Please urgently review and amend your new rules which restrict prisoners access to books and family items, in particular from children. Rules which are inconsistently applied in any event.
  • Petitioning Rt. Hon. Chris Grayling MP

This petition will be delivered to:

Rt. Hon. Chris Grayling MP
Chris grayling

Please urgently review and amend your new rules which restrict prisoners access to books and family items, in particular from children. Rules which are inconsistently applied in any event.

    1. Petition by

      Mary Sweeney

      Cambridge, United Kingdom

Access to books can be crucial for education and rehabilitation. Access to family items are important for continued family connection, and should not additionally punish children of prisoners who need contact.

To:
Rt. Hon. Chris Grayling MP
Chris grayling
Review and amend your new rules which restrict prisoners access to books and personal items from families, in particular from children. Rules which are being inconsistently applied in any event.

Sincerely,
[Your name]

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Not Giving Up!

      Mary Sweeney
      Petition Organizer

      Since the last update there have been various initiatives to get this looked at, in Parliament and elsewhere. The Ministry of Justice continues to stonewall, and Mr Grayling has declined to meet with the Poet Laureate and Howard League for discussions, despite the 28,000 plus of us who have signed this petition to make clear our concern!

      A fundraising initiative - A Night in the Cells - has been started to help highlight the subject, which you can see at: https://www.justgiving.com/teams/anightinthecells

      As Mr Grayling apparently does not intend to address this, plans are being made to take the campaign to Downing Street. In the meantime, all you can do to share this petition on your social media, and to encourage others to sign it, will be wonderful. If you have other thoughts or ideas please do contact me, here or @marysweeney0.

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    2. #booksforprisoners

      Mary Sweeney
      Petition Organizer

      The petition is still receiving steady support and anything you can do to share it, and encourage new people to sign, would be wonderful.

      Howard League have been very active, not least through the #booksforprisoners twitter activity, which many of us have been participating in. They have obtained a legal opinion about the new regulations, many of us have written to our MPs expressing concern, and two Early Day Motions have been tabled. Campaign updates can be found at http://www.howardleague.org/campaign-books-for-prisoners/

      What has been very striking is the widespread support for this campaign, across the political spectrum. Various prison stakeholders, including the Chief Inspector of Prisons, have backed the concerns. There have been many letters to newspapers, most notably last Saturday from a powerful group of Jewish leaders.

      We plan to keep the pressure on until Mr Grayling accepts that our concerns merit a review of the regulations.

      Books for prisoners

      The Howard League for Penal Reform is the oldest penal reform charity in the UK. It was established in 1866, and is named after John Howard, one of the first prison reformers. The Howard League for Penal Reform is entirely independent of government and is funded by voluntary donations and membership subscriptions.

    3. Reached 25,000 signatures
    4. Background information

      Mary Sweeney
      Petition Organizer

      New regulations were introduced into prisons at the end of last year, relating to a rewards system, and a consequence (possibly unintended) has been that prisoners have been restricted in receiving supplies of books and personal items.
      It is possible that the new regulations were not fully thought through, or the consequences misunderstood. This petition therefore asks the Minister to review the regulations with these concerns in mind.
      Books are clearly rehabilitative and educational - not a luxury to be traded with like chocolate. Family gifts are vital to maintaining family involvement, from all points of view.

    5. Reached 20,000 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Anne Cleaver WATERLOOVILLE, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 3 days ago

      I'm signing because books change lives.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Doris Ridgeway LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 6 days ago

      The MOJ are wrong in saying that all prisoners have access to libraries. Access is sporadic due mainly to staff shortages. The impacts of the failure to adequately rehabilitate offenders in UK prisons will have far reaching consequences for society as a whole.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Susan Rowe LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 6 days ago

      Given the shockingly poor literacy rates among those locked up in British prisons, anything and everything that can be done to help individuals improve their reading skills and education levels should be undertaken. This is the surest way of helping prisoners avoid recidivism.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Paul Johnson SHEFFIELD, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 6 days ago

      This is a mean spirited and petty regulation that shames this country.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Wendy Roberts BUCKFASTLEIGH, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 10 days ago

      helping prisoners improve their skills will assist in their rehabilitation

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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