Prison sell-off may fund village jail plan
Britain’s large Victorian prisons could be sold off and replaced with dozens of small specialist units under plans being drawn up by the government.
Lord Falconer, the new justice secretary, said the prison estate needed to be transformed to make the incarceration of prisoners – particularly women, young people and mentally ill offenders – more humane.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Saturday 12 May 2007, page 1
Alcohol at home ‘cuts teen binge drinking’
Children who drink alcohol at home are less likely to become problem drinkers, researchers said yesterday.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Saturday 12 May 2007, page 13
Mum kills child with skipping rope
A depressed mum strangled her daughter with a skipping rope just weeks after pleading that she be taken into care.
Source:- Daily Mirror, Saturday 12 May 2007, page 27
Scientists back folic acid in flour to prevent babies being born with disabilities
Scientists have called on food watchdogs to back a plan to add folic acid to flour and bread and help prevent babies being born with severe disabilities.
Source:- Daily Mail, Saturday 12 May 2007, page 12
Judges let paedophile live at school
Two judges let a caretaker live in a primary school’s grounds for almost a year — after he was charged with sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl.
Source:- The Sun, Saturday 12 May 2007, page 31
Study reveals plight of child carers
Nearly 17,000 child carers are acting as nurses for their mentally ill parents without formal state support, the first study to investigate the unique risks faced by the children of those suffering serious mental health problems reveals.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 13 May 2007, page 19
Town struggles to cope with Roma children
A Berkshire town has been struggling to cope with nearly 90 Roma children, one as young as 10, who have arrived unaccompanied from eastern Europe. The parents of the children have apparently paid someone in Romania to send them to Slough, forcing the council to set up a special assessment team and spend £150,000 helping the children. It has called for more government help to offset the strain on other services.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 13 May 2007, page 10
Police investigate ‘sex abuse’ in virtual world
A website in which users travel through a virtual world in the guise of an invented character is under police investigation over claims of online sexual abuse.
Source:- Sunday Times, 13 May 2007, page 10
Cutbacks ‘rationing services for elderly’
Hundreds of thousands of elderly people have had their social care cut in the past decade.
Seven in 10 councils in England have been forced to “ration” services since Labour came to power, according to the Local Government -Association.
Source:- Sunday Telegraph, 13 May 2007, page 10
Cherie Blair speaks out against pregnant women sent to jail
As new government figures showed that about 100 babies a year are born to mothers behind bars, Mrs Blair called for “alternative sentences” for all except the most serious women criminals.
Source:- Independent on Sunday, 13 May 2007, page 2
Mentally ill children will not be placed on adult wards
Ministers have pledged to ensure that children suffering from mental health problems are not placed on adult wards.
Source:- Independent on Sunday, 13 May 2007, page 28
Simple DIY kit will show mental health dangers of cannabis
Scientists are developing a revolutionary test to identify people at risk of cannabis-induced schizophrenia.
Source:- Independent on Sunday, 13 May 2007, page 31
Honour killing riddle of knifed girl, 17
Police launched a murder inquiry after a pregnant teenager was found dead with stab wounds at her home.
Sana Ali, 17, had knife injuries to her stomach and slashes to her arms.
Greater Manchester Police refused to speculate if Sana’s death was a so-called ‘honour killing’.
Source:- Mail on Sunday, 13 May 2007, page 10
Children report online abuse
More than half of children using the internet have had an “unwanted experience” online as the trend of using social networking sites increases, a new NSPCC poll suggests.
Source:-The Times, Monday 14 May 2007, page 29
Warning over self-harm by mental health patients
Levels of suicide and self-harming are soaring in mental health wards where there are few activities, locked wards and constant surveillance, according to a study. The study, led by Len Bowers at City University and based on 136 of the country’s 550 mental health wards, found the cost of dealing with self-harm in wards is more than £90m a year, and some of the worst rates of self-harm were in wards which operate a locked door policy. The mental health charity Mind said: “Hospitals are sometimes hindering people’s recovery rather than helping them to recover.”
Source:- The Guardian, Monday 14 May 2007, page 8
Doctors hand out a record 31m anti-depressant prescriptions
Prescriptions for antidepressant drugs are at a record high, with prescriptions rising by 10% last year, figures in a report by mental health charity Mind reveal.
