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Prison: Evidence of its use and over-use from around the world

Overcrowding, inhumane and degrading detention conditions and disproportionate harm to marginalised groups are some of the consequences of the rapid, unrelenting growth of imprisonment worldwide, according to Prison: Evidence of its use and over-use from around the world, published by ICPR and Fair Trials on 16 March 2017.

This report, by Jessica Jacobson, Catherine Heard and Helen Fair, draws on ICPR's unique World Prison Brief database and describes patterns and trends in imprisonment in ten contrasting jurisdictions across all five continents:

- Kenya and South Africa in Africa

- Brazil and the USA in the Americas

- India and Thailand in Asia

- England and Wales, Hungary and the Netherlands in Europe

- Australia in Oceania

 

All ten of these countries have experienced the negative effects of over-use of imprisonment, and all have lessons to impart about what issues need to be tackled if prisoner numbers are to come down - and stay down. The report concludes by considering how workable strategies could be developed for curbing the resort to imprisonment.

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World Pre-Trial/Remand Imprisonment List - 3rd edition

Around three million people are held in pre-trial detention and other forms of remand imprisonment throughout the world, according to the latest edition of the World Pre-trial/Remand Imprisonment List (WPTRIL), researched and compiled by Roy Walmsley and published on Thursday 23 February by ICPR.

Prisoners in pre-trial detention or remand are those who, in connection with an alleged offence or offences, are deprived of liberty following a judicial or other legal process but have not been definitively sentenced.

More than two and a half million pre-trial/remand prisoners are held in 216 countries listed in this report. Taking account of the more than 200,000 such prisoners who are believed to be held in China, those who are omitted from national totals in some countries because they are held in police facilities in the pre-court stage, and those held in the other nine countries on which official information is not available, the overall total is close to three million.

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Lessons from abroad for justice reform

Today sees the publication of two briefings authored by Jessica Jacobson and Helen Fair of ICPR. The briefings highlight learning from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust (WCMT) Prison Reform Fellowships, which have a particular focus on prison reform across the world.

The two briefings highlight some of the learning from these Fellowships.

Maintaining Family Contact

It is widely recognised that the maintenance of family contact is a key source of support for prisoners during their time in custody and on release. A 2014 Ministry of Justice report found that offenders who maintain family relationships and receive visits while in custody are 38% less likely to reoffend than those who do not receive visits. Lord Farmer has recently been commissioned by the government to chair an independent review to investigate how supporting men in prison to engage with their families can reduce re-offending and assist in addressing inter-generational crime. Maintaining family ties during a term in prison is not just important for the prisoner but also for the prisoner's children and other family members. It is estimated that 200,000 children in England and Wales had a parent in prison at some point in 2009.

Problem-solving approaches

Problem-solving approaches to criminal justice involve integrated, multi-disciplinary practices which target the environmental and psychosocial factors bound up with offending behaviour, as well as the behaviour itself. Three types of problem-solving approach were examined by Churchill Fellows. First, welfare-oriented and diversionary work with children and young people who have offended or are at risk of offending. Second, some collaborative initiatives between the police and mental health services were examined. Third, a range of problem-solving courts were also considered.

International lessons

The Fellowships offer a way of learning about how other countries respond to crime and whether a similar approach could be taken here. Fellows include front-line prison officers and governors, civil servants, artists, barristers, police professionals and academics from across the UK. In total, 51 Fellows travelled as far as Australia and Africa to bring back learning which could assist UK policymakers in reducing re-offending and prison numbers. Many Fellows are already applying the learning in a range of local and national settings.

Read more: Family connections

Read more: Problem-solving approaches

 

Travelling Fellows highlight international best practice in prison reform

A review of learning from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Prison Reform Fellowships highlights international best practice in penal policy with important lessons for prison reform in the UK. From 2010-2015, the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust (WCMT) has funded Travelling Fellowships with a particular focus on prison reform across the world. The Fellowships are the result of an innovative partnership between WCMT and the Prison Reform Trust.

