About Frances Crook

Appointed in 1986 as chief executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, Frances Crook has been responsible for research programmes and campaigns to raise public concern about suicides in prison, the over-use of custody, poor conditions in prison, young people in trouble, and mothers in prison. She was awarded an OBE for services to youth justice in the 2010 New Year Honours List. She was appointed a Senior Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics in 2010.

Articles by Frances Crook

This week's editor

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Adam Ramsay is co-editor of OurKingdom.

Penal reformers of the future?

Congratulations to Rose Harvey, Katie Sambrooks and Christian Rowlands. OurKingdom publishes the winners of this year's John Howard Essay Prize, in association with the Howard League for Penal Reform and Hacked Off.

Transforming probation? Or wrecking a service that works?

Privatisation of the probation service. A dangerous, dodgy scheme is rumbled in the House of Lords.

Pregnant teenager imprisoned for failing to keep appointments with her supervisor

On International Women’s Day the Howard League appeals to UN over imprisonment of pregnant 16-year-old girl.

Who wins at ‘payment by results’? Ask shareholders at Serco, the company running Britain

Serco, the company that inspects Britain’s schools, trains our armed forces, runs our prisons, maintains our nuclear weapons, and is taking over big chunks of our NHS, reported stunning financial results today.

Our youth justice system's fatal flaw: it is harming children

Child suicides, staff assaults on children (often legally sanctioned). . . children are plainly not safe in the youth justice system of England and Wales.

Women offenders: radical reform still urgently needed

A leading prison reformer argues that most women in prison today in England and Wales could be rehabilitated more effectively through a community sentence.

Privatising probation: ‘less crime, fewer victims, safer communities.’ Oh, really?

The UK government packaged its privatisation of probation services in England and Wales today as 'the most significant reforms to tackling re-offending and managing offenders in the community for a generation'. A leading campaigner for prison reform peers beneath the packaging.

We in the UK punish girls for being vulnerable

Sexually exploited girls may commit crime to try and escape the men who exploit them. Our courts confuse their welfare needs with criminality and lock them up for longer.

Private prison ‘cherry-picking compliant prisoners’

UK penal reform charity the Howard League claims newly opened Oakwood Prison, run by G4S, is turning away difficult prisoners and losing staff

The payment by results merry-go-round

How ‘rolling back the state’ enriches and empowers a few big commercial outsourcers

Deaths more likely in bigger and overcrowded prisons

Howard League analysis shows just how harmful supersizing and overcrowding can be

When is a victim not a victim?

Criminals are to be stopped from making claims for injuries, but criminals may be victims too.

Mums in prison

Half of the women incarcerated in England and Wales have children. We know the devastating effect on kids with mothers in prison - so what can be done about it?

The British state pays for private prisons... and pays and pays again

The government is embarking on large-scale privatisation of British prisons, despite research indicating that private prisons are more likely to be dangerous and more costly in the long run

Mass imprisonment of looters is not a solution to our problem

English courts have been open round the clock sentencing rioters and looters with jail terms. But in doing this they may only be shifting the problem of disorder from the streets to prisons.

Short prison sentences help no-one

We are intoxicated with imprisonment in England and Wales. A much better alternative is to use community programmes that have a better record of reducing crime.

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