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News Archives: Index

October 7, 2010: Probation Set For Industrial Action

October 5, 2010: Turning Prisoners Into Taxpayers

October 4, 2010: Murder Changes Now In Force

September 20, 2010: Probation Programmes Face Cuts

August 24, 2010: Victorian Poor Law Records Online

August 10, 2010: Justice Job Cuts

July 28, 2010: Prison Violence Growing

July 22, 2010: Police Numbers: Latest Figures

July 22, 2010: New Jurisdiction Rules

July 16, 2010: CCJS On Prison And Probation Spending Under Labour

July 15, 2010: Latest Statistics On Violent And Sexual Crime

July 15, 2010: Latest National Crime Figures

July 15, 2010: New Chief Prisons Inspector

July 14, 2010: Hard Times Ahead For Prisons: Anne Owers

July 14, 2010: Prison Does Not Work: Ken Clarke

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform: Sentencing and Rehabilitation

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform Priorities

July 12, 2010: What Price Public Protection, Asks Probation Chief Inspector

July 12, 2010: NOMS has failed, says Napo

July 10, 2010: IPCC To Investigate Death of Raoul Moat

July 9, 2010: Women In Prison: New Report

July 9, 2009: Unjust Deserts: Imprisonment for Public Protection

July 8, 2010: Police Search Powers Change

July 7, 2010: Make 'Legal High' Illegal, Says ACMD

July 2, 2010: Failing Children In Prison

July 2, 2010: Police Buried Under a Blizzard of Guidance: HMIC

July 1, 2010: Freedom To Change The Law?

June 30, 2010: A New Outlook On Penal Reform?

June 30, 2010: Revolving Door Of Offending Must Stop, Says Clarke

June 30, 2010: Ken Clarke: Speech on Criminal Justice Reform

June 29, 2010: No More Police Targets

June 26, 2010: Family Intervention Projects Questioned

June 25, 2010: Cutting Criminal Justice

June 24, 2010: Napo on Sex Offenders Report

June 23, 2010: Closing Courts: The Cuts Begin

June 23, 2010: Strategy To Tackle Gangs

June 15, 2010: Courts and Mentally Disordered Offenders

June 8, 2010: Working With Muslims in Prison

June 1, 2010: Your Chance To Nominate a QC

November 9, 2005: Anniversary of Death Penalty Abolition

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the abolition of the death penalty in the UK. The Howard League for Penal Reform campaigned for abolition since its foundation in 1866. The charity continued the campaign for a century until abolition was finally achieved in 1965.

Despite the milestone achievement of abolition, the Howard League continues to campaign for the development of a more enlightened penal policy. Records show that on average 11 people a year were hanged in Britain during the twentieth century until abolition in 1965. By contrast, in the 20 years since 1985 an average of 60 people each year have taken their own life in prison in England and Wales.

Speaking today, Frances Crook, director of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said:

“The death penalty existed to allow the state to hand out the ultimate punishment as part of a justice system founded in revenge. I am extremely proud of the role the Howard League for Penal Reform played of getting rid of it in the UK. Despite abolition, too much current penal and criminal justice policy continues to be based on the concept of vengeance and punishment disguised as justice. Emotional and strident demands from some sections of the community for increasingly tough sentences reflect this. The Howard League for Penal Reform believes that we should be moving towards more effective and restorative approaches to justice, which give increased victim satisfaction and make offenders understand the impact of their actions and take responsibility towards leading law-abiding lives”.