Jessica Jacobson and Helen Fair of ICPR have authored a briefing which highlights some of the learning from these Fellowships. This summary of what Fellows saw on their visits, and subsequent more detailed briefings, are being produced to inform the government's prison reform agenda.

The theme of the first briefing is 'connections'. Many Churchill Fellows visited interventions which seek to forge strong, positive connections among and between individuals, groups and organisations. Family connectionswere the focus of some Fellowships. A number, for example, reviewed interventions aimed at helping people in prison to maintain their family relationships, either through specific programmes or facilities for family visits to prisons; or providing practical and emotional support to family members of prisoners.

Many Fellows visited interventions seeking to harness the power of peer relations towards positive goals, including peer court programmes, the use of restorative approaches, and peer mentoring initiatives. Other Fellows explored problem-solving approaches to criminal justice, including holistic, multi-disciplinary work with children in custody; problem-solving courts working with dependent drug users, those with mental health problems, and the homeless; and collaborative working between the police and mental health services.

The building of a sense of self and responsibility was central to some interventions visited by Fellows. Some Fellows looked at arts and media projects providing opportunities for people who might otherwise have little voice to express themselves and thereby to reach out to others.

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An Evaluation of the 'What Works Centre for Crime Reduction' Year 2: Progress

This research, conducted by researchers at the Institute for Criminal Policy Research, Birkbeck, University of London, has been undertaken as part of a programme of work funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, in collaboration with the College of Policing (the College), as part of the What Works Centre for Crime Reduction (WWCCR). The programme draws upon international good practice to build on and enhance the UK's capacity to develop, disseminate and apply evidence-based approaches to policing and crime reduction. The programme of work, involving staff at the College and a consortium of UK universities, includes the development of a series of systematic evidence reviews on crime reduction topics, the creation of a standard system to rate interventions in terms of their effectiveness and cost-savings, and training programmes to enhance professionals' capacity and skills to appraise research evidence.

The Year 2 evaluation report reviewed the progress of the WWCCR in mapping and building the evidence base and assessing the mechanisms through which this evidence is being disseminated, promoted and embedded within the police service. The report presents findings from: in-depth interviews with those responsible for producing and developing the research products as well as a range of end users; two in-depth case studies of officers (evidence champions and high potential development scheme officers) who are well-placed within their organisations to promote and disseminate research knowledge; and a mapping exercise of the products and activities of the WWCCR and related hubs of evidence dissemination (e.g. the Police On-line Knowledge Area, the Knowledge Bank, and the Crime Reduction Toolkit).

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Key Findings from the Understanding and Preventing Youth Crime survey in England and Scotland

ICPR has produced two new summary booklets with key findings from England and Scotland for the international comparative survey, "Understanding and Preventing Youth Crime" (UPYC).

Between September 2014 and December 2015, secondary school pupils aged 12 to 16 in the cities of Birmingham, Sheffield, Glasgow and Edinburgh represented the UK - 900 pupils in England and 1,286 pupils in Scotland took part. The UPYC survey was also conducted in cities in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United States and forms part of a wider research programme called the International Self-Reported Delinquency Study (ISRD) which involves around 35 countries (more information on the ISRD can be found at www.northeastern.edu/isrd/isrd3/).

The booklets present findings on young people's experiences and views on a range of aspects of their lives, including their personal and social well-being, experience of school, truancy from school, neighbourhood safety, alcohol use, future aspirations and their experience of both victimisation and offending. They are intended to provide pupils and teachers with some broad information about young people's lives, which can be discussed in comparison to other contemporary studies, such as the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children study and the Scottish Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey.

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'Joint Enterprise: Righting a wrong turn?'

ICPR's new report on joint enterprise, by Jessica Jacobson, Amy Kirby and Gillian Hunter, sets out the findings of an exploratory study conducted by ICPR in partnership with the Prison Reform Trust, and with funding by the Nuffield Foundation.

