Category Archives: Prison reform

Book review: Anonymous ~ The Secret Barrister: stories of the Law and How It’s Broken

The Secret Barrister quickly establishes his non-traditional background. He was educated at a comprehensive school and isn’t a high-flyer. His post-2000 career has been blighted by reductions in legal aid payments. He offers many examples of stellar legal work but … Continue reading

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Traditional forms of punishment: Britain* 1700-1900

Traditionally, British judges sentencing criminals had five principal options: capital punishment, corporal punishment, exile, imprisonment and torture. Judges sentencing criminals to ‘savage’ sentences were using proportionate and appropriate punishments according to the expectations of the time. The sentences were anticipated … Continue reading

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Capital Punishment as Entertainment in England, 1649-1868

The King’s head was held up to the crowd. The spectators, some who had watched in approval and some in dismay, were quickly dispersed by officials, but a few sought grisly souvenirs of the event rushing forward to dip their … Continue reading

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Rudolf Hess, Rolf Harris and humanitarian sentencing

“There is to my mind no justification for keeping Hess in prison any longer. He is 88. He has been in prison for 40 years. He has been without the company of other prisoners for over 16 years. Humanitarian reasons … Continue reading

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Solitary Confinement: US style

Bruce Ward , imprisoned in Arkansas since 1990, has been in solitary confinement through-out that period i.e. 27 years. “He spends all day and night in a cell measuring 12 ft by 7.5 ft (3.6 metres by 2.3 metres) with … Continue reading

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Prisons Aren’t Care Homes

The “creditor” always becomes more humane to the extent that he has grown richer.… It is not unthinkable that a society might attain such a consciousness of power that it could allow itself the noblest luxury possible to it—letting those … Continue reading

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The greatest post-war British prime minister: Harold Wilson

Harold Wilson created modern Britain. Between 1964 and 1970 Britain was changed into a caring, tolerant society, a civilised society. Every aspect of British life was touched, for the good, by Harold Wilson. Ranging from prison reform, to dealing with … Continue reading

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