Stop children from suffering when their parents go to jail

23 May 2024 2:14 am

Writing about the impact on children of having a parent in prison, you always hit the same brick wall: no…

The power of restorative justice

18 May 2024 9:00 am

In a week when the Chief Inspector of Prisons published an Urgent Notification detailing the horrors of HMP Wandsworth, I…

What was banned this week?

6 January 2024 9:00 am

Riveting and heart-wrenching: BBC1’s Time reviewed

4 November 2023 9:00 am

‘Only with women’ is a phrase used by more cynical TV types for a show that takes something that’s been…

When did ‘best before’ dates begin?

6 August 2022 9:00 am

An idea past its sell-by date Waitrose has announced the removal of ‘best before’ dates from many food products. –…

Man of mystery: Not Everybody Lives the Same Way, by Jean-Paul Dubois, reviewed

29 January 2022 9:00 am

For Jean-Paul Dubois, as for Emily Dickinson, ‘March is the month of expectation’. A prolific writer, he limits his literary…

Where in the world will you find the cheapest petrol?

9 October 2021 9:00 am

Whole-life sentences How many prisoners are serving whole-life sentences? — There are currently 74 prisoners in prison with whole-life tariffs;…

Colin Pitchfork should die in jail

17 July 2021 3:00 pm

Colin Pitchfork, the child rapist and murderer who was sentenced to life in prison in 1988, will soon be a…

Seldom less than gripping: Banged Up podcast reviewed

8 May 2021 9:00 am

Prison-based podcast Banged Up, now in its second series, is far more uplifting — and less soapy — than its…

No, jail staff shouldn't call prisoners 'residents'

10 March 2021 5:30 pm

What do you call someone in prison? An inmate? Prisoner? How about a ‘resident’? That’s how those locked up in…

Perfect to fall asleep to: Good Grief reviewed

13 February 2021 9:00 am

Good Grief is a new drama starring Sian Clifford who shot to fame as the older sister in Fleabag. The…

We must stop treating juvenile offenders as lost causes

12 December 2020 9:00 am

Juvenile offenders need safety, care and a proper education

Consigned to a living tomb: Aziz BineBine endures 18 years in a subterranean prison

11 April 2020 9:00 am

Imagine being on indefinite lockdown, imprisoned in a dark, underground, 6’ x 12’ cell, freezing in winter, boiling in summer…

Terror is the toughest issue facing the Tories

7 February 2020 10:00 pm

A prisoner is released early and just days later attacks people. It then emerges that he was known to still…

Terror cells: how Britain’s prisons became finishing schools for extremists

7 February 2020 10:00 pm

Our prisons are fuelling radicalism, not fighting it

As prisons minister, I saw how bad things really are on the inside

7 February 2020 10:00 pm

What I saw as prisons minister

How violent are our jails?

19 October 2019 9:00 am

Parliamentary days Could one of parliament’s longest sessions be followed by one of its shortest? — The shortest was between…

My feud with Conrad Black

25 May 2019 9:00 am

Goody goody gumdrops! The Donald has pardoned Lord Black and I couldn’t be happier. Conrad got a bum deal and…

Credit: RoBeDeRo

The mosque where it’s the men who make the tea

18 May 2019 9:00 am

On returning from a brief trip to Istanbul, where inside the mosques women are still very much kept to one…


Why former prisoners make the best lawyers

12 January 2019 9:00 am

Kampala   I am terrified of being with former death-row prisoner Susan Kigula. This is because she qualified for her…

The story of the cook who spent 10 years preparing food for those on death row

1 December 2018 9:00 am

You don’t need headphones to appreciate, and catch on to, the unique selling point of radio: its immediacy, its directness,…

The Maze Prison in 2006. Photo: REX/ Shutterstock

What are the writers of The Archers trying to achieve with the Freddie Pargetter story?

27 October 2018 9:00 am

‘I’m not here to rehabilitate,’ says Pamela, who teaches creative writing to prisoners in Northern Ireland. She doesn’t think of…

How bad is the drugs problem in British jails?

25 August 2018 9:00 am

Cultured tastes Dawn Butler accused Jamie Oliver of ‘cultural appropriation’ for coming up with his own recipe for jerk rice.…

Our jails crisis is even worse than we’ve been told

25 August 2018 9:00 am

You need a strong stomach to be Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons, as a letter from Peter Clarke —…