Joint enterprise is a doctrine of the criminal law which permits multiple defendants to be convicted of the same criminal offence even where they had different types or levels of involvement. It has been the source of great controversy in recent years. This study explored the application of the doctrine of joint enterprise in the prosecution of serious cases, through analysis of a sample of CPS case files and associated court transcripts. The report also considers the implications of the recent Supreme Court ruling on joint enterprise (in R v Jogee and Ruddock v the Queen), which determined that the law had taken 'a wrong turn' 30 decades ago, and now requires 'correction'. The report argues that there is an urgent need for greater clarity and transparency in the way in which cases involving multiple defendants are prosecuted and sentenced in the future.

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Imprisonment Worldwide: The Current Situation and an Alternative Future

This new book, by Andrew Coyle, Helen Fair, Jessica Jacobson and Roy Walmsley, provides a comprehensive account of prison populations around the world and analyses differing trends in the development of prison policies in the 21st century.

The authors discuss the ethical framework within which prisons should operate, and offer a new vision for much reduced and more focussed use of imprisonment.

The book draws on the data in the World Prison Brief - a unique online data-base produced by ICPR containing information on prison systems throughout the world - and the authors' long experience of research, policy and practice in the field, to provide wide-ranging, up-to-date facts and figures on prison populations worldwide, such as:

- More than 10.35 million people are imprisoned worldwide

- Nearly a half of the world's prisoners are in the USA (more than 2.2m), China (more than 1.65m), Russia (640,000) and Brazil (607,000)

- Among the countries with the highest prison population rates (numbers of prisoners per 100,000 of national population) are the USA (698), Turkmenistan (583), Cuba (510); countries with the lowest prison population rates include Nigeria (31), India (33), Japan (48)

- More than 700,000 women and girls are held in prisons throughout the world

 

The book can be purchased from the Policy Press website for £7.99. Also available from Amazon in paperback and Kindle versions.

Read more

Read more - details of the book

 

Publication of World Prison Population List, eleventh edition

More than 10.35 million people are held in penal institutions throughout the World according to the latest edition of the world Prison Population List, researched and compiled by Roy Walmsley and published by the Institute for Criminal Policy Research on 3 February 2016. Including the numbers reported to be held in detention centres in China and in prison camps in North Korea, the total number of prisoners worldwide may well be in excess of 11 million.

There are more than 2.2 million prisoners in the United States of America, more than 1.65 million in China (plus an unknown number in pre-trial detention or 'administrative detention'), 640,000 in the Russian Federation, 607,000 in Brazil, 418,000 in India, 311,000 in Thailand, 255,000 in Brazil and 225,000 in Iran. The countries with the highest prison population rate - the number of prisoners per 100,000 of the national population - are Seychelles (799 per 100,000), followed by the United States (698), St. Kitts & Nevis (607), Turkmenistan (583), U.S. Virgin Islands (542), Cuba (510), El Salvador (492), Guam - U.S.A. (469), Thailand (461), Belize (449), Russian Federation (445), Rwanda (434) and British Virgin Islands (425).

Read more - press release

Read more - the List

 

Evaluation of pre-sentence restorative justice pathfinder

Restorative Solutions have published ICPR's report on the evaluation of the pre-sentence restorative justice (RJ) pathfinder. The evaluation, which was conducted over the period February 2014 to May 2015, found that pre-sentence RJ can provide significant support to victims and help them to cope with and recover from their experiences of victimisation. The main message from the pathfinders is that victims do benefit from this intervention with support from trained and skilled practitioners.

However, it needs to be recognised that the pathfinders were launched at a time of considerable transformation across the criminal justice system. Each pathfinder succeeded in introducing new systems and processes, and these successes reflected, in part, the great commitment of numerous volunteer practitioners who helped victims to meet their offenders to repair the harm that had been done.