The report estimates that 93% of GPs prescribe the drugs because of a lack of alternatives, such as talking therapies.
Source:- The Daily Mail, Monday 14 May 2007, page 2
Corporate manslaughter bill faces crunch vote
The government is trying to reach a compromise with Labour backbenchers over whether deaths in custody should be covered by new corporate manslaughter legislation, before a debate on Wednesday.
Ministers had originally excluded deaths in custody from the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Bill but this was overturned in a Lords vote in February.
Source:- The Financial Times, Monday 14 May 2007 page 2
Kids’ hell in ‘prison’
A dad locked his stepkids in the dark every night, unscrewed their lightbulbs and made them use a bucket as a toilet, Sheffield crown court has heard. The man and his wife, who cannot be named, admitted child cruelty. The man got a suspended jail sentence and a night curfew. The mum got a community order and the kids are now in care.
Source:- The Sun, Monday 14 May 2007, page 12
Call to revamp ‘woeful’ New Deal
Former welfare reform minister Frank Field has lambasted the New Deal for the young unemployed, saying after ten years it has had no impact on youth unemployment at the cost of £1.9bn.
Source:- The Financial Times, Monday 14 May 2007, page 2
Prison workers in dispute over pay
About 400 prison staff, including medical officers and psychologists, will start a work-to-rule today in protest against relatively low pay and the failure to implement an equal pay deal.
Source:- The Financial Times, Monday 14 May 200,7 page 2
Families are given power of attorney to end lives of the sick
Anti-euthanasia campaigners are protesting against regulations under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 allowing people to instruct relatives to withdraw life-sustaining treatment from them should they become desperately ill.
People will be able to hand over a lasting power of attorney to relatives which would come into force should they become mentally incapacitated and could include consent to stop life-sustaining treatment.
However, campaign group Alert said people were not yet aware that this meant they would be denied food or water as well as drugs.
Source:- The Daily Mail, Monday 14 May 2007, page 4
No more school as council opens ‘learning centres’
Knowsley Council is to radically overhaul the borough’s education system, by replacing all secondary schools with new “learning centres”, open at weekends and during school holidays, teaching both children and adults, and abandoning formal classes for internet-based learning.
The move is designed to boost the borough’s below-average performance in school league tables and high levels of pupil disengagement.
Source:- The Independent, Monday 14 May 2007, page 8
Convicts with tags reoffend
Growing number of criminals are committing new crimes while wearing electronic tags, according to a report compiled by Tory MP Grant Shaps.
Source:- Daily Mirror, Monday 14 May 2007, page 11
£2k court cells more expensive than Ritz
Taxpayers are forking out nearly £2,000 a night to keep criminals in court cells due to prison overcrowding.
Source:-The Sun, Monday 14 May 2007, page 25
‘Ban hoodies’ call
More than four out of ten Britons want to ban people in shopping centres from wearing garments that obscure the face.
Source:-The Times, Monday 14 May 2007, page 6
Call for violent pupils to be given risk assessments
Scottish teachers have called for violent pupils to be given formal risk assessments before being allowed back into class.
It follows fears that levels of indiscipline are rising in schools, with teachers more likely than ever to be attacked.
In a bid to cut classroom violence, delegates at the annual conference of the Scottish Secondary Teachers Association voted unanimously in favour of a motion to force local authorities to introduce risk assessments.
Source: The Herald, Monday 14 May 2007
Father of murdered baby Aaron Gilbert wants to name and shame
The father of murdered baby Aaron Gilbert wants to name and shame those who failed to prevent the tragedy.
Gareth Gilbert spoke out yesterday, saying he may take legal action, after the publication of a damning report criticising the authorities for failing to stop the 13-month-old being beaten to death by his mum’s boyfriend Andrew Lloyd.
He is serving 24 years in jail while Aaron’s mother, Rebecca Lewis, received six years after becoming the first UK woman to be convicted of familial homicide because she did nothing to stop Lloyd killing her son two years ago.
This week’s report, which said that social workers failed to properly follow up child abuse allegations, calls for lessons to be learned by Swansea social services, the Probation Service, the NHS and South Wales Police.
OAP manager theft charge
The former manager of a care home for people with mental health problems appeared before a special court yesterday on theft charges.
Gary Michael Otton was remanded in custody by magistrates at Llandudno.
He was charged with four counts of theft involving £4,000 and spanning a two year period.