What it means to be ‘tough on crime’

Poverty causes crime. People can argue about what constitutes ‘poverty’ or what it means for something to be a ‘cause of crime’, but it takes a special form of denial to pretend this powerful link is not there. It helps, of course, to articulate the various ways in which poverty insidiously punishes those caught inContinue reading “What it means to be ‘tough on crime’”

19 August 2022 Poverty and policing: could the socioeconomic duty be applied to policing?

Simply punishing people who commit crimes will not get to the root causes of crime, namely, poverty. The police are likely to encounter more and more of poverty-driven offences as the country battles through a cost-of-living crisis. As of mid-August 2022, inflation has hit a 40-year high, and energy and food bills are rapidly becomingContinue reading “19 August 2022 Poverty and policing: could the socioeconomic duty be applied to policing?”

29 June 2022 Event (University of Birmingham) – Notes and Outcomes

We are delighted to have managed to host such an interesting and successful event at the University of Birmingham, with over 50 attendees from the academia, charities and government institutions. The main purpose of this event was to bring together people working in different sectors and get them talking, planning and strategising on how toContinue reading “29 June 2022 Event (University of Birmingham) – Notes and Outcomes”

Breaking the cycle of poverty and criminalisation with #BetterBenefits

This blog post was originally published on http://www.russellwebster.com. For women, poverty and crime are closely correlated. The offences for which women are most often prosecuted – shoplifting, fraud, TV licence evasion – are directly related to financial difficulty. At Working Chance, our mission is to support women with criminal convictions to find meaningful and sustainableContinue reading “Breaking the cycle of poverty and criminalisation with #BetterBenefits”

TV licence prosecutions discriminate against women

“I was so scared. I felt completely helpless. I was a single mum, in the pandemic, living by myself with a baby.” I made tiny mistakes but I tried to correct them and I co-operated from the beginning. I feel like I wasn’t treated with respect, either because I was a woman or because IContinue reading “TV licence prosecutions discriminate against women”

Prosecuting parents for truancy: who pays the price?

In the Foreword to J M Moore’s assessment of participants’ responses to the workshops and toolkits carried out as part of the Centre for Criminal Justice’s Justice Matters project, Tammy McGloughlin writes, ‘Far from being a means of delivering social justice, [the criminal justice system] is the cause of much social injustice, with the combinedContinue reading “Prosecuting parents for truancy: who pays the price?”

The rich go to rehab − the poor go to prison: imprisonment for contempt of court             

Seen through the lens of human rights and social justice, contempt of court law and practice appears to be a prime example of the criminal justice system being misused to punish the poor, the disadvantaged, the most damaged and despised, and the least supported people in our society. I argue that imprisonment should be restrictedContinue reading “The rich go to rehab − the poor go to prison: imprisonment for contempt of court             “

Do the British still have difficulty distinguishing poverty from crime?

Steve Crossley 29 October 2021 Ever since the happy sixteenth-century custom of chopping off the ears of vagabonds, rogues and sturdy beggars, the British have had some difficulty in distinguishing poverty from crime. The poor have been a nuisance, a threat and a financial burden throughout our history. (Golding and Middleton, 1982: 186) Concerns aboutContinue reading “Do the British still have difficulty distinguishing poverty from crime?”

The misguided prominence of homeless shelters

Ben A. McJunkin, 17 August 2021 To be homeless in America is to be a criminal. Across the country, city ordinances increasingly prohibit broad swaths of conduct that make merely existing in public spaces difficult. This includes loitering in parks, resting at bus stops, obstructing sidewalks, pitching a tent, asking for money, asking for work,Continue reading “The misguided prominence of homeless shelters”

Still a crime to be poor? – Reflections on a 30 year career in the Criminal Justice System

Frances Crook 17 May 2021 I’ve spent over thirty years facing up to the criminal justice and penal systems, bearing witness to its cruelties and failings, and as I move on with my life, the whole system is about to enter a new era of punishment. I began work at the Howard League in theContinue reading “Still a crime to be poor? – Reflections on a 30 year career in the Criminal Justice System”