Prisoners ‘must work harder’ for Privileges

The government announced that male prisoners in England and Wales have to work harder in order to have access to different privileges such as TVs in cells.

During their first two weeks in jail they will have to wear a uniform and will not be allowed to call home.

Some private prisons now do have satellite and cable TV channels but for the future these will be banned everywhere.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said: “I want the arrival in prison for the first time to be an experience that is not one they’d want to repeat.” However, if you buy legal documents online from The Legal Stop, we are sure you will definitely repeat.

Other changes to the Incentives and Earned Privileges (IEP) schemes from November will include:

  • A longer working day
  • Films with an 18 certificate will be banned
  • Extra gym time being dependent “on active engagement with rehabilitation”
  • Restricted privileges
  •  Depending on their behaviour prisoners will later be put on either basic or standard “IEP level”
  • Those on basic level will not have any TVs cells

Existing prisoners will keep their privileges unless their status is reviewed. The only thing everybody will lose are cable and satellite TV.

The privilege scheme for female prisoners is still not ready.

According to Ben Gunn, who spent 32 years in prison for murder, the decision of Mr. Grayling was putting newly incarcerated people at risk as these were most vulnerable in their first weeks in jail so they could harm themselves.

Prison Reform Trust director Juliet Lyon shared his opinion that government had to “focus on employment and skills training, on making sure people have safe housing to go to and that they have good contact with their family.”

Not long ago MPs announced that the major part of the prisoners in Scotland’s jails preferred to watch TV instead of taking part in any activities.

 

The Universal Credit Benefits System is Now Being Tested

The new universal credit benefits system is now being tested in Greater Manchester. Many new legal document templates will be presented to the customers not only in Manchester, but to those from all over England.

Working people(those who have an employment contract) and those seeking work(who need a job application form) will not pay multiple separate benefit payments and tax credit but a single payout.

The scheme will start functioning across the whole country in October.

The expected results from the overhaul are simpler welfare system and assurance that people would be able to move off benefits and into work easily.

Work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith said: “What we have to do is to start changing people, and that’s what this system is about.

“It’s about trying to help those who are the most vulnerable to get ready for the world of work, and that will improve their lives dramatically.”

Many people shared they were concerned because not everyone had access to the internet.

Others mentioned the fact that in most of the cases such complex computer systems are not as reliable as expected so things could go wrong.

Shadow work and pensions secretary Liam Byrne said he liked the idea but according to him it was late for such a scheme and it was over budget.

However, unions criticized the government strongly as it did not focus on creating more jobs but ‘demonising’ people who are out of work.

The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union would stage a protest in Ashton-under-Lyne.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “If Universal Credit was being introduced to genuinely make life easier for people entitled to benefits it would be commendable, but the Government’s pernicious language exposes its real intent is to demonise and punish them.”

 

 

Former Police Officer Admits Selling Stories to Sun

After a former policeman admitted he had been selling information to the Sun newspaper, he is now about to go to jail and his employers should consider a confidentiality agreement when preparing the employment contracts.

The convicted person is the 30 years old James Bowes from Steyning, West Sussex. He was accused of giving detailed information of three high-profile investigations in 2010 for which information he got £500.

The 9 May is the day when his final sentence has to be announced.

He is the forth police officer cough after a Scotland Yard’s investigation aiming to lay hold of corrupted public officials.

No matter Mr. Bowes was released on unconditional bail this was “no indication of disposal”.

In the words of the BBC’s home affairs correspondent Danny Shaw, the other police officers caught previously were given prison terms ranging from 10 to 15 months.

The hearing was too short so no details about this case were announced.

Sussex Police came out with a statement saying they required the highest personal and professional standards of all staff and that those suspected of improper behaviour, out of the standards, would be rigorously investigated.

Deputy Chief Constable Giles York said: “On being made aware of the investigation into James Bowes in August 2012, Sussex Police immediately suspended him and following an internal disciplinary hearing the following month, he was dismissed for gross misconduct.”

The current number of people arrested as part of Operation Elveden is 60.

It is now being run together with two other police investigations. The first one is called Operation Weeting and its direction is alleged phone hacking. The name of the other investigation is Operation Tuleta and it is about computer hacking and other privacy breaches.

