“Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is of systems of thought. A theory however elegant and economical must be rejected or revised if it is untrue; likewise laws and institutions no matter how efficient and well-arranged must be reformed or abolished if they are unjust. Each person possesses an inviolability founded on justice that even the welfare of society as a whole cannot override. Read more
Fergus McNeill is Professor of Criminology and Social Work at the University of Glasgow in the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research and in Sociology. Before working in academia he worked in residential drug rehabilitation and as a criminal justice social worker. This is a podcast of a talk he gave exploring the issues of crime, punishment and concepts of rehabilitation. Read more
In my experience, during this journey of a reformed man, I have come to realise, that, to some in society, it matters not how much an individual, being released from prison, has turned their life around and rehabilitated. Ready for life in the free world into the supporting arms of an accepting society! Surely that should be the case, should it not? Isn’t that why we have a prison system. Read more
Prison can raise many images in our minds. While you might not have given prisons a great deal of thought, I can assure you that when you hear about them on the news, or read about them in your newspaper an image or two appears in you mind. It might be that you see Ronnie Barker in Porridge, or you might have the media presented images of holiday centres, or places of continued rioting going through your mind. Read more
As I am an avid prison reform campaigner it should not be difficult to imagine there are many aspects of the criminal justice system of which I am unhappy or disappointed with. One such aspect which leaves me utterly frustrated, is the constant search from some quarters for the utopia of blame! WHY? Read more
Four years ago, I was invited to take part in a Ministry of Justice (MOJ) review designed to reform the long-discredited system of Independent Monitoring in our prisons.
I genuinely expected this vital review would finally bring the crucial ‘root and branch’ reform to prison monitoring that so many, myself included, had spent years calling for – looking back four years now, and at the new system of governance that as a result of the review that comes into effect today [1st Nov], I really should have known better. Read more
What follows is the writing up of my lived experience of struggling with the over bureaucratisation of my life. It became a project when several years ago I realised that I was going between several agencies all tasked with supporting me trying to rehabilitate from a life where I had been homeless. I fell into what is categorised as ‘multiple needs’. Read more