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Government responds to Harris Review into self-inflicted prison deaths of young people

22 December 2015

Govt_response_to_the_Harris_ReviewBy Staff writer
The Government has published its response to the Harris Review into self-inflicted death in custody of 18-24 year olds, after a yearlong inquiry starting in April 2014, which made public it's final report in July 2015. Acknowledging that the 'prison system needs urgent reform', Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Michael Gove made reference to plans for the Ministry of Justice to review the youth justice system in the New Year.

 

Rights Human Rights Day 2015

10 December 2015

HR_Day_50th_anniversary_-_3By Ruth Dayspring
Human Rights Day 2015 kicks of a year-long campaign marking the 50th anniversary of the two oldest international human rights treaties; the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, but race equality activists in the UK say that the rights and protections of these covenants are not afforded to large sections of black Briton, particularly those subject to detention under the Mental Health Act.

 

National report against torture in detained settings published

08 December 2015

Officers_peering_into_cellBy Staff writer
The sixth annual report of the UK's national mechanism for the prevention of torture and ill-treatment in detention in prisons, police custody, court cells, customs custody facilities, children's secure accommodation, immigration, military and mental health facilities is of particular importance to the UK's African Caribbean communities, as the group that continues to be disproportionately over represented in these settings. This year's report focuses on solitary confinement and isolation.

 

Fall in police custody use for those needing mental health care needs to be matched by drop in police presence on psychiatric wards

25 November 2015

NPCC_logoBy Ruth Dayspring
While data from the National Police Chief Councils (NPCC) shows a welcome fall in the use of police custody for those picked up by officers in need of mental health care, concern still remains at the routine use of police vehicles to transport vulnerable people to hospital, and the more disturbing practice of staff routinely calling officers onto psychiatric wards to restrain and even Taser distressed patients.

 

Interim chair of independent advisory panel on deaths in custody announced

20 November 2015

Letter_-_new_appointment_Kate_LampardBy Staff writer
In a letter from the Justice Secretary to the Justice Select Committee barrister Kate Lampard has been named as the replacement to Lord Harris of Harringey as the interim chair of the Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in custody, in a six month post while a permanent chair is identified. As Lord Harris departs other panel members including consultant Forensic Pathologist Richard Shepherd and lawyer Phillip Leach also ended their terms on this committee.

 

Health regulator, Care Quality Commission, rated 'ineffective'

21 December 2015

CQC_logo_3A parliamentary committee has found the Care Quality Commission to be an ineffective regulator. It also raised concerns about its ability to respond quickly and effectively to information from whistleblowers, service users and staff. This disturbing revelation confirms the fears of activists from the community who say that the poor treatment that black patients detained in mental health services have suffered, which has been raised with them, particularly around police on wards and Taser, has not been properly addressed by this watchdog.

 

'Unjust' treatment of black people by the criminal justice system confirmed by new MoJ report

09 December 2015

scales_of_justice___By Ruth Dayspring
New MoJ analysis showing that black people are to be more likely to be sent to prison than their white counterparts for similar offences, confirms ethnicity may be a significant factor in determining sentencing. Race equality activists have responded by pointing to the discrimination across the CJS as the driver behind what they say is the 'unjust' mass incarceration of young black men from the community.

 

Parliamentary committee on Human rights to scrutinise Policing and Criminal Justice Bill

26 November 2015

JCHR_imageBy Zephaniah Samuels
The Joint Committee on Human Rights has announced plans to scrutinise proposals set out in the Policing and Criminal Justice Bill, which has significant implications for people who use mental health services, and particularly those from the UK's African Caribbean communities, who continue to be subject to disproportionate and often unwanted contact with officers when in need of mental health care, both while in the community and even more disturbingly when detained on locked psychiatric wards.

 

Mental Health detentions hit all time high amid human rights concerns of its use against Black Britons

24 November 2015

mental_health_butt4By Zephaniah Samuels
New data showing Mental Health Act detentions have shot up by almost 10% in the last 12 months, with people from the UK's African Caribbean communities continuing to be over represented in these figures, even though there aren't high rates of mental illness amongst this group, have raised widespread concerns over the coercive way this power is being used against black Britons.

 

Boadmoor CE steps down amid a series of controversies

20 November 2015

Indi_-_steve_shrub_quits_amid_controversey1The Chief exec of the UKs largest mental health trust, Steve Shrubb, which includes Broadmoor the country's most high secure psychiatric hospitals where disproportionate numbers of people from the UK's African are detained and subject to some of the harshest treatment, has today retired from his post amid a string of controversies including poor CQC inspections, allegations of bullying and reports of almost £4million overspend.

 

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