This page will bring you all the latest news relevant to our topic “Is it a crime to be poor”
5th April 2023 – Campaigners’ anger as 1,173 held despite ministers’ pledge to scrap legislation on the Vagrancy Act
3rd February 2023 –
1st February 2023 –
31st January 2023 – ICP is running a creative writing competition (see flyer). Entry forms will be available from February 9th so watch this space!
16 January 2023 – An appeal for change by APPEAL: I’m not a criminal: Stop TV Licensing prosecuting people in the cost of living crisis
8 January 2023 – ‘Rona Epstein has written a blog ‘The rich get treatment-the poor go to prison: imprisonment for contempt of court’.
Here is a link to Rona Epstein’s blog written as part of the Rethink and Reset campaign rub by Revolving Doors (https://revolving-doors.org.uk/)
Here is a link to the campaign page: https://revolving-doors.org.uk/action-areas/rethink-reset/
4 October 2022 – A seminar was held at the Centre for Health and Development (CHAD)Staffordshire University
Punishing addiction: Imprisonment for contempt of court – Rona Epstein, slides: view/download, Notes: view/download
Inequitable pathways to addiction, treatment and outcomes – Tony Mercer view/download
Addiction – Stigma, Inequities and Punishment, are now available on the CHAD website:
Webinar: Addiction – Stigma, Inequities and Punishment
22 August 2022 – Playing dominoes and feeding pigeons lands vulnerable people in jail.. Investigation finds cases of vulnerable or mentally ill people being imprisoned for breaching court rules they may not have understood. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/08/20/playing-dominoes-feeding-pigeons-lands-vulnerable-people-jail/
17 August 2022 – Registration open to hear Professor Maitreesh Ghatak, LSE, talk on Poverty traps as part of the British Science Festival on September 16 at Du Montfort University , link below:
15 August 2022 – Go directly to jail, for shouting, begging and rough sleeping by Rona Epstein: https://www.crimeandjustice.org.uk/resources/begging-and-rough-sleeping-penalties-contempt-court
9 August 2022 – This research was recently published by Dr Racheal Pesta, Assistant Professor of Criminology. “Is the School-To-Prison Pipeline Just for Boys? The Effect of School Punishment Across Gender.” Feminist Criminology (2022): https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/15570851221115853 School Expulsions & Impact On Offending. Far from being an effective deterrent, research consistently demonstrates that out-of-school suspensions and expulsions are associated with a host of future problems such as low educational attainment, truancy, subsequent suspensions, and involvement in the juvenile and criminal justice system.
9 August 2022 – ” We are not all at equal risk of encountering the criminal justice system. The path to entering prison is neither short nor straightforward. There are often a number of contributing and interconnected factors including poverty, ethnic and social inequalities, mental ill health, and exclusion from school. These can all be significant drivers in channelling vulnerable children into the criminal justice system. Early interventions must be made to help divert children away from these pathways before they become entrenched.
The ‘school to prison pipeline’ is a term used to describe the path from school exclusion to entry into prison. Increasingly, schools are moving towards no tolerance policies which result in permanent exclusions, particularly for children from Gypsy, Roma and Traveller and other ethnic minority backgrounds. These children are overrepresented in Young Offender Institutions.
Within the criminal justice sector the concept of ‘breaking the pipeline’ is often cited as a means of breaking the cycle of offending and reoffending. This can be achieved through community sentences and other alternatives to custody, educational interventions in prisons, family interventions, and drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Equal attention to the school system is needed to ensure that children are diverted away from the criminal justice system before they even have a chance to enter it.
The school to prison pipeline most severely impacts Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) children and Black Caribbean children. Both demographics are overrepresented in school exclusion and criminal justice population data. “travellermovement.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Disrupting-the-School-to-Prison-Pipeline-Exec-Summary.pdf
9 August 2022 – Wednesday Webinar: The Edinburgh Study of Youth Transitions and Crime – Prisoner Learning Alliance
In looking at both youth and adult crime, poverty absolutely matters in all of this; it flows through everything. It puts you under the gaze of the criminal justice system and yet that gaze of the criminal justice system means it’s very difficult to then escape poverty. We need to put poverty at the centre of our thinking about youth and adult crime.
29 June 2022 – Please see our write up on our June event here: https://crimetobepoor.org/2022/07/11/29-june-2022-event-university-of-birmingham-notes-and-outcomes/)
14 June 2022 – Click here to listen on Spotify to the Transform Justice podcast with Transform Justice director Penelope Gibbs and co-host Rob Allen who discuss what the single justice procedure is, why it’s unfair (especially to women and people on low income) and what could be done to make it fairer (or alternatively listen on Apple Music by clicking here)
24 April 2022 – Click here to read ‘Education, experience of care and children’s offending’ Russell Webster.
7 April 2022 – Click here to read ‘Why are Pregnant Women in Prison? Our Findings’ a blog by Geraldine Brown and Rona Epstein
22 March 2022 – Click here to read ‘What big data can tell us about criminal justice’. Russell Webster.
19 March 2022 – Click here to hear from Karl who was arrested and fined under the Vagrancy Act and spoke in parliament about his experience as part of the Crisis campaign.
26 February 2022 – Government to repeal law allowing police to arrest rough sleepers – Click here to view
6 February 2022 – Webinar in Criminal Justice on stopping imprisonment of pregnant women – Click here to view
18 January 2022 – Event – WMSHA Webinar 26th January – Click here to book
18 January 2022 – Call to stop jailing pregnant women in England after baby dies in prison toilet
18 January 2022 – Event – Punishment – Monday 31st January, 6.00-7.15 pm – Click here to book
12 January 2022 – Scrap the Vagrancy Act
5 January 2022 – Poverty and Policing: research report and toolkit launch
*NEW* 25 November 2021 – Vagrancy: Government urged to decriminalise rough sleeping – BBC News
25 August 2021 – Crisis UK call on MPs to scrap the Vagrancy Act. Follow #ScrapTheAct on Twitter or see Crisis UK
23 August 2021 – Challenge Poverty Week England and Wales is 11-17 October 2021 see here for more information
8 July 2021 – The Guardian – Police bill risks criminalising homeless people, warns UK charity
28 June 2021 – Review bye-laws that criminalises poverty – Political Science Lecturer – an interesting news article from Ghana
21 June 2021 – Transport for London evicting rough sleepers from public areas in potential breach of law
21 May 2021 – The BMJ Opinion – Rona Epstein and John Middleton discuss why It is more urgent than ever that we end the criminalisation of poverty
12 May 2021 – The Open University- Harm & Evidence Research Collaborative – Sharon Hartles has written this blog article – Vagrancy Act 1824: Consign it to History!
27 April 2021 – The Guardian – All Covid fines in England should be reviewed, MPs say – This includes a discussion of the disproportionate impact of Covid fines – i.e. those that cannot afford to pay the fines are faced with a criminal record.
RAND Cooperation has just published its Outcome Evaluation of the National Model for Liaison and Diversion (March 2021)
18 April 2021 – The Guardian – Tackle Poverty and Inequality to reduce crime, says Police Chief
11 April 2021 – i Newspaper – Robert Jerrick accused of failing to honour promise to abolish Vagrancy Act which makes rough sleeping a crime
29 March 2021 – New York University News release – Prosecuting non-violent misdemeanours increases re-arrest rates, new study shows