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Review of The Clink Restaurant (Guest Post)

Alex Cavendish / December 10, 2016 at 5:42 PM 380 views

The latest in our series of guest posts is by Jonathan Robinson, an ex-prisoner and alleged author. He campaigns – independently – for prison reform (www.JonathanRobinson.org). The Fish is Freshly Caught – So’s the Staff…The late Michael Winner – film director and I-don’t-take-no-prisoners…

Cons and Conjugal Bliss

Alex Cavendish / September 13, 2016 at 4:42 PM 436 views

I’d like to thank Philip Davies MP for providing the inspiration behind this blog post. I rarely have anything positive to write about Mr Davies and his grim obsession with punishment and trying to imprison virtually anything that moves, but…

The Visit (Guest Post)

Alex Cavendish / August 28, 2016 at 4:02 PM 400 views

The latest in a series of guest posts on this blog is this poem written by Patrick C. Notchtree. Patrick is the author of a ‘fictional biography’ - a trilogy now published as The Clouds Still Hang (2012) - as well as…

The Choudary Conundrum

Alex Cavendish / August 22, 2016 at 5:14 PM 673 views

It seems to be an unhappy coincidence, but recent news of the conviction of Anjem Choudary, the British Islamist radical leader, on charges of ‘inviting support for a proscribed organisation’ (namely so-called Islamic State) has come at around the same…

Guest post: Employment with a Criminal Record

Alex Cavendish / June 17, 2016 at 1:42 PM 470 views

A View from the Front LineBy Kate Beech, Managing Director of Chance 2013(This guest post has been contributed by Kate Beech who is the Managing Director of Chance 2013, a national employment agency that recruits for employers from only among…

High as a Kite – Behind Bars

Alex Cavendish / February 29, 2016 at 5:13 PM 845 views

Back in July 2014 I started blogging on the subject of so-called ‘legal highs’ in prison (read post here). Since then, the issue has come to dominate media coverage of our increasingly dysfunctional prison system.Spice up your life... visit a…

Social Media: MOJ Mistake or a Climbdown?

Alex Cavendish / January 27, 2016 at 5:12 PM 1,048 views

The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) is so accident-prone that sometimes it’s difficult to distinguish between a cock-up and a conspiracy. In my previous blog post (here) I flagged up a seemingly unlawful bid by the grey suits down at the…

Why prisons aren't working

Alex Cavendish / June 29, 2015 at 8:40 PM 892 views

There is a widespread popular misconception, fuelled by the malevolent tabloid news agenda, that most prisoners are lazy and don’t want to work. This seems to be based on a simplistic modern version of the old Victorian workhouse philosophy that…

Borstals… Bring on the clowns!

Alex Cavendish / June 29, 2015 at 8:39 PM 1,023 views

The latest ITV offering on the subject of our failing criminal justice system is Bring Back Borstal, a sort of dysfunctional Big Brother where bad lads in their 20s wear short trousers and play up in front of the camera. I watched the…

Votes for Prisoners: No, It’s Yes…

Alex Cavendish / June 29, 2015 at 8:39 PM 815 views

Only a quick post today owing to pressure of my real work, I’m afraid. Around ten days ago I was asked by a reader of this blog to give my views on whether serving prisoners in the UK should be…

Acts of despair… suicide in prison

Alex Cavendish / June 29, 2015 at 8:39 PM 836 views

The latest annual report issued by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman (PPO) makes very grim reading. Even the title – A Rising Toll of Despair – fails to prepare the reader for the dismal and unremitting catalogue of tragedy, casual negligence, inhumanity…

Squandering human resources

Alex Cavendish / June 29, 2015 at 8:39 PM 785 views

During the current debate about the under-resourcing of the UK’s prison system there is a focus on the shortage of front-line staff on the wings and the negative impact this is having on safety and daily regime inside prisons. While…

Glen Parva: More 'Scum' than 'Lord of the Flies'

Alex Cavendish / June 29, 2015 at 8:39 PM 837 views

Use the term ‘Borstal’ today and it probably conjures up visions of either bad lads in short trousers with short hair cuts from the 1930s or the extremely violent scenes in the cult film Scum (1979) written by Roy Minton. Of course…

A Quick Update – and Thanks

Alex Cavendish / June 19, 2015 at 11:32 AM 581 views

This is just a quick update for regular readers - and to thank all those who have expressed their concern over my health. I'm currently recuperating - rather slowly - following a potentially serious cardiac problem. I'm receiving treatment and…

Maintaining Your Moral Compass in Jail

Alex Cavendish / April 19, 2015 at 11:05 AM 671 views

The prison system can often be a difficult place in which to behave like a ‘normal’ person. Different rules and standards can apply. Sometimes words or actions that outside would be considered decent and praiseworthy can land a prisoner in…

Maintaining Your Moral Compass in Jail

Alex Cavendish / April 19, 2015 at 11:05 AM 661 views

The prison system can often be a difficult place in which to behave like a ‘normal’ person. Different rules and standards can apply. Sometimes words or actions that outside would be considered decent and praiseworthy can land a prisoner in…

The Soundtrack to My (Prison) Life

Alex Cavendish / April 6, 2015 at 5:07 PM 643 views

Having blogged about the books that helped get me through my time in prison, I thought that I’d share some thoughts on the music that kept me going inside, especially when things were particularly grim. Some tracks are included in…

The Soundtrack to My (Prison) Life

Alex Cavendish / April 6, 2015 at 5:07 PM 671 views

Having blogged about the books that helped get me through my time in prison, I thought that I’d share some thoughts on the music that kept me going inside, especially when things were particularly grim. Some tracks are included in…

Strangeways: Could it Happen Again?

Alex Cavendish / April 1, 2015 at 10:58 PM 530 views

The 25th anniversary of the start of the prison riot that led to the devastation of Manchester’s HMP Strangeways on 1 April has been marked by the broadcasting of a fascinating television documentary on BBC2. During the programme we heard…

Strangeways: Could it Happen Again?

Alex Cavendish / April 1, 2015 at 10:58 PM 787 views

The 25th anniversary of the start of the prison riot that led to the devastation of Manchester’s HMP Strangeways on 1 April has been marked by the broadcasting of a fascinating television documentary on BBC2. During the programme we heard…