“For specific offender types, denial of responsibility was not associated with sexual or violent recidivism.” See Harkins et al. in Archives of Sexual Behaviour. 44, 157-166. (February 2019)
Miscarriages of justice happen. Even in the best legal systems. Most people believe that there are systems in place to put things right. The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) was set up following the notorious cases of the Guilford 4 and the Birmingham 6 to do just that.
But it doesn’t work like that in reality. The CCRC is often unable to help victims of wrongful conviction. The prisoner has been found guilty by a court and therefore remains guilty in the eyes of the public as well as the Criminal Justice System; and it does not stop there…The Problem
To challenge the policy and practice in the current system through which prisoners who maintain their innocence are reviewed and progressed.Objectives
- The All Party Parliamentary Group on Miscarriages of Justice held a meeting on 5th February. Barry Sheerman MP, Chair, announced that a Commission is to be set up to investigate, take evidence, and receive submissions etc. At the end of a lively meeting with presentations by Lucy Powell MP on JENGbA, and an appeals solicitor, the Chair asked for help and information from families and support groups, so that the APPG can feed evidence through to the government.
- Support groups learn to work together: before the 9 January APPG meeting, there was an informal meeting of a number of support groups: PPMI, MoJO Scotland, FASO, JENGbA, Innovation for Justice and BFMS. Ways of working together were discussed.
- Annual Lecture 2018: 60 people attended our meeting in the House of Commons, Monday 10 December. They included legal professionals, representatives of related organisations, ex-prisoners and prisoners’ families. There were excellent presentations by a parole solicitor and a forensic psychologist and also by 2 ex prisoners. A lively discussion followed.
- Christmas Greetings to Prisoners Maintaining Innocence. Over 250 prisoners received a card and message from PPMI last Christmas and we received many replies.
- Inside Time article published: an article summarising the results of 200 replies to our questionnaire has been published in Inside Time. You can find it on their website, August edition, p.22.