Up to £1 million a year will be taken from the wages of prisoners who work in communities and used to support victims of crime, ministers said today. About 500 inmates who work outside prisons will see their take-home pay cut by up to 40% and used to help support victims as part of Justice […]


New gangs are forming in prisons as more and more young people are jailed over the riots, a watchdog has said. Chief inspector of prisons Nick Hardwick said it had been a “challenge to keep young people safe” as hundreds were jailed after last month’s looting and violence. He said new gangs were forming in […]


A nurse who spent more than six weeks in custody accused of contaminating saline in a hospital tampering investigation plans to sue police, newspapers reported today. Proceedings against Rebecca Leighton, 27, were discontinued on Friday. One Sunday newspaper said she was planning to sue police for a six-figure sum, claiming wrongful arrest, and another said […]


Penal Reform charity, The Howard League, are ‘out of touch with reality’ said the deputy editor of the national prisoners newspaper Converse, after the charity claimed people prefer to go to jail than complete a community sentence. The claim was made by gaff-prone Howard League Press Officer Sophie Willett (above), a journalist who once claimed […]


A judge has warned a police officer that he may be jailed after being found guilty of assaulting a man he was trying to arrest. Timothy Allatt, 33, a Nottinghamshire Police constable, was found guilty at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court of assaulting Jake Bramley in the early hours of July 25 last year. District Judge Diane […]


The prison population of England and Wales has hit a new record high of 86,608 people, with a rise of nearly 700 this week as the courts took the exceptional step of remanding into custody almost two-thirds of those charged with riot-related offences. Prison governors said that the system now faced “an unprecedented situation” because […]

Clegg has it the wrong way round

CONVERSE The National Prisoners Newspaper for England and Wales 16th August 2011, 15.35hrs – NO Embargo Plans to force former prisoners into work on release from jail are is welcome in principle, but it comes at the wrong end of the sentence said Mark Leech, Editor of Converse the national prisoners newspaper. The plan was […]

Governors Worried – Prisons may not be able to cope with large rioter numbers

CONVERSE: The National Prisoners Newspaper for England and Wales Press Release: 11th August 2011 – No Embargo GOVERNORS ARE WORRIED – PRISONS WON’T BE ABLE TO COPE WITH LARGE RIOTER NUMBERS An already over crowded prison system will not have the capacity to cope with any more than about 800 rioters said Mark Leech, editor […]

Bomb Scare Locks Down Wandsworth Prison

London’s Wandsworth Prison was in lock down today after staff at the prison received a Bomb Scare. All prisoners were locked in their cells as education, training, workshops and morning visiting sessions were all shut down. A Prison Service spokesperson said: “On 11 August staff at Wandsworth prison investigated an alleged bomb threat. “All necessary […]

Shrien Dewani : Can be extradited to South Africa rules Judge

Shrien Dewani can be extradited to South Africa to stand trial over the murder of his wife while on honeymoon, District Judge Howard Riddle said today. The Bristol businessman, 31, is accused of ordering the car-jacking and shooting which left Anni Dewani, 28, dead in a taxi in Cape Town last November. Dewani denies any […]

HMP Wandsworth: Prisoners safety is “now a matter of serious concern”

Our last inspection of HMP Wandsworth in June 2009 was marred by an attempt to subvert the process by moving ‘difficult’ prisoners between Wandsworth and Pentonville so they were not present in either prison during the inspection. This action by managers at the prisons overshadowed the inspection findings at Wandsworth, which otherwise would have reported […]

Time to use a massive show of force

As riots across London entered a third night and spread across the UK it is time for the police to use a massive show of force in order to retake the streets said Mark Leech, editor of Converse. “In no other western European city would police just stand back and watch businesses being looted in […]