The cuts that broke the justice system

Blind justice lawsource: Politics.co.uk
published: 26 November 2018

Leaking roofs, seats held together with gaffer tape, flooded toilets, broken heating and broken plug sockets. If our hospitals or schools looked like this, there’d be a public outcry. But these are our courts, so no-one really cares.

The cuts to criminal justice have become visible in the furniture of the court system, but they go much further than that. They are eroding the basic principles it operates under.

Next year, legal aid reaches its 70th birthday. It is a landmark principle that justice should be free to everyone, that publicly-funded legal advice should be available to those accused of a crime by the state.

Continue reading

Death penalty use and support near record lows

Wimain in prison cellsource: ProCon.org
published: 21 December 2017

Overall use and public support of the death penalty is in decline. As of Nov. 8, 2017, 23 people were executed in the United States in 2017, the second-lowest number since 1991.

39 people are expected to be sentenced to death by the end of 2017, making it the second-lowest number since 1976, the year when capital punishment was declared constitutional again by the US Supreme Court.

Since the death penalty was legalized again in 1976 by the US Supreme Court, 1,465 people have been executed. Texas has accounted for 545 executions, over a third of the nation’s total.

Continue reading

Britain is failing young people [detained] in custody

Domiciliary Prison

source: The Guardian
published: 17 August 2017

The neglect of young people represents state-sanctioned child abuse, argue Deborah Coles, Prof Joe Sim and Prof Steve Tombs from INQUEST.

INQUEST’s work with bereaved families has consistently revealed a litany of systemic neglect, violence, institutional complacency and short-sighted policies which contribute to the deaths and harm of children and young people (Report on Northants children’s prison finds rise in violent incidents, 9 August).

These deaths are the most extreme outcome of a system that fails some of society’s most disadvantaged children and young people.

Continue reading