The White Paper, 'Prison safety and reform', published in November, contains some good and important things, but overall, it is a political document, intended to evade, not address, the central issues.
Here are the two papers I put to the Justice Committee, one an overview, the other on organisational changes.
JUSTICE COMMITTEE INQUIRY INTO PRISON REFORM, SESSION 2016-17
FURTHER EVIDENCE SUBMITTED BY JULIAN LE VAY: COMMENT ON THE WHITE PAPER
The White Paper:
1. The White Paper ('WP', numbers refer to paragraphs) contains promising proposals, particularly:
2. But the WP is fundamentally unsatisfactory, on seven counts.
There are good and important things in the WP. But overall, it presents a wrong diagnosis, and a false prospectus for recovery.
Annex A: comparison with the Scottish prison service
Notes: SPS and NOMS stats. Staffing data for publicly run prisons only. Difference is not due to absence of NPSs in Scotland: see “Understanding the patterns of use, motives, and harms of New Psychoactive Substances in Scotland” Scottish Government, November 2016.
Annex B: misleading use of statistics
The WP is keen (172) to blame rising violence and self-harm since 2012 on changes in the makeup of the prison population. This passage is misleading in its use of evidence, in several respects:
Annex C: Uncertainty about building plans
The WP proposes:
There is a lack of clarity on key points:
I was formerly Finance Director of the Prison Service and then Director of the National Offender Management Service responsible for competition. I also worked in the NHS and an IT company. I later worked for two outsourcing companies.
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