of Inquest, criticises the failure to initiate an investigation of Ian Tomlinson’s death immediately. Deborah Glass, Deputy Chair of the Independent Police Complaints Commission, suggests reading their Tomlinson reports because they are in line with the verdict of the inquest. You can read them here.http://www.ipcc.gov.uk/en/Pages/investigation_reports.aspx

 

‘The government seems to have a real antipathy to police officers’

Paul McKeever, chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, accuses the coalition of undermining the police. For more see The Guardian (16/05/2011)

 http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/may/15/police-federation-coalition-officers-ministers

 

Justice has not been done

Geoffrey Robertson claims that the way Bin Laden was killed will make him a martyr.  See The Independent (03/05/2011) http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/geoffrey-robertson-why-its-absurd-to-claim-that-justice-has-been-done-2278041.html to read the comment.

 

Victory against financial crimes

The Financial Times (16/05/2011) hopes that Raj Rajaratnam’s conviction for insider trading will mark a step towards a permanently tougher prosecutorial regime.

 

Suggestions on police reform

Peter Hetherington asks: ‘why are some chief constables more obsessed with narrow perceptions of "public order" – riot squads turning up when a few demonstrators congregate – rather than the more important issue of "law and order"?’ For more see The Guardian (18/05/2011)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/joepublic/2011/may/17/police-reform-new-ideas-peter-hetherington

 

‘Clarke should go’

Click here to read Ed Miliband on Cameron, May and Clarke’s ‘complete detachment from real concerns about crime and a flawed policy’. Read Clarke’s apology for claiming that some rapes were less serious than other here. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/justice-secretary-ken-clarke-sorry-for-rape-controversy-2286631.html

 

 

QUOTE(S) OF THE MONTH

'While the idea that community sentences can act as an alternative to custody is an attractive one and has been a significant aspect of criminal justice policy for 30 years, it has to be noted that there is little evidence to suggest that it has worked in practice'.

George Mair's response to the ‘Reform Sector Strategy’ project.

 

'I couldn't care less. I will continue to do what I do'.

Stefano Pessina, chairman of Boots, when challenged on criticisms that last year Boots had only paid £25m in tax on profits of £637m.


For any feedback, please email our bulletin editor at Lorenzo.DelCastillo@crimeandjustice.org.uk

 

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Date Published:

31/05/2011

 

Source:

Centre for Crime and Justice Studies