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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

March 12, 2009: England - European Leader in Imprisonment

The Howard League for Penal Reform has today highlighted figures showing more than 12,000 men and women now serve open ended or life sentences in prison in England and Wales.

Analysing figures from recent parliamentary questions in her blog, Director of the Howard League for Penal Reform, Frances Crook, reveals that:

  • There are 5,059 prisoners serving an indeterminate sentence for public protection (IPP), with around 100 new IPP prisoners going into prison a month. Only 47 IPP prisoners having been released since the sentence’s introduction in 2005
  • The number of men and women serving life sentences has just peaked at an historic high of 7,031
  • The total of 12,090 men, women and children serving various forms of life sentence in England and Wales is higher than 11,477 – the total of all 46 other countries in the Council of Europe added together, including Russia, Turkey, Germany and the Ukraine

Frances Crook said:

“Men, women and children serving open-ended sentences with no certain prospect of release have dramatically increased both in number and as a proportion of the prison population, at a time when straitening public finances sees useful activity being curtailed with prisoners left to spend decades lying on their bunks."

“Rather than engaging these prisoners with real work, or education and training, the government prefers to promote a culture of idleness and a dangerous discontent. When these thousands of individuals are finally released, as most will be, then society will be left to pick up the pieces."

“Urgent sentencing reform is required to recalibrate the system to a realistic vision of what the criminal justice system can and can’t do, beginning with the abandonment of the unjust, utterly impractical and grossly expensive indeterminate sentence for public protection.”