One of the most contentious and sensitive topics in criminal justice, Life after Life Imprisonment looks at the release and resettlement of life-sentenced offenders in England and Wales - where there are very few prisoners in the system for whom 'life' means life. By providing an in-depth analysis of the post-prison experiences of 138 discretionary life-sentenced offenders, all of whom were released during the mid-1990s, this book looks at the reality facing Lifers as they are released at some time during their sentences, usually on very long licences, to be closely monitored and supervised by probation officers. Using accessible and comprehensive data, it examines key legal developments within the criminal justice system for discretionary life-sentenced offenders, explores the frontline experiences of the probation officers charged with supervising life-sentenced offenders, and analyses the 'stories' or life narratives of a group of individuals who have committed some of the most serious crimes. It also examines the process of recall for life-sentenced prisoners and explores key factors associated with failure in the community. Of interest to legal scholars and criminologists, as well as practitioners in the field, Catherine Appleton's book offers a major insight into how societies respond to serious crime and identifies important elements of successful reintegration for released life-sentenced offenders.
Life imprisonment has replaced the death penalty as the most common sentence imposed for heinous crimes worldwide. Consequently, it has become the leading issue of international criminal justice reform. In the first survey of its kind, Dirk van Zyl Smit and Catherine Appleton argue for a human rights–based reappraisal of this harsh punishment.
In many jurisdictions today, life imprisonment is the most severe penalty that can be imposed. Despite this, it is a relatively under-researched form of punishment and no meaningful attempt has been made to understand its full human rights implications. This important collection fills that gap by addressing these two key questions: what is life imprisonment and what human rights are relevant to it? These questions are explored from the perspective of a range of jurisdictions, in essays that draw on both empirical and doctrinal research. Under the editorship of two leading scholars in the field, this innovative and important work will be a landmark publication in the field of penal studies and human rights.
**Winner of a Koestler Trust Silver Award*** and the only book of its kind by a serving lifer. Contains a Foreword by Tim Newell, former Prison Governor life-sentence expert. A snapshot of the most severe sentence available in the UK which treats key topics in 40 easy to read sections. Alan Baker's personal selection and treatment of topics of concern to life-sentenced prisoners looks at subjects across the life-sentence regime. Ranging from the realisation which 'kicks in' after being sentenced in the dock-shock, numbness, hopelessness-to the intrinsic nature of long-term imprisonment, it is an explanatory handbook and survivor's guide. Life Imprisonment looks at aspects of long-term imprisonment from inside the head of a lifer: daily preoccupations, the uncertainty about when he or she will be released, the long years ahead, time for reflection, work towards release, setbacks and coping mechanisms and staying out of trouble. It tells about how a life sentence leads to risk assessments, courses, reports, psychological tests and possibly a period in a therapeutic community and/or a resettlement prison. To this first-hand knowledge, Alan Baker adds his thoughts on the state of the prisons, having experienced first-hand the impact that the justice system has on have on someone serving a sentence with no fixed end date. The result is a book packed with useful information as well as an insider's perspective on the major concerns of life-sentenced prisoners, whether about their sentence, future, their victims or the (often greatly magnified) minutiae of prison life. Review 'A hard-hitting set of survival notes from someone writing with great experience of having walked the walk. It is grounded in reality ... Alan Baker writes with sound practical advice and insight which is not for the feint-hearted. He takes prison seriously, recognising it as the place you don't want to be' Tim Newell (From the Foreword).
All about life imprisonment, the most severe sentence that can be passed in the UK and the ways in which the system tries to deal with dangerous and high-risk offenders - by a prison governor and psychologist with long experience of working with such people.
The purpose of this scripture is to learn more on a particular kind of confinement in prison: the life imprisonment. This book discusses the issue of life imprisonment. Does it imply that inmates may remain in prison for the rest of their life? Often, the public opinion thinks that the worst criminals may be released after few years and may commit other crimes against the society. In some states an inmate can die in prison. Is this kind of punishment in line with the punishment purposes? May this kind of punishment violate inmates' human rights? These questions will be examined in light of law and jurisprudence, in order to discover if life sentence is efficient. Some academics had described the life imprisonment as a hidden and slow death penalty. The European Court of Human Rights has drafted clear boards. Regardless of supporting the concept or not, life imprisonment or not, a change in prison policies is required.
Murder is often regarded as both the 'ultimate' and a unique crime, and whereas courts are normally given discretion in sentencing offenders, for murder the sentence is mandatory – indeterminate imprisonment. Since the crime and the punishment come as a 'package deal' this book looks at both the legal nature of the offence and at the current operation of the mandatory life sentence. Not only does the book adopt a critical approach, by assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the status quo, it also draws upon comparative material from both common and civil law jurisdictions in an attempt to provide a comprehensive exploration of these issues. The need for public confidence in the criminal justice system is particularly acute in the way it deals with the most serious homicides. In this book the authors report findings from the first systematic exploration of public attitudes to sentencing murder in this or any other common law jurisdiction. The picture of public opinion emerging from this recent large-scale nationwide qualitative and quantitative survey, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, is likely to surprise many, and will be of interest to all jurisdictions where the mandatory life sentence for murder has been questioned.
Little is known about life imprisonment and the process of releasing offenders back into the community in Ireland. Addressing this scarcity of information, Griffin’s empirical study examines the legal and policy framework surrounding life imprisonment and parole. Through an analysis of the rationales expressed by parole decision-makers in the exercise of their discretionary power of release, it is revealed that decision-makers view public protection as central to the process. However, the risk of reoffending features amidst an array of other factors that also influence parole outcomes including personal interpretations of the purposes of punishment, public opinion and the political landscape within which parole operates. The findings of this study are employed to provide a rationale for the upward trend in time served by life sentence prisoners prior to release in recent times. With reform of parole now on the political agenda, will a more formal process of release operate to constrain the increase in time served witnessed over the last number of decades or will the upward trajectory continue unabated?
It is rare in law and other disciplines for a word or a phrase to appear to mean what it does not. This is however true when it comes to life imprisonment or life sentence. Unlike the death penalty, thre have been instances where even those who are expected to know the meaning of the sentence of life imprisonment have misunderstood it. This misunderstanding is compunded by the fact that even dictionaries that have always always helped us to understand the meaning of life imprisonment ... This thesis reviews cases of life imprisonmentin international criminal tribulals considered in sentencing offenders to life imprisonment. there are cases where the ICTR has sentenced offenders to imprisonment for the rest of their natural life. From a human rights perspective.
In 1999, the tenth anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, leading dissident Jiang Qisheng was given a four-year sentence for inviting the Chinese people to light candles to honor the victims. Drawn with indignant intensity from Jiang’s time in prison, his memoirs offer compelling observations of two of the three modern, “civilized” Beijing jails in which he was held. Along with intriguing vignettes of his fellow prisoners, Jiang describes both brutally dehumanizing conditions and rare moments of unexpected kindness. Prisoners, used as slave labor, become “skinned” through malnutrition and exhaustion, while facing new depths of mental degradation. Throughout, however, Jiang retained his dignity, detached and perceptive intelligence, and concern for his fellow sufferers, guards included. Writing in his signature light and ironic style, Jiang’s stories of prisoners, who come from the most primitive and impoverished layer of Chinese society, are related with vividness, insight, humor, and compassion. Dismayed by their fatalistic docility, the author asks, “Where lies China's hope? Can democracy ever take root in China?” The answers, surely, lie in the voices of those, like Jiang, who dare to speak out.