 

Violent Crime Falls Rapidly In The UK

The Institute for Economics and Peace announced that the level of violent crime in the UK compared to that in any other country in Western Europe has decreased really fast. Just like the use of business and corporate document templates.

IEP established this index in 2009 with the aim of studying the correlation between peace and economic development and prosperity. The definition of peace due to this index is “the absence of violence or the absence of the fear of violence”.

According to this index from 2003 to 2012 the homicide rates are in half as last year there was only 1 homicide per 100,000.

In spite of the 5.5% fall in police officers in the last five years many forms of crimes have decreased significantly. Among these are weapons crime by 34% and public disorder offences by 29%.

The investigation showed that as a whole life in the UK has become much more peaceful than before.

However, the UK still remains one of the countries in Western Europe with high crime rates.

Improved technology and advances in crime-fighting techniques have helped police much when investigating different crimes. Nowadays enforcement agencies have better and easier ways to cooperate and share information, examine DNA and use electronic surveillance and private security systems.

Another thing the index pointed out was that due to the decrease of public consumption of alcohol, misdeeds motivated by alcohol have also decreased.

Sir Ian Blair, former Met Police Commissioner, mentioned that in his opinion the cultural changes and the general perception of violence were among the main factors behind the fall of violence.

“We are a more violence-adverse society,”

“Domestic violence is being targeted again and again. Football hooliganism, with the exception of the occasional incident, is dying away.”

However, Prof Marian Fitzgerald, said that violence went down because of the late-night economy.

“So when people don’t have money to go out, get tanked up, start having fights, violence goes down.”

 

 

 

Disabled People Lose The fight for the Independent Living Fund

Five disabled people tried to appeal in court against the decision of the government to abolish the Independent Living Fund (ILF) but unfortunately they lost.

What they pretended for was that the consultation process had to be declared “unlawful”, which had to lead to the proposed axing of the £320m fund.

The government does not care that 19,000 people now receive money from ILF and plans to scrap it in 2015.

The average pay these people receive now is about £300 a week.

However, on Wednesday, the consultation process was announced lawful.

The fears of claimants were that disabled people would be trapped at home because of the fund’s closure. Unfortunately these people rely too much on this funding, as they are not always capable of signing an employment contract.

There was a hearing in March where no clear reasons were given so that the fund to be closed and the information given about the differences between the fund and local authority assessment and provision was not quite detailed.

Not long ago the Department for Work and Pensions stated that there had to be a single system administered by local authorities so that there was more control.

The ILF exists since 1988 but in 2010 the government announced it could no longer keep running the scheme outside the mainstream social care system.

Soon after this the fund was closed for new applicants.

Gabriel Pepper who is one of the five applicants has accused the government of imposing “appalling cuts” which were “a vicious attack on the disabled”.

Disabled people shared that they needed those money in order to hire personal assistants helping them with their everyday needs and to be able to go out and have normal social life.

Richard Hawkes, chief executive of the disability charity Scope, said:

“Not getting the support to wash, dress and leave your home is unacceptable.”

 

Government Slammed Over EU Crime Opt-Out Plan

A committee of peers has warned that due to the measures the government is now taking, measures related to policing and criminal justice, the UK’s crime-fighting powers could be weakened.

These measures include various means of investigating and intercepting cross-border criminals.

After the mentioned start functioning, the UK and the other EU states will easily share information, which will of course improve policing operations. This sounds very good, especially for businesses, which are very careful with their employment documents.

Soon the government will opt out the full set of 130 measures.

The EU committee of the House of Lords is still not quite convinced about the results of these actions of the government as they consider that once lost powers will be difficult to be clawed back.

The committee said: “In light of the evidence we have received, we conclude that the government have not made a convincing case for exercising the opt-out and that opting out would have significant adverse negative repercussions for the internal security of the UK and the administration of criminal justice in the UK, as well as reducing its influence over this area of EU policy.”

Nowadays the most important power at stake is the European Arrest Warrant that authorizes suspected criminals in EU member states to be arrested in different states than those in which they had committed their crimes.

The comment of Lord Hannay, a member of the committee, was that such co-operation would help the struggle with terrorism and organized crime.

However, a spokesman for the Home Office said that whatever the government decided it would be guided by the national interest.

