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

    • stella cheng FRANCE
      • about 15 hours ago

      what an outrageously stupid measure...cutting off a lifeline for the mind.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • paul sparrow LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 4 days ago

      I believe that prison is fundamentally society's cop out, as a result of our failure to create a fair and decent world. Having failed, we put people, who are unable to cope adequately, in prison AS punishment but NOT to be punished. During their 'exile' we should do all in our power to help them cope when they finally return. That includes treating them with respect and providing education and books. It is essential that we do not further alienate them; that includes maintaining vital links with family and children.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Adam Wallace LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 4 days ago

      Banning prisoners from receiving books is inhuman. It prevents any chance of education for 99% of prisoners, & is punishment without purpose. Only someone as out of touch as Chris Grayling would enact such a measure. It must be opposed by all those with a social conscience.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Tam Murray Threipland LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 4 days ago

      It is quite obviously vitally important

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Faye McDonell COVENTRY, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 7 days ago

      I'm signing because I work directly with prisoners aged 17-25 in the midlands. I have seen the impact of not being able to have access to what in my view as being essential tools (books etc ) to learn and grow as Individuals. My favourite phase is "using time not doing time". Something Mr Grayling appears to not be able understand if he is hoping to reduce the rates of crime in our communities.

      I am also entirely for prisoners being able to recieve items from their families. By stripping prisoners of the basics they begin loose even more of their already confused identity. What me grayling is doing is breeding mistrust and hate something these young people are already well versed in due to the troubled years of their young lives, how is that rehabilitation??? We need to focus on building their sense of belonging, identity, capitalising on their unique strengths to build meaningful lives in the future.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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