News round up: Big rise in rate of self-harm in jail, says charity

Big rise in rate of self-harm in jail, says charity

Rates of self-harm in jail have rocketed in the last four years, a prison reform charity claims today. The Howard League for Penal Reform says the number of prisoners deliberately injuring themselves had risen at four times the rate of the jail population increase.

In 2003 there were 16,393 incidents of self-harm in England and Wales but last year the number had risen to 22,459 incidents, the charity says. It amounts to a 37% increase, almost four times the 9.5% rise in the prison population for the same period, the Howard League adds
Read more on this story in The Daily Telegraph

Let dads bond with newborns, says study

Fathers should be allowed to stay in hospital overnight to bond with their newborn babies, a thinktank says in a report published today.

Postnatal double rooms where both parents could be with their baby should be routine within 10 years, says the Fatherhood Institute. It accuses the NHS of ignoring the important role of fathers after birth, viewing them as an “optional extra”, even though most now attended the birth.

Read more on this story in The Guardian
Mum who left kids escapes jail

A mother who left her two children home alone for several days with £20 has escaped jail. The boy aged 12 and girl of 14 spent the cash on alcohol and chocolate.

They were found by housing officers three days after they were left to fend for themselves in King’s Lynn, Norfolk. The mother, who cannot be named, only returned from her trip to London with a boyfriend after social services were alerted.
Read more on this story in The Sun

Britain is ‘ten years behind other countries in reforming its benefits system, at the cost of £1.5bn a year

Britain is a decade behind other countries on welfare reform and is wasting up to £1.5billion a year on benefit payments, a report by centre-right think-tank Policy Exchange warns today.

Researchers say that handing over responsibility for back-to-work schemes to private companies and charities could save the taxpayer massive sums.

Read more on this story in The Daily Mail

Women at risk of assault failed by new law, say judges

Thousands of women are at risk of assault because new laws to curb domestic violence have backfired, deterring victims from seeking help,The Times has learnt.

Since legislation was introduced in July to criminalise domestic abuse at least 5,000 women have failed to report violent partners, judges have claimed. Under the Domestic Violence Act 2007 a breach of a non-molestation order is now a criminal offence and not dealt with in the civil courts.

But battered wives, and sometimes husbands, are reluctant to seek an order for fear of giving their partners a criminal record and, potentially, a prison sentence of up to five years.
Read more on this story in The Times

More districts ‘deprived’ as local services are axed

Nearly half of all neighbourhoods in England have become more “geographically deprived” over the past three years, according to a new government report. It found that closures of post office, surgeries, schools and shops have had a deep impact on 14,493 out of 32,439 communities.

The Oxford University study highlights levels of deprivation in regions which have traditionally lacked services, but also warns that even prosperous regions such as the South East are now home to some of the most deprived communities in the UK.
Read more on this story in The Times


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