Is it a crime to be poor?

Claire Cain 3 February 2020 The great Angela Davis wrote in Are Prisons Obsolete?: The prison therefore functions ideologically as an abstract site into which undesirables are deposited, relieving us of the responsibility of thinking about the real issues afflicting those communities from which prisoners are drawn in such dispro­portionate numbers. This is the ideological workContinue reading “Is it a crime to be poor?”

Prisons and the mentally ill: the need to look beyond punitiveness

By Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay 20 January 2020 Tougher criminal justice sanctions are often advocated by politicians who say this reflects public opinion on how to treat criminals, but this is only part of the story. Many do support cost-effective, rehabilitative options over punishment. Indeed, this seems to be reflected in opinion polls suggesting a large majority of theContinue reading “Prisons and the mentally ill: the need to look beyond punitiveness”

The Supreme Court decision – detaining asylum seekers was unlawful

By Rona Epstein 15 January 2020 On 27 November 2019, the Supreme Court gave judgment in R (Hemmati and others) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] UKSC 56. Five individuals arrived in the UK illegally and claimed asylum; two from Iraq, two from Afghanistan and one from Iran. Two had already claimed asylum inContinue reading “The Supreme Court decision – detaining asylum seekers was unlawful”

Why it is time to repeal the Vagrancy Act of 1824

By Steve Lee 26 November 2019 There are many strands linking homelessness and the criminal justice system. Ex-offenders leaving prison struggle to access accommodation on release. They often lose their homes while in custody. The Prison Reform Trust reports that six in ten female prisoners have no homes to go to upon release.  Fifteen perContinue reading “Why it is time to repeal the Vagrancy Act of 1824”

Prosecution of asylum seekers needs to stop

By Rona Epstein 8 November 2019 Tara Casey wrote recently, ‘Poverty is not a crime and should never be treated as one’. Likewise, seeking asylum is not a crime, but is too often treated as one. The American academic Professor Juliet Stumpf described the convergence of criminal and immigration law as ‘crimmigration’. Two recent casesContinue reading “Prosecution of asylum seekers needs to stop”

Poverty is not a crime: ending imprisonment for debt

By Tara Casey (This blog originally appeared on 18 October 2019 on the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies’ website) As the country prepares to enter into a new legal and political era, marked by novel and complex constitutional challenges, some of the most vulnerable members of society, and particularly women, are facing legal battlesContinue reading “Poverty is not a crime: ending imprisonment for debt”