Latest checked: 22nd October 2020
Reports from 250 years ago – and right the way up to the current day too!
Long before the internet became a tool of everyday life people resorted to something that were then known as printed ‘Reports’ – they were ink on paper and you had to go to a real shop and buy them. Then came the internet and humanity stumbled into a new and better digital age – but sadly many of these printed Reports never followed, today they lay hidden collecting dust in basements – despite their importance in historical terms, for researchers today they are gold dust.
On this page The Prison Oracle has sourced, scanned, digitised and gives you access to these valuable and vintage publications.
- The State of the Prisons, John Howard (1777 – 522 pages). In 1773 John Howard was appointed High Sheriff of Bedfordshire and visited Bedford Prison – so appalled was he by what he found that he set off on a life-long journey of penal reform – 245 years later the Chief Inspector of Prisons also visited Bedford Prison (in September 2018) and he too was so appalled by what he found there that he issued an Urgent Notification on the prison.
- The Prison Commissioners – First 20 Years (1878-1898) – created in 1877 the Prison Commission became the first national body responsible for all prisons. They were required to produce Annual Reports on the prison system for Parliament, and these 4,700 pages contain their Annual Reports from their first 20 years.
- English Prisons Today: The Report of the Prison System Enquiry Committee (1922 – 654pp) the ‘Woolf Report’ of a century ago.
- English Prisons Under Local Government (1922 – 324pp) volume 2 of English Prisons Today.
- NEW – Prison Discipline (1922 – 238pp) By Mary Louisa Gordon (1861-1941) who was appointed as the first English Lady Inspector of Prisons in 1908, and remained in post until 1921. Her attitude towards and treatment of women prisoners as explained in this, her 1922 book Penal Discipline, which stands in sharp contrast to that of her male contemporaries, and the categorisation of her approach as ‘feminist’ is reinforced by her documented connections with the suffragette movement. Yet her feminist and suffragist associations also resulted in the marginalisation and dismissal of her work, such that Mary Gordon and Penal Discipline are virtually unknown today. Nevertheless, her insights into the position and needs of women prisoners retain a striking contemporary relevance
- Du Parcq Report (1932 – 57pp) The Report into the riot at HMP Dartmoor on 24th January 1932 – and official photographs used at the trial of the prisoners later sentenced to 99 years.
- Mountbatten Report (1966 – 100pp) Report of the Inquiry into Prison Escapes and Security.
- Radzinowicz Report (1968, 103pp) Regime for long-term prisoners in conditions of maximum security : report of the Advisory Council on the Penal System
- May Report (1979 – 361pp) The Report into the UK Prison System.
- The Maze Prison Escape (1983, 92pp): The Report into the escape of 38 IRA prisoners from what was supposed to be the most secure prison in Europe. It was, and remains, the biggest jailbreak in UK history.
- Managing The Long-Term Prison Population (1984 – 106pp) Revisiting Concentration v Dispersal again.
- Woolf Report (1992 – 625pp) the Report into the April 1990 Strangeways series of Riots.
- Wymott Prison Riot Report (1993 – 61pp) – the Report into the riot in September 1993
- Learmont Report (1994 – 32pp) The Report into the escape of six Exceptional Risk Category A prisoners from the ‘impregnable’ Special Security Unit at HM Prison Whitemoor in September 1994.
- Woodcock Report (1995 – 160pp) The Report into prison security and the escape of Category A & B prisoners from HM Prison Parkhurst in January 1995.
Additionally we have more recent reports for speed and ease of reference
- The Carter Report 2003: Managing Offenders, Reducing Crime: A new approach 2003. The report that lead to the creation of the National Offender Management Service – which was itself replaced by HM Prison & Probation Service in 2017
- The Corston Report 2007: The blueprint report that called for a ‘distinct, radically different, visibly-led, strategic, proportionate, holistic, woman-centred, integrated approach to Women in Prison’
- The IMB Governance Review 2014: An independent Review of the Governance of Independent Monitoring Boards
- The Harris Review Report Changing Prisons, Saving Lives. Report of the Independent Review into Self-inflicted Deaths in Custody of 18-24 year olds 2015
- The Farmer Report for Men 2017: An independent Review of the Maintaining Family Ties for Men
- The Farmer Report for Women 2019: An independent Review of the Maintaining Family Ties for Women
- The Farmer Report – update on progress, 30th October 2019
- The Black Report on Drugs 2020: An independent review on Drugs, 27th February 2020
With more coming soon….