A selection of recent news items around crime and punishment.

Time Credits

Time Credits are available in Cornwall to be earned by people doing voluntary work.  They are a great way to incentivise volunteering among vulnerable groups, and the credits can be spent at a variety of loactions, including cinemas, gyms and sports facilities, and on courses at Cornwall College. For more, see the Safer Cornwall article about them, and the website of Tempo, which runs the scheme in Cornwall.


Mental health in prison

The Mental Health Foundation has published a new guide to looking after your mental health in prison. You can download it for free, or buy paper copies for £1.50 on the MHF website.


Rape victims and mobile phones – an update

Following the outcry around the requirement of rape victims to hand over their phones in order for a case to be investigated, a change has been announced.  Police are to consult with victims groups, and privacy campaigners to help shape the forms requesting data from victims of sexual and other crimes.  The difficulty in reconciling the need to collect and preserve pertinent data with the desire for privacy is being recognised more fully, and various groups have been invited to assist police in working out a way forward.  For more information, see the Guardian website.


Age of Criminal Responsibility raised in Scotland

MSPs have voted to raise the age of criminal responsibility in Scotland from 8 to 12, although some wished to raise it further, in line with UN recommendations, to 14. The move comes after the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) decided that the global minimum age at which a child can be prosecuted should be 14.

at present the minimum age for prosecution of a child in England and Wales is 10, and and MPs are under pressure to raise it in line with recommendations.

See more detail on the Guardian website.