Prison news from Russia and elsewhere

UK reading charities have partnered with prisons to promote literacy (Photo: www.lasisblog.com)

UK reading charities have partnered with prisons to promote literacy (Photo: http://www.lasisblog.com)

Calls for reform after 4000 died in Russian prisons in 2012

Prosecutor General, Yury Chaika, has called for prison reform, following an increase in the number of complaints lodged by Russian inmates with the European Court of Human Rights. According to Russia BeyondThe Headlines, statistics reveal that there were more than 43,000 violations in detention and almost 4 000 people died while in custody in 2012. Read more.

 Culture of violence reigns in German youth prisons

A three-year study by a legal expert at the University of Cologne has revealed that almost half of the 900 young inmates interviewed have physically hurt a fellow inmate. Seventy percent of the inmates surveyed by Frank Neubacher’s team said they had inflicted psychological violence on other inmates on at least one occasion, Deutsche Welle reports. Read more.

Welsh prison officials embarrassed by erroneous releases

The wrongful release of violent offenders over the last seven years has left Welsh prison officials red-faced, Wales Online reports. Most of the 13 offenders were quickly recaptured, but one was on the loose for almost a year before being re-arrested. Read more.

UK charities promote reading in prisons to combat reoffending

The UK reading charity The Reading Agency has partnered with the Quick Reads initiative and a group of prisons across the UK in a project aimed at getting as many inmates and staff as possible within a prison to read, review and share opinions about the same book. According to the BookTrade website, the programme is now run in 100 prisons every year. An estimated 4000 prisoners participated in 2012. Seven out of ten prisoners say they have a learning or literacy problem, according to Nick Walmsley, a manager at HMP Pentonville. The programme encourages less confident adult readers to develop a reading habit and improve their skills. The involvement of prison staff is seen as an effective way of breaking down barriers between them and inmates. Read more.

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About witsjusticeproject
The Wits Justice Project combines journalism, advocacy, law and education to make the criminal justice system work better for all.

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