Back to Blog


The Friday Five: Recovery (17/11/23)

It’s time for another edition of the Friday Five: Recovery, where we delve into the latest news stories from the world of criminal justice and rehabilitation. This week, we’re looking at everything from the Criminal Justice Bill to new funding announced to boost alcohol and drug treatment and much more. Without further ado, then, let’s dive in!

1. Criminal Justice Bill  

The government recently announced a Criminal Justice Bill with aims to clamp down on knife crime, take stricter action on drugs, tackle anti-social behaviour, issue harsher sentencing, increase prison capacity, enhance public confidence in policing, and more.  

The Bill will apply to England and Wales, with certain provisions affecting Scotland and Northern Ireland. Its cost is estimated to be £54.1 million annually once fully implemented. The Bill was first announced in the King’s Speech the week before.

2. New Prison Given the Go-Ahead

A new 1,700-inmate prison has been permitted by the Secretary for Levelling Up and Housing, Michael Gove.

The cabinet member rejected recommendations by the Planning Inspectorate, citing the desperate demand for more prison places as a strong enough reason to look past concerns about the local development plan and the legality of building such a large project within the said plan.

The prison will cost £300 million to build and boost the local economy by £70 million (as well as create 100 jobs).

3. Knife Angel at Next Stop in Ongoing Tour

The Knife Angel is a sculpture created by Alfie Bradley of the British Ironworks Society and made of knives donated to amnesty boxes and those seized by the police.  

The striking sculpture, which has toured nationwide, has moved from Colchester to its next stop, Bolton, where it will stay for a month. Following this, the 27-foot statue will move on to Walsall in the West Midlands.  

The statue is the only one of its kind and the only monument to be created to recognise knife crime. Not only is it an awe-inspiring piece of art, it’s also incredibly moving. It sends a powerful message and reminder about how impactful knife crime can be, as well as how prevalent it sadly is. 

4. Funding Announced to Boost Drug and Alcohol Treatment

Over one-quarter of a billion pounds has been announced to help local authorities tackle drug and alcohol misuse.  

The £267 million will be made available in April of next year and will be targeted towards helping recruit specialised staff (like substance abuse workers), reducing crime (by offering structured drug and alcohol treatments) and helping those leaving prison access recovery services.  

The funding has been announced in line with recommendations made by Dame Carol Black in her independent “Review of Drugs”, published in February 2020.   

5. Quality of Prison Resettlement Has Declined

According to a report by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), “Prisoners are still not consistently receiving the support they need to resettle into the community.” The report highlighted various ways in which prisoners were being failed upon leaving prison, with various worrying statistics coming to the fore, including:

  • None of the 30 prison inspections conducted in 2022-2023 were rated as “good” regarding their rehabilitation and release planning work. For context, 30% were rated as “good” between 2019 and 2020.  
  • From April 2022 to January 2023, there were no essential handover meetings (between prison and probation staff) in around half of all cases.  

Final Thoughts on Another Week’s Recovery News

Another week, another edition of the Friday Five: Recovery, all done and dusted. We hope you found the above informative and interesting, and we’ll be back next week at the same time. Until then, have a great weekend!   

Carry on reading