People who have been sentenced to up to four years in prison will no longer have to declare their convictions for life under new reforms.Read the full story ›
Taxpayers' money is being wasted on compensating prisoners over damaged stereos and missing socks, a prison watchdog said, as it urged prison staff to accept responsibility for prisoners' property.
Nigel Newcomen, from the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman (PPO), said:
Most property complaints concern small-value items, but these can still mean a lot to prisoners with little.
Unfortunately, too many of the issues involved could and should have been dealt with more quickly and efficiently by the prisons concerned.
Instead, despite perfectly sound national policies and instructions, prisons too often refuse to accept their responsibilities when property has been lost or damaged.
This leaves prisoners in limbo, creates unnecessary frustration and tension and leads to complaints, too many of which require independent adjudication.
Mr Newcomen added that using up "scarce staff resources" was not a good use of public money.
Prisoners have been awarded compensation over damaged stereos and missing socks, a watchdog has revealed.
Taxpayers' money is being wasted on redress paid to prisoners for lost or damaged property and called, The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman (PPO) claimed, who urged prison staff need to pay greater attention to prisoners' property to avoid complaints.
Around 57 per cent of property-related complaints received in 2012/13 were upheld in favour of inmates.
Among the examples given by the PPO was the case of "Mr H" who received a compensation settlement and apology after complaining that his stereo was damaged as he was transferred between prisons.
David Cameron has promised to ensure murderers can be kept in jail for life amid suggestions that the Government could introduce 100-year-sentences.
The Prime Minister's comments follow a long-running confrontation with the European Court of Human Rights, which has declared life sentences in England illegal because they offer no "right to review".
Ministers believe they can sidestep the ruling by letting judges sentence for hundreds of years, the Telegraph has reported.
- HMP Maidstone has an inmate population of about 600
- It is a Category ‘C' training prison that predominantly houses sex offenders from the Kent and Sussex areas.
- Category C prisons are closed but have less internal security.
- The prison also takes in a small number of foreign prisoners with more than 18 months to serve
The government has banned prisoners from watching 18-rated movies, but they can still get their hands on some jail-break classics.Read the full story ›
The Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has said privileges that allow prisoners to boast about their "easy life" are "not right and cannot continue".
For too long the public has seen prisoners spending their days languishing in their cells watching TV, using illegal mobile phones to taunt their victims on Facebook or boasting about their supposedly easy life in prisons.
This is not right and it cannot continue.
The changes we have made to the incentive scheme are not just about taking TVs away from prisoners, they are about making them work towards their rehabilitation.
Movies with a certificate 18 rating have been banned from jails in England and Wales as part of a clampdown on perks behind bars brought into force today.
Prisoners are to be banned from watching violent and sexually explicit films, such as Hostel and Reservoir Dogs, under changes to the Incentives and Earned Privileges (IEP) scheme.
The failure to allow prisoners to vote sets a "very bad example" and will make the life of jail staff more difficult, the Chief Inspector of Prisons has warned.
Nick Hardwick admitted few prisoners were interested in taking part, but denying them the opportunity to vote would send out the wrong message:
"I think the judgment's been made and what would set a bad example would be if we said to prisoners 'We don't like that judgment, therefore we aren't going to do it'.
Mr Hardwick suggested there was an argument for withholding the vote from prisoners serving long sentences for "heinous" crimes, but to grant those serving shorter sentences the vote.
David Cameron has hailed the Supreme Court's ruling on prisoner voting as a "great victory for common sense".
The Supreme Court ruled that convicted murderers Peter Chester and George McGeoch were not entitled to vote while in prison.
The Supreme Court judgment on prisoner voting is a great victory for common sense.