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The Leveson Report and some responses

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Newspaper editors sign up to Leveson recommendations

David Cameron tells editors: implement Leveson to avoid press law

 Leveson report: the speed read

Lord Justice Leveson's 1,987-page report establishes the findings of his 17-month inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. Jane Martinson offers a five-minute guide to exactly what the report says about the key issues

Leveson report - executive summary

Executive summary of Lord Justice Leveson's report on the 'culture, practices and ethics of the press'

All the above, helpfully and thankfully, easily available on The Guardian website.... and much more.

 

Robert Francis, the Texan judge closing America's jails

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Robert Francis, the Texan judge closing America's jails

Here is an excerpt from this Guardian story about the conservatives now aligning with liberals to reduce incarceration and the costs of prison:

"......Until recently, these people would have been discarded in overcrowded prisons. After all they were caught in Texas – the toughest state of a nation that locks up more offenders than any other in the world, with more than one in every 100 adults behind bars. Instead they receive counselling and assistance with housing and employment, although they can be sent back to jail if they fail drug tests, abscond or reoffend. One woman, a crystal meth addict, tells me the sessions in court are like walking on eggshells. But there are small incentives for those doing well, such as $10 gift vouchers or – on the day I visited – barbecue lunch out with Francis. "These people have to believe we care and want them to succeed," he tells me later. "Once they believe in me they can start to change."

They are beneficiaries of a revolution in justice sweeping the United States, one with illuminating lessons for Britain. It is a revolt led by hardline conservatives who have declared prison a sign of state failure. They say it is an inefficient use of taxpayers' money when the same people, often damaged by drink, drugs, mental health problems or chaotic backgrounds, return there again and again.

Remarkably, this revolution was unleashed in "hang 'em high" Texas, which prides itself on its toughness and still holds more executions than other states. But instead of building more prisons and jailing ever more people, Texas is now diverting funds to sophisticated rehabilitation programmes to reduce recidivism. Money has been poured into probation, parole and specialist services for addicts, the mentally ill, women and veterans. And it has worked: figures show even violent crime dropping at more than twice the national average, while cutting costs and reducing prison populations.

In the process, right-wingers have allied with liberals who long advocated such an approach, detoxifying one of the most poisonous political debates at a time when US party divisions have never been sharper. "This used to be one of the most emotive and ideologically divisive issues in the country," says Adam Gelb of the Pew Center on the States, a social-policy research charity which is backing the initiative. "We are starting to see the triumph of sound science over soundbites.

"There is not agreement on the causes of crime or even the purpose of punishment," Gelb continues, "but there is agreement on the solutions. Liberals and conservatives are getting to the same destination from very different routes." "

How the British stole Zimbabwe

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How the British stole Zimbabwe

One of the great, totally appalling, imperial thefts of the 19th century....illustrating that society is based on theft and great empires on crime.....Add this short film as a prelude to reading Charles Van Onselen's Chibaro [1976, London: Pluto Press], a fine social history of the horrors of gold-mining in Southern Rhodesia. The latter shows that the establishment of both capital assets and a labour force in this territory very much required the use and abuse of criminal law.

 

South Africa: Dealing with sexual abuse in prison

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South Africa: Dealing with sexual abuse in prison

 

"CAPE TOWN, 5 October 2012 (PlusNews) - “Here is the mess,” the warder said when he shoved Michael Adams* into an overcrowded cell in Allandale Prison, near South Africa’s Cape Town, 10 years ago. That first night, Adams was raped by two men, and he was repeatedly assaulted during much of his time behind bars. 

“Two gangsters came over to me and made me stand naked in front of the gang,” he said recently, now out of prison and working at a hospital. “They did things to me.” 

After his ordeal, a nurse told him, simply, “This is what happens in prison.” When he complained, the warder laughed at him. 

Adams says he contracted HIV from those assaults. But because he was still awaiting trial, he had to wait two months to see a psychologist, and, despite begging for an HIV test, it would be two years before he was diagnosed. He was not given access to antiretrovirals, and only started taking them after his release."

To read more of this excellent article from PlusNews: Global Aids/HIV News and Analysis, click on the headline above.......

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