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Prisons Notes

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This is an extract of our Prisons document, which we sell as part of our Criminology Notes collection written by the top tier of Oxford students.

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PRISONS Importance of justice in prison?

Woolf Report: "prisoners as well as staff, must feel the system is itself fair and just" Justice cannot merely put a person in prison and end there

Need for fairness (Easton and Piper)?Prisoners are especially vulnerable to arbitrary treatment o Invisible and marginalized, separated from the rest of society Contributes to the process of normalisation, so that they will be better equipped (and less jaded) when re-entering society If release is based on completing courses, they must be given the opportunity to do so

Aims of punishment?Retributivism: offender is an autonomous individual who should be treated with respect o Punishment is in deprivation of liberty, not ill-treatment Utilitarianism: positive aspects of prison can improve rehabilitative function Rehabilitation: prisoners' rights must be respected

Purposes of imprisonment???

Jack Straw (SSJ in 2008): "Prisons are, as they should be, first and foremost places of punishment, primarily through the deprivation of liberty but also through a regime behind bars which is tough and fair" o But also recognised that they must allow for "reformed behaviour and rehabilitation" Prison Service Statement of Purpose (1988) o Serves the public "by keeping in custody those committed by the courts" o Duty is to "look after them with humanity and help them to lead a law abiding life in prison and on release" Woolf Report: need to strike a balance between security, control and justice o Justice is often displaced by a focus on control and security 'Decency' agenda (1999) o "caring for and treating with respect everybody in the Service's care" National Offender Management Service (NOMS) o Prison Service became part of NOMS in 2004 after the Carter Review o NOMS became part of the MoJ in 2007 o NOMS Statement of Purpose: "commission and provide offender management services ... ensuring best value for money"
? Aim to protect the public and reduce reoffending while supporting rehabilitation Prison Rule 3: conduct training and treatment to encourage and assist prisoners to lead a "good and useful life"

CURRENT PRISON SITUATION PRISON ESTATE???Increased demand over the years has led to prison building o 21 new prions opened between 1980 and 1996 o 20,000 new places from 1997 to 2010 Increased use of private prisons Now, approximately 120 prisons and 13 private prisons o 84,078 prisoners o 12 women's prisons (might have baby units for children up to 2 years of age)
? Since there are so few, likely to be further from home Not all prisons are purpose-built o Includes converted houses, military camps and other buildings Closure of small, expensive prisons o Clustering of prisons into a single area/compound so as to reduce spending
? Reduced costs for separate management staff and services
? BUT harder to manage since they are larger Types of prisons o Local prisons
? In towns and cities
? Usually used for remand prisons or for temporary purposes
? Post-sentence for assessment before transfer to a training prison
? Possibly for short sentences and those at the end of sentences
? Usually have the worst over-crowding and worst conditions
? Includes some core local prisons with high security (e.g. Belmarsh) o Training prisons
? Might be closed or open
? Includes specialist prisons (e.g. therapeutic prisons like Grendon)
? Open training prisons are used for Cat D prisoners
? Allows prisoners to work in prison or in the local community
? Ford Open Prison riots in 2011 o Buildings set alight and damage inflicted o Vulnerable Prisoners' Units
? For vulnerable prisoners (e.g. sex offenders) who might be assaulted by other prisoners o Close Supervision Centres (CSC)
? In High Security prisons
? For severely disruptive or violent prisoners
? More time spent locked up and strictly structured regime o Protected Witness Units Cost of prison o Approximately PS37,000 per place o For Oakwood (new prison), average cost of PS13,000 - PS16,000 per prisoner
? Private prison run by G4S, originally meant to be a "titan" prison

CATEGORISATION OF PRISONERSCategorisation is governed by the National Security Framework

