Laura Janes: Children will not get out of jail

by Carl Gardner on March 9, 2014

Laura Janes of the Howard League for Penal Reform spoke at London’s “Grayling Day” demonstration on Friday, about cuts to prison legal aid specifically.

Mr Grayling has removed most prison law work from legal aid entirely

she said.

That means mothers cannot get legal help to remain with their babies inside prison; that means that people who are eligible to move to open conditions … will face the parole board alone; that means that children who have been granted early release because they have made great progress will not be able to get out of jail, because they have got no to go to, and no lawyer to help them get a home and make a fresh start.

She attacked Chris Grayling’s attitude to prisoners, and what she clearly sees as his complacency:

Mr Grayling says quite clearly that he does not believe they should have access to legal aid for no other reason than that they are prisoners … he says that children and mentally ill prisoners can rely on the complaints system despite overwhelming evidence that it is not fit for purpose

She also mentioned judicial review proceedings currently being pursued by the Howard League against these cuts.

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