Pre-sentence RJ is at an early stage of development, and has the potential to reduce re-offending behaviour and to generate savings for government as its usage increases. More now needs to be done to increase awareness of pre-sentence RJ, and to help to ensure its availability across England and Wales.

Read more.

 

Report on advocacy in youth proceedings

Today the Bar Standards Board and CILEx Regulation have published ICPR's review of advocacy in youth proceedings. The review considered the quality of advocacy in youth proceedings and the core components of effective advocacy, with a view to informing the Bar Standard Board's consideration of whether regulatory interventions are required to improve standards of youth advocacy. The research activities comprised a survey of 215 advocates; interviews with 96 stakeholders, including advocates, young people, youth court magistrates, and court-based YOT workers; and observations in four youth courts and five Crown Courts across England and Wales. The report concluded that the work of advocates in youth proceedings cannot be viewed in isolation from its wider legal, institutional and cultural context, and presents recommendations aimed at promoting more effective advocacy. These recommendations are focused on systems and structures of youth proceedings which could support better advocacy; court-based facilitators of advocacy; and training and learning opportunities for advocates.

Read more.

Read more - press release.

 

New publication on experiences of the Crown Court

Structured mayhem: Personal experiences of the Crown Court, by Jessica Jacobson, Gillian Hunter and Amy Kirby, has been published by the Criminal Justice Alliance. This is a digest of ICPR's research into what it is like to attend Crown Court as a victim, witness or defendant - published in full earlier this year as Inside Crown Court (Policy Press).

'Structured mayhem' describes the elaborate, ritualised and - in many respects - archaic nature of proceedings in the Crown Court. It argues that these proceedings can be bewildering and alienating for victims, witnesses and defendants alike. Court proceedings have many elements of theatre, within which the legal professionals, and particularly defence and prosecution counsel, play the starring roles. In contrast, victims, witnesses and defendants tend to play only minor parts.

'Structured mayhem' includes a series of recommendations for the Ministry of Justice, HM Courts and Tribunals Service and other agencies, which are aimed at improving the experience of court uses and enhancing public confidence in the criminal justice system.

Read more.

 

World Female Imprisonment List (third edition)

More than 700,000 women and girls are held in penal institutions throughout the world, according to the third edition of the World Female Imprisonment List, researched and compiled by Roy Walmsley and published by the Institute for Criminal Policy Research. The analysis indicates that female prison population levels have grown much faster than male prison population levels since around the year 2000, with the number of women and girls in prison increasing by 50% in the past 15 years. The study provides information for almost all countries in the world about the female prison population, the percentage of the total prison population they comprise and the rate per 100,000 of the national population. It also includes information about trends in female imprisonment.

The World Female Imprisonment List shows that more than 200,000 imprisoned women and girls are in the USA (205,400) and more than 100,000 are in China (103,766 plus an unknown number in pre-trial or administrative detention). The next highest totals are in the Russian Federation (53,304), Thailand (44,751), Brazil (37,380), Vietnam (20,553), India (18,188) and Mexico (13,400).

Current indications are that female prison population levels have not only grown sharply in recent years; they have grown much faster than male prison population levels. It is provisionally estimated that the total world prison population has increased by around 20% since 2000, compared to the approximately 50% increase in the overall number of imprisoned women and girls. More information will be available in the forthcoming eleventh edition of the World Prison Population List.

Read more - press release.

Read more - the List.

 

New publication on Appropriate Adults

The National Appropriate Adults Network, in partnership with ICPR, was comissioned by the Home Secretary to consider provision of appropriate adults for mentally vulnerable adults detained or itnerviewed by the police. This report, There to Help, was published on 26 August 2015. The report found that up to a quarter of a million people who have learning disabilities, mental illness or autistic spectrum disorders, are not receiving the support of an "appropriate adult" while being detained or questioned by police - despite it being a legal requirement. Home Secretary Theresa May welcomed the report, saying: "Appropriate adults provide vital support and help to de-mystify what can be confusing, sometimes frightening, experience in police custody. Evidence suggests there is a lack of apporirate adults ot safeguard the welfare and rights of mentally vulnerable adults in police custody. That is why I comissions this review to determine where the problems lie. The status quo is not acceptable and I am concerned that vulnerable adults are not always receiving the support of an appropriate adult. We are currently examining the recommendations and implementation options to ensure that vulnerable people are provided with the support they are entitled to."

