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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

January 25, 2006: New Report On Recalled Prisoners

The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) urgently needs to improve the systems for managing recalled prisoners, said Anne Owers, Chief Inspector of Prisons, publishing Recalled prisoners, a short review of recalled adult male determinate sentenced prisoners.

Anne Owers said:

"Neither recalled prisoners nor receiving prisons are adequately prepared. Recalled prisoners often arrived without sufficient information and with limited understanding of their situation. Receiving prisons often had little warning of their arrival and struggled to advise recalled prisoners adequately, given the complexities of their legal situation, the lack of adequate IT systems and failures of communication with the recall section of NOMS."

Inspectors found that there has been a 350% increase over the past five years in the number of offenders recalled to prison for apparent breach of their conditions and recalled prisoners now make up nearly 11% of the prison population of local prisons.

The review found that prisons have been struggling to keep up with this huge rise, and those recalled do not always receive appropriate information, care and advice.

  • The process for reviewing the appropriateness of recall decisions was slow and complicated and few prisons had staff trained to guide prisoners as to their entitlements.
  • Where, as at HMP Bristol, a specialist legal services officer took responsibility, the process was well managed and prisoners were given early advice about their right of appeal and opportunities for re-release.
  • The report records the case of one recalled prisoner who had originally been sentenced for 18 months and who hanged himself after receiving a slip of paper, with no explanation, telling him he would have to serve four more years in prison. A day later, the dossier explaining his situation and his right of appeal arrived.
  • Recalled prisoners remained outside some normal prison routines, which could mean risks and needs were not picked up as with other newly received prisoners; vulnerabilities to suicide, self-harm or discrimination could therefore go unnoticed.
  • In none of the local prisons visited was there a comprehensive strategy for managing prisoners on recall and providing information and ongoing support. Residential staff were mostly unaware of who the recalled prisoners were.

Among the report's key recommendations are:

  • Prisons and offenders should immediately be made aware of the reasons for recall.
  • Parole dossiers should arrive more promptly and the calculation of re-release dates speeded up.
  • There should be better communication between the Parole Board and prisons and prisoners.
  • Prisons should provide safe reception, induction and safer custody support, effective legal advice, proper access to regimes and preparation for re-release for recalled prisoners.