Prisoners should be placed in the lowest category consistent with the need for security and control o Categorisation takes into account current sentence as well as previous convictions and escapes (or escape attempts) o Categorisation is reviewed regularly (yearly) on the basis of risk of danger to the public and risk of escape 4 main categories used for adult male prisoners o Young adult offenders and women offenders are classified as Cat A or restricted or suitable for open conditions Category A o Prisoners whose escape would be highly dangerous to the public or police or the security of the state o Decisions regarding Cat A prisoners are made by a Category A Committee at NOMS Headquarters, whereas other prisoners are dealt with by the Governor o Sub-classification
? Standard
? High risk: e.g. members of gangs with access to resources for escape
? Exceptional risk: have the skills, resources and determination to escape
? Held in special security units o More likely to be transferred between prisons
? This makes it difficult for them to complete educational or offending behaviour courses, which in turn affects their chances of reclassification o Sent to high-security prisons
? Currently 8 high security prisons
? More stringent measures (e.g. electronic surveillances, searching of inmates and visitors, higher levels of staffing)
? Reasonable conditions for those with longer sentences
? Education and work opportunities o Some might be dispersed amongst Cat B prisoners in high-security prisons
? Radzinowicz: recommended avoiding creating a "no hope" climate in purely Cat A prisons o R (P) v SSHD (2002): elderly and ill prisoner placed in Cat A
? Unlikely to escape but if he did would be highly dangerous
? Court: prison service could make escape virtually impossible for highly dangerous prisoners but should consider individual cases Category B o Escape must be made very difficult for them, but the maximum security conditions are not required o Might remain in local prisons for short sentences or be sent to highsecurity or closed training prisons Category C o Cannot be trusted in open conditions o But unlikely to make a determined escape attempt, so not Cat B o Sent to closed training prisons Category D o Trusted in open conditions o Likely to comply with conditions as they want to be released o Might be sent to a resettlement prison shortly before release
? To arrange work and increase family contact o??PRISON CONDITIONS?Woolf Report (1991) o Result of the Strangeways Prison Riot in 1990
? 25 day riot causing 1 death and many injuries as well as PS55 million of damage to the prison
? Led to further riots in other prisons and Young Offenders Institutions o Report found that the prisoners had legitimate grievances and recommended major reform of the system
? Regimes were impoverished with little access to education and work
? Staff had a culture of indifference while the prisoners felt unfairly treated o Feeling of injustice played a more significant role than overcrowding o Recommendations
? Give reasons for decisions and improve legitimacy
? Have a proper and fair grievance and disciplinary procedure
? Prisoners should not be made to share cells
? There should be adequate sanitation and hygiene standards o Well received by government and prison reformers
? Immediate improvements in access to phones, visiting arrangements and prison conditions
? National operating standards introduced in 1994 but since overtaken by Key Performance Indicator Targets
? Reform of the Prison Rules in 1999
? Improved end-to-end management
? Personal Officer assigned to prisoners
? Sentence planning to make the best use of the time in prison
? More cooperation between Prison and Probation Service
? Appointment of Ombudsman in 1994 as means of appeal against decisions in disciplinary hearings (also covers immigration detention, prison conditions, deaths in custody, treatment by officers etc.)
? Can make non-binding report and recommendations which are usually accepted
? However, the internal procedures in prison must be exhausted first o BUT some aspects not implemented
? Use of small community prisons nearer to the prisoners' homes
? Balance of security, control and justice
? Greater emphasis on security after several escapes in mid1990s
? Prisons still face problems of poor physical conditions and staff relations
? Insufficient work provision Prisons governed by Prison Rules 1999 o Frequently updated and amended o Generally, prison conditions have improved but are still worse off than the Netherlands (Easton, 2011) Prison league tables o Rank prisons on their performance based on key performance indicator targets o By forcing prisons to compete for contracts, intended to drive up standards and penalise poor performance

??Work o

Prison Rule 31(1): prisoner "shall be required to do useful work for not more than 10 hours per day", and this should be "outside the cells and in association with one another" where possible o Benefits
? Allows prisoner to find relief from boredom and acquire skills/income
? Helps the prison to keep prisoners occupied and ease their transition back into society (strong correlation between reoffending and unemployment) o There are usually insufficient work opportunities and not all offenders are suitable for all jobs
? Availability of work can depend greatly on the specific prison o Woolf Report: prisoners should be allowed to work in areas which fit their abilities
? This would allow them to be more constructive and also better prepare them for release o Time spent out of the cell used to be a KPI Target but not since 2004
? 2011: the average time spent out of cells was 7-9 hours (for adult men) o Wages
? In prison, the minimum rate is PS4 per week and schemes are set by governors (or directors of private prisons) at an average of PS9
? If prisoners work for external employers, National Minimum Wage applies
? Mostly prisoners in open prisons near the end of their sentence
? Prisoners' Earnings Act 1996
? Allows deductions from prisoners' wages to make reparations to victims (if they are on enhanced wages) Training Programmes o Constructive regimes make custody more tolerable (Trebilcock, 2011) o Work and education both help reintegration o Prisoners may not remain in the same institution long enough to benefit from programmes (if they get transferred out) o There are also insufficient courses o ISSUE: if completion of a rehabilitation programme is a key factor in parole decisions, depriving prisoners of the opportunity to complete one might be unlawful
? SSJ v James [2009] UKHL 22
? No infringement of Art 5 although it was irrational not to provide adequate resources for requisite courses
? Agreed that SSJ had breached his public law duties, but that didn't make the detention unlawful (so no release) Education o Prison Rule 32(1): every prisoner "able to profit from the educational facilities at a prison shall be encouraged to do so"
? Reasonable facilities should be provided, including libraries o But classes might be disrupted by other activities and not all prisoners are motivated Incentives and Earned Privileges Scheme o Set up in 1995 under Prison Rule 8 o Privileges earned by good behaviour or performance

