Job Vacancy at PAS – Community Care Caseworker

PAS is recruiting for a Community Care Caseworker.

PAS’s caseworkers provide legal advice and advocacy to prisoners throughout England and Wales. The Director at PAS supervises the post, which is self-servicing.

This role offers excellent opportunities for the right candidate, who will be able to take responsibility for and develop a full caseload. Knowledge of the main issues affecting prisoners is essential.

The post is 3 days a week. A 4 day week will be considered for the right candidate. 

The entry pay level will be £33,856 – £34,741 pro-rata including London weighting.  

PAS currently offers hybrid working.  The post holder would be expected to attend the office for at least one day a week.

Further details can be found on our vacancy page.

PAS Supports BID and Liberty As They Call for an End to Intrusive GPS Monitoring

Today, PAS joins the more than 40 human rights organisations that have sent a letter to the Home Office, protesting its introduction of 24-hour GPS monitoring of people on immigration bail in an expansion of surveillance powers without consultation.

Read the letter here.

The letter is covered in an article in the Guardian here.

Fathers Guide Launch a Fascinating Success

Last night saw the online launch of PAS’ new guide for imprisoned fathers, Fathers in Prison: Contact with Children. Although attendance figures were not high, the early evening event was a fascinating and much needed discussion of the importance of maintaining a connection with children for those in prison. Watch the recording of the discussion below.

PAS is most grateful to all involved in creating and publishing the guide, and to those who took part in the discussion last night: Rose Harvey-Sullivan (Barrister at 7BR and author of the guide), Chris Atkins (best-selling author of  A Bit of a Stretch: The Diary of a Prisoner), Charlie Weinberg (Safe Ground), Amanda Emerson (PACT), funders Matrix Causes Fund and 7BR and Cooley LLP for hosting the event.

PAS to Launch New Guide for Fathers in Prison

PAS is delighted to announce the launch of a new addition to our range of Self Help Toolkits, aimed at imprisoned fathers.

Our toolkits are designed to help prisoners understand and undertake some of the simpler legal processes themselves.  Fathers in Prison: Contact with Children is our response to the number of queries we routinely receive from male prisoners who are unable to access assistance in understanding their options when they want to have contact with their children and/or remain involved in their children’s lives.

Written by Rose Harvey-Sullivan, Barrister at 7BR, to whom PAS is most grateful, the new guide is made possible through the kind support of Matrix Causes Fund and 7BR

PAS will launch the toolkit at an online panel discussion, to take place at 5pm on Thursday 10 June. As well as the author, the event will feature contributions from BAFTA nominated film-maker and writer, Chris Atkins, Director of prison relationship charity, Safe Ground, Charlie Weinberg and Amanda Emerson, family engagement manager with PACT.

Register to attend the event here

New Report on the Impact of Prison Lockdown on Physical Health

EP:IC Consultants has published the second in a series of reports on prisoner health during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The document, The Impact of Prison Lockdown on Physical Health, examines issues around the physical health of people in prison during lockdown, from the perspective of patients. It utilises a variety of sources, including responses from over 2,000 prisoners, across 19 prisons.

Confinement to their cells for the vast majority of every day played an immense role in forming prisoners’ views on their physical health, the report concludes, with a significant number of patients feeling that their physical health has declined since the start of the pandemic.

The report also finds that women and people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities are more likely to feel that their physical health has declined.

Read a full summary of the report here

PAS Launches Freephone Number for Women Prisoners

PAS has launched a new freephone telephone number to encourage women prisoners to call while our Outreach Clinics remain suspended.

The service will be available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10am to 12.30pm, between now and the end of April, as a pilot project.

A new PAS poster, below, has been designed and distributed across the women’s estate.

The freephone number is: 0800 0246 205.

Read more about PAS’ work with women here.

New HMPPS Guidance Note for HMCTS Operations

Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) has published updated guidance regarding how prisons should manage the production of prisoners for court hearings.

Read / download the guidelines here.

PAS Creates New Info Sheet: Covid-19 Pandemic – What to Expect in Prison

PAS has created a new Information Sheet updating prisoners on COVID-19 management in the prison service. We receive 100’s of calls from prisoners, every day that the Advice Line is running, worried about the potential spread of the virus inside prison walls and the rules and regulations concerning the virus that apply to them. The sheet addresses some of the most often asked questions and will form part of PAS’ upcoming Autumn / Winter 2020 Prisoners’ Legal Rights Bulletin (PLRB). Read and download the sheet here.

HMPPS Releases New Cohorting & Compartmentalisation Strategy for Prisons During Pandemic

The most recent HMPPS policy on COVID-19 in prison is contained in Version 4 of the ‘Cohorting and Compartmentalising Strategy’. This document contains specific guidance on prisoners having to isolate after being out of the establishment or showing symptoms, as well as information on shielding in prison.

Read, download here.

First PAS Online Event Launches LGBT+ Toolkits

On 23 November 2020 PAS held its first online event to launch formally the two LGBT+ Self Help Toolkits: A Prisoner’s Guide to LGB Rights and A Prisoner’s Guide to Trans Rights. Participants included author of the kits, Barrister at No 5 Chambers, Stuart Withers, Sarah Lamble, founding member of the Bent Bars Project and Reader in Criminology & Queer Theory at Birkbeck, University of London and Dean Kingham, solicitor at Swain and Co and a Committee member for the Association of Prison Lawyers. The event was Chaired by former PAS co-Director, Deborah Russo. The event was recorded and is available to view below.

PAS Launches LGBT+ Toolkits

PAS is delighted to announce the launch of two new additions to our range of Self Help Toolkits, aimed at lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) prisoners and transgender prisoners respectively.

Our toolkits are designed to help prisoners understand and undertake some of the simpler legal processes themselves. A Prisoner’s Guide to LGB Rights and A Prisoner’s Guide to Trans Rights constitute some of the first works published addressing the experience of LGBT+ people in prison in England and Wales.

Written by Stuart Withers, Barrister at No5 Chambers, and produced in association with LGBT+ prison letter-writing charity, Bent Bars, the two guides are made possible with funding from The Tudor Trust and The Paul Cottingham Trust.

PAS will launch the toolkits at its first online event at 5pm on Monday 23 November. As well as the author, the event will feature contributions from Dr. Sarah Lamble, Reader in Criminology and Queer Theory at Birkbeck University, who will represent Bent Bars, and Jane Ryan, Partner at Bhatt Murphy Solicitors, specialist in Public Law and human rights. The event will be Chaired by former PAS Co-Director, Deborah Russo, and hosted by Cooley (UK) LLP.

To register for the event, please follow the link, here.

Latest HM Prison and Probation Service COVID-19 Statistics Show Increase in Infections

HM Prison and Probation Service has released new COVID-19 statistics, showing an increase in infections in prisons up to 30 September 2020.

620 prisoners tested positive for COVID-19 in September, up from 550 in August.

A total of 316 prison service users have been released early from custody under COVID-19 temporary release schemes in England and Wales. Between March and September, 54 prisoners were released on compassionate grounds, while 262 were granted End of Custody Temporary Release. Both schemes have been championed by PAS.

There have been no deaths due to COVID-19 since May, when 10 deaths were recorded. The official number of deaths in prison since March is 45.

Read and download the Summary Tables, as well as the full document, here.