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About Andrew Neilson

Andrew Neilson is director of Campaigns, The Howard League for Penal Reform.

Articles by Andrew Neilson

This week’s front page editor


Francesc Badia i Dalmases is Editor and Director of democraciaAbierta.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

New prisons, old politics?

Without more radical reform, new for old prisons will repeat the mistakes of the past.

Exploding the myth of ‘payment by results’

National Audit Office issues damning report on outsourcing model that claims to guarantee value for money.

Your 10 year old is locked up overnight in a police cell. All right?

Across England and Wales children are being locked up overnight in police cells in very large numbers. The Howard League has persuaded some senior police officers that it's not all right.

Inspector "very concerned" by G4S prison praised by Grayling

Chris Grayling discribed G4S run prison HMP Oakwood as an "excellent model for the future of the prison service". But a report from the Chief Inspector of Prisons this week tells a very different story...

New report confirms problems of short custodial sentences for children

Warehousing children in a prison filled with other troubled young people, often for a period of weeks, is counterproductive, inhumane and a pitiful waste of public money.

Fear, bullying, violence, grime and overcrowding: one prison in Austerity Britain

HM Inspectorate of Prisons reports that cramped and dirty Lincoln Prison has rising prisoner numbers, falling staff levels, and one prisoner still inside nine years after the end of his sentence. More than half of vulnerable prisoners said that they had been victimised by other prisoners and nearly half said that they had been victimised by staff. And the government wants to keep on cutting costs.

G4S loses contract. Handing prisons to any commercial contractor is a grave mistake

The big news story is that G4S, the shambolic security company that botched the London Olympics, has today lost a major prison contract (HMP Wolds, in Lincolnshire), and failed to win any new ones. A hard blow for G4S and its shareholders. The bigger issue is that the UK government continues to privatise prisons, and commercial confidentiality shields the process from public view and democratic accountability.

Is the new Justice Secretary tough enough to act on the evidence that prison doesn’t work?

Chris Grayling may find the solutions to his problems lie in penal reform.

Tagging ex-offenders is not all it’s cracked up to be

Electronic monitoring is no substitute for drug and alcohol rehabilitation, mental health support and literacy coaching.

Investing in failure: the government’s plan for youth custody in England and Wales

Child prisons don’t work. Secure children’s homes do. Guess which ones the government is cutting?

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