Read more.

The NOMS RJ Capacity Building Programme

Today (26 March 2015) ICPR is launching its evaluation of the NOMS RJ Capacity Building Programme in Senate House. The scheme itself comprised training and implementation support with restorative justice in 31 prisons and probation areas across England and Wales. The research assessed the quality of training delivered to prisons and probation trusts; the progress of sites with implementing restorative justice, including obstacles and enablers; and the quality of the experiences of conference participants. The research was commissioned by Restorative Solutions with the support of NOMS and the Monument Trust.

Read more.

Chief officer misconduct in policing: An exploratory study

The College of Policing has today (25 March 2015) published a report conducted by members of the ICPR research team on misconduct by chief police officers. The project was a joint ICPR and University College London study which examined routes into chief officer misconduct.

Read more.

An Evaluation of the 'What Works Centre for Crime Reduction'; Year 1: Baseline

This research has been undertaken as part of a programme of work funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, in colloboration with the College of Policing (The College), as part of the What Works Centre for Crime Reduction (WWCCR). The programme draws upon international good practice to build on and enhance the UK's capacity to develop, disseminate and apply evidence-based approaches to policing and crime reduction. The programme of work, involving staff at the College and a consortium of UK universities, includes the development of a series of systematic evidence reviews on crime reduction topics, the creation of a standard system to rate interventions in terms of their effectiveness and cost-savings, and training programmes to enhance professionals' capacity and skills to appraise research evidence.

 

The evaluation includes an assessment of both impact and process and has been conceived as action research. We are particularly interested in whether there are changes in the organisational culture at senior and middle levels in the use of evidence for policy and strategic decision-making, whether this includes greater prioritisation of the creation of research evidence, and whether there are observable shifts in the allocation of resources that reflect the impact of research. In this first report we have sought to establish a baseline from which to measure change over the three-year programme in the understanding, use and application of research evidence in crime reduction both within policing and amongst other crime reduction practitioners.

Read more.

ICPR's latest book 'Inside Crown Court' is published

Research conducted by Jessica Jacobson, Gillian Hunter and Amy Kirby at the Institute for Policy Research (ICPR) at Birkbeck, University of London has found that appearing in the Crown Court - as a victim, witness or defendant - is often frightening, frustrating and upsetting for participants. The study provides a vivid description of what it is like to attend Crown Court, be it as a victim, defendant, witness, member of staff, judge or barrister. It outlines the interplay between the various participants and extent to which the court process is viewed as legitimate by those involved in it. The book will be launched this evening in the Royal Courts of Justice.

 

Read more.

Review of advocacy in youth proceedings

The Institute for Criminal Policy Research has been commissioned by the Bar Standards Board, in association with Illex Professional Standards, to conduct a research review of the components of effective advocacy in youth proceedings. The research will explore what knowledge, skills and attributes are required by advocates in youth proceedings to work effectively with defendants and witnesses and assess the extent to which advocates possess these knowledge, skills and attributes.

Dr Jessica Jacobson, Co-Director of the Institute for Criminal Policy Research, said: 'We are delighted to be conducting this important project on behalf of the Bar Standards Board and Ilex Professional Standards. Little systematic research has been conducted to date on the components of effective advocacy in youth proceedings. This project will help to fill this large knowledge gap with the aim of informing real and sustainable improvements in practice.'

Read more.