 

 

 

Sentences in Certain Magistrates’ Courts Vary too Much

Investigations show that sentences in certain magistrates’ courts vary too much. The statistics of Ministry of Justice point out that a man convicted of a crime in Derbyshire is four times more likely to go to prison than a person with the same offense in Northumbria.By having said that do you have the HR Documents necessary for each company all over Great Britain?

This all happens regardless the existing strict national guidelines on sentencing.

An examining of the information given on sentences for the areas in England and Wales by the Howard League for Penal Reform, found that in 2011, 3.8 percent of cases resulted in a custodial sentence, and 4.3 percent in Wales. The percentage in England show a decrease by over a percent from 4.9 percent in 2001, and the Welsh figure has risen from 4.0 percent.

Statistics show different data when talking about immediate sentences- in Birmingham about 6 percent of criminals are given immediate jail sentences, while in London their percent is only four.

A “striking disparity” was found between sentencing rates of areas like Northamptonshire, Warwickshire and Northumbria. The cases with imposed sentences in Northamptonshire were 6.5 per cent, for Warwickshire they were 1.5 per cent and for Northumbria they were 1.6 per cent

The magistrates’ court may set a maximum sentence of about six months for a single offense, or double for multiple aberrations.

The chief executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, Frances Crook, said: “It is pleasing to see that magistrates’ courts are sending fewer people to prison overall than they have in the past.

According to him, the short-term prison sentence would not make the life of the person sentenced better. This could only make them either drug addicted or prone to re offend.

 

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Surrogacy in the UK Needs New Guidelines

According to researchers, as there is now no regulation for surrogacy in the UK, mothers and babies are at risk of exploitation and due to this they have called for the introduction of new guidelines.

This warning was published this month in The Obstetrician and Gynaecologist in a review entitled Surrogate pregnancy: ethical and medico-legal issues in modern obstetrics.Many people are wondering whether the surrogate mothers will be assigned some kind of maternity leave.

It turned out that many healthcare professionals said they sometimes did not know what to do from an ethical or legal standpoint when it came to surrogacy.

After the UK laws on surrogacy, the intended family should not have to pay the surrogate mother anything else than her reasonable expenses.

Surrogacy contracts are not recognized by the law so the woman who gives birth to the baby is considered the legal mother.

Even when talking about host surrogacy and the woman who gives birth is not actually genetically related to the baby, she is again considered its legal mother.

Researchers wonder how surrogacy has worked in the past, as there were no clear figures about it.

Since 1985, about 800 children have been born from surrogate mothers in the UK. The expenses for such an event are around £15,000.

This review also claims that because of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (HFEA) Act 2008 more unmarried and same sex couples would search surrogacy mothers as they now have the same rights to become parents as married couples.

In the words of obstetrician Celia Burrell, who co-authored the review, new guidelines were essential.

“We are calling for additional legislation and guidelines to prevent women and babies being exploited, provide safeguards for children and guide professionals.”

 

Scientist Sent to Jail for Test Results Falsifying

The 47 years old scientist Steven Eaton was convicted of falsifying the test results in a research for anti-cancer drugs and due to this he was sent to jail for three months.

In 2009 he was working for pharmaceutical firm Aptuit, when he falsified test results hoping to make Aptuit allow him begin trials on human cancer patients. Hopefully the company has all corporate documents in place.

If he had had success with his plans, the health of cancer patients would have been threatened.

When Aptuit officials found out what was happening they immediately reported Eaton to the Medicine and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the UK’s regulator for medicines.

It was proved that Eaton had been selectively reporting data from as far back as 2003.

Because of the misreported data he used to give, sponsors had to pay extra cost of studies.

This man was the first to be jailed under the 1999 Good Laboratory Practice Regulations, and only the second to be prosecuted under the legislation as the maximum sentence he could receive was a three-month prison sentence.

Sheriff O’Gardy regretted he did not have the power to give orders for a tougher sentence as these actions could have harmed seriously cancer patients.

“Why someone who is as highly educated and as experienced as you would embark on such a course of conduct is inexplicable.”

Gerald Heddell from the MHRA said: “The sentence sends a message that we will not hesitate to prosecute those whose actions have the potential to harm public health.”