Rows over ruling if prisoners have the right to vote
- 24 Oct
The attorny general of Britain has said that the Government must accept the European ruling that allows prisoners the right to vote.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled in 2005 that it was up to individual countries to decide which prisoners should be denied the right to vote from jail, but said a total ban was illegal.
It has been said that the government is planning a draft bill introducing limited rights for inmates to comply with the European court decision, despite receiving strong opposition from some Conservatives.
However, the government so far has denied reports that the coalition was planning to introduce a draft law..
The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that a blanket ban on voting for anyone sent to jail is illegal, and the government has until the end of November to decide how to react; ministers are likely to leave the controversial announcement until just before this so that it can be made after the police commissioner elections on 17th November.
This is causing friction amongst Conservatives; David Cameron has said it would make him sick to give prisoners the right to vote, but has previously allowed the proposal that prisoners serving a sentence of four years or less should be given the right, some backbench conservatives have refused this idea.
At present, only prisoners on remand are allowed to vote in Britain.
Amongst the rumours, the only statement that Downing Street have made so far is:
If people go to prison, they lose the right to vote. That's our policy.
Dominic Grieve, the attorney general, has told MPs on the justice committee this morning:
The United Kingdom government is adherent to the convention. The convention is one of our international legal obligations. And successive governments, including this one, have always put a great emphasis on the observance of our international legal obligations. We live in a world where international law matters increasingly … We do observe international obligations that are imposed on us.
I have absolutely no doubt it would be seen by other countries as a move away from our strict adherence to human rights laws.
Labour has previously said it would back the prime minister's stance.
Liberal Democrat backbencher Stephen Williams said prisoners serving short sentences should be allowed to vote as part of rehabilitation.
Image source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1431138
- 11 Sep
Prisons told to adjust for older inmates
Ombudsman Nigel Newcomen says prisons will have to take on "care home and even hospice" roles in future, reports the BBC. He said: "It is remarkable that the fastest growing segment of the prison...
- 31 Jul
Charities are best at reducing re-offending
A report by charity thinktank New Philanthropy Capital has found that 28% of charity projects have helped to reduce reoffending compared to 19% of private companies, reports the Guardian.The report...
- 29 Jul
It could become illegal to deny offenders legal aid
It could become illegal to deny prisoners in England and Wales legal aid so that they are able to effectively challenge the conditions they are held under, rules the court of appeal, reports the...
- 08 Jul
Offender’s rehabilitation is delayed by legal aid restrictions
The court of appeal has been told that thousands of prisoners are being prevented from starting rehabilitation due to them being denied legal aid for parole board hearings, reports the...
- 17 Mar
New supported accommodation for ex-offenders in Birmingham
Trident Reach the People Charity's new Reach House has been built to provide 24-hour supported accommodation for young offenders to help support them getting back into the community after their...
- 12 Mar
Staff working with young offenders criticised
A report by three inspection bodies has said that staff aimed at helping reduce re-offending in young offenders are "too often suspicious of each other" reports the BBC.The report, by the Care...
- 19 Sep
Family homes are needed to help offenders re-offending
A study by HM Inspectorate of Prisons, HM Inspectorate of Probation and Ofsted had found that almost one in five prisoners did not know where they would be living once they left jail, reports Inside...
- 16 Sep
Ex-offenders ‘lacking home and job'
An inspection into resettlement provision for adult prisoners had followed 80 offenders after they left prison. Chief Inspector of Prisons Nick Hardwick said that it found the role of a prisoner's...
- 16 May
Offenders placed in prison for a day in a bid to cut re-offending
The Centre for Social Justice has urged the government to look to the US where this approach appears to work. The report has said that a third of people given community sentences re-offended within a...
- 30 Jan
Inspection finds offenders with learning disabilities are not being supported
The inspection looking into the treatment of offenders with learning disabilities within the criminal justice systems was conducted by HM Inspectorate of Probation, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary,...
Responding to the DWP Consultation: Housing Benefit Reform - Supported Housing "Found the seminar very informative and gave an interesting and full insight into current thinking about the consultation. Michael was a very engaging and knowledgeable presenter and encouraged interaction with the audience which led to further relevant points being shared with the room. I shall certinaly look out for future events!" M.E. - Care Housing Association