Tag Archive | "Frances Crook"

Legal aid for prisoners


The government has lost an important battle in the court of appeal over access to legal aid. Denying prisoners in England and Wales legal aid so they can effectively challenge the conditions under which they are held could be illegal, the court has ruled.

In R (Howard League for Penal Reform and the Prisoners’ Advice Service) v the Lord Chancellor, the court of appeal judges – Lord Justice Leveson, Lord Justice Tomlinson and Lady Justice Sharp – considered five areas of prison law where the Ministry of Justice removed criminal legal aid eligibility in December 2013. Read the full story

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‘New for old’ prison policy


Justice secretary Michael Gove has vowed to close down “ageing and ineffective” Victorian jails and sell off their sites to fund new buildings to replace them.

“We have to consider closing down the ageing and ineffective Victorian prisons in our major cities, reducing the crowding and ending the inefficiences which blight the lives of everyone in them and building new prisons which embody higher standards in every way they operate,” said Gove in a speech to the Prisoner Learning Alliance. Read the full story

Posted in Criminal Justice, Law UpdatesComments (0)

The politics of prisoners’ legal aid


The Howard League for Penal Reform and the Prisoners’ Advice Service went to court earlier this month to seek separate but linked judicial reviews against restrictions to legal aid for prisoners imposed by the government last December.

Their lawyers argued that the “unfair, irrational and inflexible” changes would undermine prisoners’ rights and their chances of rehabilitation, as well as cost the taxpayer additional millions because they would trigger “hidden costs.” Read the full story

Posted in Criminal Justice, Legal AidComments (0)

Serco to repay more than £68m


Back in July justice secretary Chris Grayling had a sorry tale to tell the Commons.

The subject was overpayments in the Ministry of Justice’s electronic monitoring contracts with G4S Care and Justice Services and Serco Monitoring. “This has included instances where our suppliers were not in fact providing electronic monitoring” he told Members. “It included charges for people who were back in prison and had had their tags removed, people who had left the country, and those who had never been tagged in the first place but who had instead been returned to court. There are a small number of cases where charging continued for a period when the subject was known to have died. In some instances, charging continued for a period of many months and indeed years after active monitoring had ceased.” Read the full story

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