 

Is volunteering for everyone? Volunteering opportunities for young adults with offending historties

The Institute for Criminal Policy Research (ICPR) in partnership with the Institute for Volunteering Research (IVR) have recently concluded a Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Barrow Cadbury Trust funded study of volunteering opportunities for young adults with criminal convictions. As part of the study, a series of briefing papers has been produced to promote volunteering, bust myths and help to address some of the barriers to volunteering opportunities for young adults with offending histories. There are three separate electronic briefings aimed at: young adults; volunteer-involving organisations; and resettlement organisations. There is also a number of printed copies of the young adults briefing available; if you would like to obtain any printed copies, please contact Amy Kirby.

The briefings can be accessed using the following links:

Young adults briefing

Volunteer-involving organisations

Resettlement organisations

 

Young Criminologist Award 2014 - Dr Mai Sato

Dr Mai Sato has been awarded the Young Criminologist Award 2014 for her book 'The Death Penalty in Japan: Will the Public Tolerate Abolition?' The award ceremony took place on 18 October 2014 at the 41st Japanese Association of Sociological Criminology Conference in Kyoto. Read more.

Justice that kills - the death penalty in the 21st century (09/10/2014)

"Instead of measuring support for the death penalty, we should measure public tolerance and acceptance of abolition. If the public views an abolition of the death penalty as legitimate it can be done with appropriate leadership."

Dr Mai Sato, speaking at the Delegation to the UN and other international organisations in Geneva, October 2014.  Read more.

The death penalty and procedural guarantees in Japan

Dr Mai Sato in collaboration with Dr Paul Bacon (University of Japan) has been awarded multi-agency funding (EU, German Embassy, UK Embassy, and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office) to conduct a survey and a deliberative poll on the death penalty and procedural guarantees in Japan. The project will run from June 2014 - August 2015.

Howard League 'What is Justice?' working papers

The Howard League for Penal Reform has launched a series of working papers based on conference presentations from contributors at the Howard League's 'What is Justice? Re-imagining penal policy' conference. Researchers at ICPR have co-authored three of the papers:

Amy Kirby, Jessica Jacobson and Gillian Hunter present the findings of a 20 month Economic and Social Research Council funded study into the public's experiences of the Crown Court. A key finding of the research - and the focus of the paper - was the apparent limits of defendants' 'effective participation' at court. Read more.

Polly Radcliffe and Gillian Hunter discuss the development of Women's Community Services (WCSs) and explore themes emerging from interviews with 30 women attending six WCUs between April 2011 and April 2012. Read more.

Penelope Gibbs and Amy Kirby discuss the diversity of lay magistrates in England and Wales and question the representativeness of lay magistrates in their locality by analysing existing evidence on the lay magistracy's composition and linking that to trends in the recruitment of magistrates. Read more.

Youth courts failing children, finds parliamentarians' inquiry

A report published today by a cross party group of MPs and peers, calls for urgent reforms to the youth justice system following an in depth inquiry which found systemic failings and an inability to prevent youth offending. The inquiry by Lord Carlile CBE QC was launched amid growing concerns that the criminal and youth courts do not, in their current form, effectively fulfill their principal aims of preventing youth reoffending and having adequate regard to the welfare of the child. The report was prepared and drafted by ICPR's Ali Wigzell.

The report has been covered by:

BBC News

BBC Breakfast

BBC Radio 4 (53 minutes in)

BBC London radio

LBC Radio

ITV Lunchtime news

The Guardian

The Independent

The Times

The Telegraph

Read more.

 

ICPR briefings published on The Advocate's Gateway

Two ICPR briefings, based on the findings of our recent ESRC-funded research on the Crown Court, have been published on The Advocate's Gateway website. 'Supporting Fair and Respectful Treatment of Witnesses' provides advocates and other court-based professionals with insight into what it is like to attend a criminal court as a witness, and what it means - from the witness's perspective - to be treated well or, conversely, treated poorly. 'Supporting the Effective Participation of Defendants at Court' identifies some of the main barriers to defendants' effective participation in the court process, and considers how advocates and other legal professionals can help to overcome these barriers.

Read more - witness briefing.

Read more - defendant briefing.

