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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

September 27, 2005: Campaign to End Children Dying in Custody

A national campaign to end the deaths of children in penal custody has been launched by the Howard League for Penal Reform. It also aims to end the unnecessary use of penal custody for children.

The number of children in custody has risen from 3,130 in October 2004 to 3,423 in September 2005. A total of 29 children have died since 1990 - an average of two every year. 27 of the children took their own lives, one was the victim of homicide and one boy died whilst being restrained by staff. 27 of the children died in prisons while 2 died in privately run jails for children, secure training centres. A  study has suggested that children in prison are 18 times more likely to commit suicide than their counterparts in the community.

A national petition will be presented to Downing Street in February 2006 when a month of remembrance will be held. The Howard League points out that:

  •  The majority of children are detained in prisons with 2,933 in Prison Service custody, 245 in local authority secure children’s homes, and 245 held in secure training centres.
  • The number of children remanded into Prison Service custody has increased by 26%, from 403 in October 2004 to 507.
  • The number of girls in penal custody has increased by 35% from 198 in October 2004 to 267 in September 2005. The number of girls held in prisons has increased by 31% from 85 to 111.
  • The number of boys held in prisons has increased from 2,589 to 2,822 in a year.

Two boys have died in prisons this year: a 16 year old hanged himself in Lancaster Farms prison and a 17 year was found in his cell in Hindley prison with a ligature round his neck . This boy was known to be at risk of suicide yet had not been designated as vulnerable.

Howard League director Frances Crook commented:

 “It is so sad that we launch this campaign in the week when yet another child takes his own life in a prison. We want no more families to mourn their lost children, no more staff to cut down a child’s body from the prison bars, no more excuses.”

In addition to the campaign events, the independent Carlile Inquiry is due to be published in November. The Howard League for Penal Reform asked Lord Carlile of Berriew QC to “investigate the use of physical restraint, solitary confinement and forcible strip searching of children in prisons, secure training centres and local authority secure children’s homes and to make recommendations.”