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Gethin Jones, chair of the Reducing Reoffending and Changing Public Perception Conference

A conference on Reducing Reoffending and Changing Public Perception is to be chaired by Gethin Jones, a former prisoner who now works as an inspirational speaker and prisons advisor.

Gethin, who founded Unlocking Potential upon his release, heads a line-up of speakers who will discuss the latest best practice designed to reduce reoffending rates amongst adult and juvenile offenders.

This one-day conference – which takes place on October 2nd at St Alban's Centre, London – will bring together leading authorities from the Probation Service, Police, Courts, Prisons, Local Authorities, service commissioners, healthcare organisations, housing, voluntary & private organisations working with offenders.

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UK police call for more investment in crime-fighting technology

Nearly half of police officers (42%) have called for investment in new technology to help fight modern day crime, according to a new report.

Research by YouGov, launched by SSCL, found that when asked which technology- based tools should be prioritised as an investment to help target modern day crime, officers called for increased investment to fight cyber/ online crime (56%) as the greatest need, while investments in mobile/ self-service devices (51%) and big data processing (35%) were also essential.

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Darrell Stelling on The Future of Custodial Facilities

Recent studies from the National Association of Counties indicated that approximately 64 percent of jail inmates have mental health issues. Unfortunately, the design of existing jail facilities do not adequately house, let alone treat, those with mental illness. As a result, more counties
and states are beginning to re-assess, redefine and rebuild detention facilities using a new design model that emphasizes next-generation jails.

Re-Defining Design Priorities

Jail facilities of the past were designed to incarcerate, and the medical and mental health programs had to fit within this environment. The latest trend reverses that perspective so that we first design the facilities specifically for medical and mental health patients, and the incarceration requirement becomes just a unique element of that model instead of the other way around.

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HM Inspectorate Of Prisons Report On HMP Forest Bank

Commenting on the findings of the HM Inspectorate of Prisons report on HMP Forest BankPeter Dawson, director of the Prison Reform Trust said:

 

“This report sums up the futility of the Prime Minister’s idea that you can build your way out of the prisons crisis. Forest Bank is a modern prison with a solid history of good local management. But 60% of the prisoners it holds are in overcrowded cells with half of them locked up during the working day. Unsurprisingly, violence and self-harm are common. It’s a similar story in other new prisons built over the last two decades, as the political addiction to imprisonment continually outstrips the willingness to provide the number of cells it requires.” 

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HM Inspectorate Of Prisons Report On HMP/YOI Swinfen Hall - Prison Reform Trust

Commenting on the findings of the HM Inspectorate of Prisons report on HMP/YOI Swinfen HallAlex HewsonSenior Policy and Communications Officer at the Prison Reform Trust said:

 

“This report highlights a fundamental challenge for the prison service—that an attempt to improve safety in one establishment simply leads to instability in another. Reducing the pressure on heavily criticised HMYOI Aylesbury by sending young men to Swinfen Hall just led to a predictable spike in violence there instead. With young adults over-represented in incidents of self-harm, segregation and poor behaviour, and many hundreds of young men now routinely sentenced to astonishingly punitive jail terms, the Chief Inspector is right to call for a specific focus on this age group. A young adult strategy, as recommended by the cross-party Justice Committee, is long overdue.”

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New Product of the Year Award from Security Today

CNL Software, a world leader in Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) software, is pleased to announce that its IPSecurityCenter PSIM solution has won the Convergence & Integrated Software and Solutions award in the 2019 New Product of the Year Awards by Security Today.

The Security Today New Product of the Year Award honors the outstanding product development achievements of security equipment manufacturers whose products are considered to be particularly noteworthy in their ability to improve security. Nearly 100 entries were received in the 11th successful year of the independently juried contest.

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HM Inspectorate Of Prisons Report On HMP Eastwood Park

Commenting on the findings of the HM Inspectorate of Prisons report on HMP Eastwood Park, Dr Jenny Earle, Prison Reform Trust lead for reducing women’s imprisonment said:

 

“The cause of at least some of Eastwood Park prison’s failings lie outside its walls in the lack of housing and mental health support for women in the community. It is shocking that inspectors found that more than two in five women were being released homeless

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drugs in prison

Getting drugs out of our prisons is a critically important issue, and it deserves a better treatment.

There’s no dispute that the drugs trade in prison fuels violence and self harm, nor that its impact spills over to families outside. Nor is there any dispute that the emergence of new types of drug have coincided with a crisis in prison resourcing to make those problems very much worse. No prison will achieve what it should if the alternative power structures, which drive the drugs trade hold sway.

So investing in measures to reduce the supply of drugs to prisoners has to be part of the solution.

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Man showing the results Of 10 Prisons Project

RESULTS OF 10 PRISONS PROJECT

Commenting on the publication of the results from the 10 prisons project by the Ministry of Justice today, Peter Dawson, director of the Prison Reform Trust said:

“Any reduction in violence in any prison is welcome. But the 10 prisons project and the fate of a prisons minister always risked being a distraction from the real issue facing the government. That is about overcrowding—still running at over 20% despite three decades of prison building. It has always been possible to yank a very poor prison back from the abyss for a while, but the strategic problem of prisons holding too many people has never been properly addressed. Any glimmers of systemic improvement will be quickly snuffed out if we return to the failed ‘prison works’ policies that have created this calamity in the first place.”

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Recruitment – Building Futures

The Prison Reform Trust wants to understand what long sentences mean for the people serving them, the families and friends left behind, and the system that is responsible for their care. Then we want to make a difference – to the way of life in prison for people serving very long sentences and to their ability to build a future in the community to which almost all will return.

The Building Futures will be an innovative prisoner-led project. It will give long term prisoners the opportunity and skills to influence the policies and practices that affect them, and to build the bridges between prison and community on which their futures depend.