 

Research into community justice

ICPR's recently published report, 'Crime and "community"', presents the findings of research into the concept and application of 'community justice.' The research - which was generously funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation - entailed a policy review, a review of existing data on civic particpation, and empirical research on community activism in four deprived neighbourhoods. Drawing on the findings of this research, the report looks at how central government views the role of local communities in tackling crime and disorder; how members of local communities view their own role in tackling crime and disorder; and the extent to which government aspirations for 'community justice' have resonance for the general public. The report's major conclusion is that 'community justice' is a worthwhile policy aspiration, if this is largely conceived as a matter of nurturing community spirit and concomitant informal social control - but the goal of promoting local communities' active involvement in the design or delivery of criminal justice services is much more difficult to achieve.

Read more.

PhD Success

In March 2014 Dr Tim McSweeney was awarded his PhD - without amendments - by the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, Australia. The thesis used comparative case studies in order to examine the processes and impacts in Australia and England of attempts to divert criminally involved drug misusers to treatment.

Read more.

Book Launch at the House of Lords

On 13th January 2014 The All Party Parliamentary Group on the Abolition of the Death Penalty launched Dr Mai Sato's recently published book, 'The Death Penalty in Japan: Will the public tolerate abolition?'

The book examines factors underlining the presumed support for the death penalty, offering a critique of the Japanese Government Survey and the impact of information and deliberation on people's understanding of, and attitudes towards, the death penalty.

The event was hosted by Baroness Vivien Stern and speakers included Professor Carolyn Hoyle (Director, Centre for Criminology, University of Oxford) and Dr Mai Sato, who gave a brief synopsis of the book.

Read more.

Evaluation of the Employment and Reoffending Pilot: Lessons learnt from the planning and early implementation phase

The first evaluation report from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) Employment and Reoffending Pilot was published in December 2013. The research was conducted by the Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion and the Institute for Criminal Policy Research. The Employment and Reoffending Pilot, linked to the Work Programme, was co-commissioned by the MoJ and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). The evaluation draws out lessons learned from the pilot design, development, implementation and delivery, providing valuable learning to inform the implementation of the Transforming Rehabilitation (TR) strategy. This report contains findings from the set-up and first six months of operation of the pilot.

Read more.

Changes to the management structure

ICPR wishes to announce the following changes to its management structure. As of 1 November 2013, Professor Mike Hough has stepped down from his role as Co-Director of the Institute. He will continue his involvement in ICPR by taking on an Associate Director role, and through his ongoing work on several ICPR research projects. Dr Jessica Jacobson, formerly a Senior Research Fellow at ICPR, has taken up the post of Co-Director alongside current Co-Director Paul Turnbull.

Out of the shadows: Victims' and witnesses' experiences of the Crown Court

On 1st October Victim Support published a report by Gillian Hunter, Jessica Jacobson and Amy Kirby about victims' and witnesses' experiences of the Crown Court. The report presented the findings of a 20 month ESRC study of the public's experiences of the Crown Court. The study was conducted in two Crown Courts and involved in-depth interviews with 44 victims and witnesses and one family member of a victim.

The report was featured in The Guardian and discussed on BBC Radio 5 Live by Victoria Derbyshire.

Click here to read the authors' blog about the study.

There are more than 2.2 million prisoners in the United States of America, more than 1.65 million in China (plus an unknown number in pre-trial detention or 'administrative detention'), 640,000 in the Russian Federation, 607,000 in Brazil, 418,000 in India, 311,000 in Thailand, 255,000 in Brazil and
225,000 in Iran. The countries with the highest prison population rate - the number of prisoners per 100,000 of the national population - are Seychelles (799 per 100,000), followed by the United States (698), St. Kitts & Nevis (607), Turkmenistan (583), U.S. Virgin Islands (542), Cuba (510), El Salvador (492),
Guam - U.S.A. (469), Thailand (461), Belize (449), Russian Federation (445), Rwanda (434) and British Virgin Islands (425).