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News and Events

Civil Liberties Blog

Deaths in Police Custody reach ten year high

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Deaths occurring in police custody have increased 64% in a year, with figures produced by the Independent Office for Police Conduct identifying 23 deaths in police custody for the period 2017/2018 in comparison to 14 in the previous year. Out of the 23...

HM Chief Inspectorate of Prisons 2017 Report of HMP Leeds Released Today

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Prison inspectors carried out the 2017 inspection of HMP Leeds revealing some concerning findings. In the report the prison was described as one of the most seriously overcrowded in the country, with 91% of the cells holding more prisoners than they were...

Prison and Probation Ombudsman Stresses Concerns On Rising Female Suicides

Komal Hussain
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The prisons and probation ombudsman has commented on a “lack of concerted and sustained action” following a rise in the number of suicides among female prisoners. He warned that wide scale reform proposed a decade ago following a review of the...

Spit Hoods - Appropriate or Undignified?

Komal Hussain
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A spit hood is a mesh fabric hood that is placed over a detained person’s head in order to prevent them from spitting or biting officers. Spit hoods are currently used by one third of the country’s police forces. Out of the 49 police forces in...

Jury Identifies Failings in Risk Management Following Self-inflicted Death of First time Prisoner

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A jury has returned a critical narrative conclusion following the inquest into the death of Lloyd Joseph Skelton, 21 who died at Leicester Royal Infirmary on 1 September 2014 after being found hanging in his cell on the segregation wing at HMP Leicester on...

PPO releases Thematic Review of Deaths in Custody where Mental Health is a Feature

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The Prison and Probation Ombudsman’s role is to carry out independent investigations, in which recommendations and broader thematic lessons for improvement are made to contribute in making custody a safer environment for prisoners. On 19 January 2015 a...

Youth Justice Contracts At Risk

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The Guardian newspaper has today published an article which raises grave concerns in relation to the conduct of G4S staff members employed within Young Offenders Institutions.  The Shadow Home Secretary has called for G4S contracts to be terminated...

Governments Response to The Harris Review

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Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor on 17 December 2015 has provided the Government’s response to the Harris Review which focused on self-inflicted deaths of 18-24 year olds in National Offender Management Service custody. ...

New report reveals extent of legal high usage in prisons

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A study carried out by the Chief Inspector of Prisons, Nick Hardwick, has revealed that the use of legal highs, such as spice and black mamba, is so rife that it is actually putting local ambulance services under pressure due to the number of inmates...

R (Tyrrell) v Coroner for Co Durham & Darlington

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Mr Justice Dove, sitting at the Administrative Court in Leeds, has today granted permission for it to be argued that the investigative duty under Article 2 ECHR applies to  all  deaths in state custody, regardless of the circumstances, such that a...

Overcrowding within prisons

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The Prison Population week ending 13 November 2015 stood at 85,993. The Certified Normal Accommodation (CNA) is the prison service’s own measure of how many prisoners can be held in decent and safe accommodation. The current CNA level is 77,532 meaning...

Unacceptable failings identified in prison death

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An inquest jury last week identified serious failings by a security firm following the death of an inmate at HMP Parc. Mohamoud Ahmed Ali had died on February 1st last year from SUDEP (sudden unexpected death from epilepsy). Despite having suffered...

Coroner urges action to prevent further carbon monoxide deaths

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A coroner has warned that the tourist industry and government law-makers need to take steps to prevent further holidaymakers dying from carbon monoxide poisoning. The stark warning comes from David Hinchliffe, who has prepared a report into the risks that...

Ruling will make it easier for bereaved families to get legal aid

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Leeds-based  solicitors Lester Morrill has welcomed  the outcome of a judicial review, which will make it easier for bereaved families to obtain legal aid so that they may be represented at inquests. A High Court ruling last Friday found that...