School of Law Roundtable Seminar: ‘Changing Prisons in Challenging Times- Revisited’
Tuesday 4th April 2017 9.00am-1.30pm Boardroom, College Building C219-220 Middlesex University, The Burroughs, London, NW4 4BT
Professor Nick Hardwick (Chair of the Parole Board and Professor of Criminal Justice, Royal Holloway University of London
Professor Philip Leach and Natalie Gray (Middlesex University)
Dr. Jenni Ward (Senior Lecturer in Criminology, Middlesex University)
Dr. Amy Ludlow and Dr. Ruth Armstrong (Learning Together, Institute of Criminology, Cambridge University)
Ian Bickers (Governor of Wandsworth Reform prison)
Erwin James (author, Guardian columnist and Inside Times editor)
Dr Rachel Seoighe (Middlesex University)
Chair: Jenni Ward
Two years ago we discussed within a roundtable forum the changes and challenges occurring within the prison system and how these were impacting on prison conditions, staffing morale, and prison governance. Since then continuing concerns for prison reform and modernization have unfolded, culminating in the recent launch of six ‘reform prisons’ operating on devolved budgets and governor autonomy, and the publication in November 2016 of a Prison Safety and Reform White Paper. These developments articulate ambitions for transformative change across the system. These however, are to be delivered within current resources that are severely affected by deep budgetary cuts occurring within wider economic policy. Serious financial stress placed upon the prison estate has undoubtedly affected the safe operation and management of many prisons. Whilst education and the importance of ‘purposeful activity’ are central propositions of the new reforms, challenges that have arguably held back the government’s vision for ‘transforming rehabilitation’ still exist.
This follow-up roundtable is an opportunity to open up the ongoing debate about the recent reforms – where changes are successfully being implemented, where progress is being hindered and where these reforms can go even further. Can the prison service bring about positive change within the current prison population, within current resources, and within wider challenges that come with the changing physical landscape of the prison estate? We are bringing together a panel of speakers concerned with the running of prisons, prisoners’ health, care and welfare, and rehabilitation and sentencing policy.
The event commences at 9.30am with coffee and pastries and opportunity for networking with presentations and discussion commencing at 9.45am. A buffet lunch will be provided.
The event is free to attend but must be booked in advance via Eventbrite. Booking information and FREE tickets available HERE.
In February 2015 the ‘Changing Prisons in Challenging Times’ roundtable was held at Middlesex University. This drew together an expert panel before an academic, practitioner and student audience to discuss and share ideas, concerns and considerations for the future.
The speakers were HM Chief Inspector of Prisons Nick Hardwick; Erwin James – journalist for The Guardian newspaper and author of the books A Life Inside: A Prisoner’s Notebook and The Home Stretch: From Prison to Parole; Chair in Psychiatry at Cardiff University Professor Pamela Taylor; Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Middlesex Anastasia Karamalidou; Chair of the Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody Lord Toby Harris; and Dr Kimmett Edgar, Head of Research at the Prison Reform Trust.
A summary of the event can be read on the MDX Minds blog.
We now have podcasts available from a selection of our speakers from the 2015 roundtable event.
please check out our soundcloud page to listen to a range of informative and poignant talks from the event including:
(please note these recordings are from February 2015 and views/events of our speakers may have changed/modified since then).