Snakes & Ladders: Regressive effects of sentence progression

SPARC participated in the Edinburgh Conference on Reducing the Use of Imprisonment (Surgeons Hall, 8-9 June 2017), presenting a paper exploring divergent experiences of prisoners serving life sentences. Through 'sentence progression', prisoners are meant to transition to lower levels of security, testing their levels of responsibility and safety, ultimately achieving parole. However, while some prisoners [...]

What society needs to learn from people with convictions

Clinks, an organisation that supports voluntary organisations working with 'offenders' and their families issued a call for responses to this question: "What do offenders, prisoners and ex-offenders need to learn?". It will publish responses sometime in 2017. SPARC has submitted a response as follows... We are not children who “need to learn”. The question that [...]

‘Life means life’ call ignores the reality of sentencing

As with most notorious crimes that make the headlines, politicians can’t help but take part in some political point scoring. Ruth Davidson is no exception, and her call for whole- life tariffs after a successful sentence appeal in a harrowing murder case is quite opportunistic. This blog will briefly comment on three issues of this [...]