Focuses on earned privileges rather than rights or legitimate expectations o Could be viewed as an informal means of discipline Healthcare o Responsibility for healthcare transferred to NHS o BUT mental healthcare isn't as effectively dealt with
? Prevalence of self-harm remains high and not all cases are investigated?

OVERCROWDING???

Usually measured by comparing actual numbers with Certified Normal Accommodation o CNA is the uncrowded capacity calculated for the prison Overcrowding declined in the 1990s during the prison building programme but has been increasing in recent years o Due to lack of accommodation o Also affected by inflexibility of use: prisons might be too specialised for transfers o IPP prisoners and whole life prisoners are a problem since it is difficult for them to get out (or impossible for the latter)
? Not only contribute to overcrowding, but might also refuse to participate in rehabilitation and other programmes: have nothing to los Carter Review (2007) proposed the creation of "Titan" prisons to allow flexibility in allocation as well as economies of scale o BUT costs of setting up the prisons were prohibitive In 2011, 24% of prisoners were held in cells designed for fewer prisoners o Generally worse in local prisons (especially for remand prisons) Measures o End of Custody Licence (ECL)
? Introduced in 2007 but curtailed in 2010
? Allowed low-level offenders with sentences of <4 years to be released 18 days early o Woolf Report recommended a new Prison Rule that prisons couldn't exceed their CNA except in limited cases o KPI Target of maximum 26% in accommodation designed for fewer prisonners Effects of overcrowding o Bad physical and health conditions o Require frequent transfers so that it is harder for prisoners to properly complete their education or behavioural training programmes o Difficult for prisoners to form personal relationships, affects their rehabilitation

PRIVATISATION?CJA 1991: provided for contracting out prisons and escort duties CJPOA 1994: provided for contracting out of parts, functions and activities Birmingham Prison o 1st public sector prison to be transferred to private sector (2011) o Most of the staff were retained but it was operated differently by G4S o Generally perceived as performing better now

??

Rationale o Reduce cost and improve standards/innovation by introducing competition ISSUES o Some argued that the field could easily be dominated by one or a few companies
? Serco, G4S and Kalyx o Genders and Player (2007): Interests of the company and shareholders (reducing costs to maximise profits) might conflict with prisoners' rights and interests o Barak-Ezez (2011): punishment should exclusively be the prerogative of the State, private companies have no right to punish offenders
? Is it enough that the State is responsible for overseeing the prison?
James (1997): compared Wolds (first private prison) and Woodhill (new public prison), as well as some other prisons o Found that the new public sector prisons were run in a similar manner to private prisons (possibly due to New Managerialism) o Conditions were generally better at newer prison, whether public or private

HUMAN RIGHTS?Importance o Fairness and justice o Reduce dissatisfaction - easier to manage o Improve legitimacy Sources o Universal Declaration on Human Rights, ICCPR and ECHR
? Judicial review and challenges in the ECtHR o European Prison Rules o Inspections by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture o UK signed Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture
? Must establish a National Preventive Mechanism which makes regular visits to prisons and other detention institutions ECHR o Art 3: torture and CIDT
? Also used to challenge full body searches o Art 6: access to courts
? Also used to challenge conduct of disciplinary hearings o Art 8: respect for private and family life
? Used to challenge interference with visits and correspondence
? Used in Szuluk v UK (2009) to assert the right to correspond with a medical specialist o Art 12: right to marry
? Used to secure temporary release for marriage (Hamer v UK [1979]) or allow marriage within the prison if security concerns apply o Very different rights-based approach whereas the prisons traditionally apply a privileges approach o HRA 1998
? Incorporates the ECHR rights into domestic law
? Made it easier for prisoners to assert their rights
? S6: public authorities must act compatibly
? Includes private companies acting in areas which were previously in the public sector (i.e. covers private prisons as well) o R v Parole Board ex p Smith [2005] UKHL 1

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