Legal AidPress ReleasePrison Law

The Silent Demise of Prison Law Legal Aid

Our report on sustainability in prison law legal aid published today 7 August 2023, shows three-quarters of respondents do not anticipate being prison law legal aid lawyers in three years’ time.

A copy of the report can be viewed here.

The number of prison law legal aid providers has already been decimated, falling by 85% since 2008.

Whilst the workload in prison law legal aid has increased in volume, stress and complexity, pay has decreased in actual and real terms over the last decade.

Despite this, Lord Bellamy’s proposal of a 15% increase for prison law work was rejected by the government.

Rikki Garg, Chairman of the APL said:

“This data demonstrates the precarious position this area of law is in. Over the last 10 years prison law providers have been decimated . The number of suppliers has reduced from over 900 firms doing this work in 2008 to 129 today.

At the same time hearings, before the Parole board, are at an all-time high. The Parole Board have appointed specialist chairs to deal with distinct complex cases and increased its members.

This rate of attrition cannot go on.

New lawyers are not coming into an area of social justice when it is needed most.

There have been major changes in the last five years making hearings even more complex than ever before. Unless something can be done to address this decline now there is no future in this area of practice. The result of this is that there will be far more unrepresented prisoners navigating a minefield of rules, regulations, guidance and statute which ultimately will result in a denial in access to justice with effective representation. The cost of which will far outweigh an increase in fees as recommended by the proposed Bellamy reforms.”

Lubna Shuja, Law Society of England and Wales President said:

“Parole hearings are a vital part of the criminal justice system and solicitors play a key role in ensuring they run efficiently, and prisoners’ cases are presented properly.

The Association of Prison Lawyers survey demonstrates the plight of the prison lawyer and the urgent need to stop the exodus from the profession.

A starting point would be for the government to implement the recommended 15% increase in the legal aid rate for prison law work.”

Chris Minnoch, Director of the Legal Aid Practitioners’ Group said:

“This report from the Association of Prison Lawyers is a graphic demonstration of what happens when a system is deliberately and consistently starved of adequate funding. It is reflective of what has happened across the entire legal aid system for over 20 years, and shines an important and timely spotlight on a crucial element of not just the legal aid system, but the criminal justice system as a whole.

It is absurd that the government has conceded that additional funding is required to halt the decline of criminal legal aid practitioners but not applied the same logic to those delivering vital services to prisoners. Carrying out prison law work requires a phenomenal level of commitment and dedication, which is clearly demonstrated in this report by those able to continue to do the work. But the report also clearly demonstrates that commitment and dedication can only take practitioners so far and that the numbers will continue to decline without adequate funding.

Action is needed now to ensure prison law work is put on a sustainable footing. A failure by government to act will undermine the integrity of the parole process and end up actually increasing costs within the prison system.”

Rikki Garg, Chair of APL, has written to Alex Chalk MP, Secretary of State for Justice, with a copy of the report requesting an urgent meeting to discuss the concerns raised by practitioners.

30 thoughts on “The Silent Demise of Prison Law Legal Aid

  1. Hi there it’s me, I am also visiting this site
    on a regular basis, this site is really nice and the users
    are really sharing good thoughts.

  2. Hey there would you mind letting me know which hosting company
    you’re working with? I’ve loaded your blog
    in 3 different web browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot faster
    then most. Can you recommend a good web hosting provider at a reasonable
    price? Kudos, I appreciate it!

  3. wonderful publish, very informative. I’m wondering why the other experts of this sector don’t
    understand this. You should proceed your writing. I am sure, you
    have a great readers’ base already!

  4. Hey! I know this is somewhat off-topic however I needed to ask.
    Does building a well-established website like yours take
    a massive amount work? I’m brand new to blogging but I do write in my journal everyday.
    I’d like to start a blog so I can easily share my personal experience and feelings online.
    Please let me know if you have any recommendations or
    tips for brand new aspiring bloggers. Appreciate it!

  5. I absolutely love your blog.. Very nice colors & theme.
    Did you build this web site yourself? Please reply back as I’m planning to create my own personal website and would love to know where you got this
    from or just what the theme is named. Many thanks!

  6. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point.
    You obviously know what youre talking about, why throw away your intelligence
    on just posting videos to your weblog when you could be giving us something informative to read?

  7. I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your blog.
    It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me
    to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a developer to create your theme?
    Great work!

  8. Hey I am so delighted I found your website, I really found you
    by error, while I was looking on Askjeeve for something else, Regardless I am here now and would just like to say kudos for a marvelous
    post and a all round exciting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to go through it all at
    the minute but I have bookmarked it and also added in your
    RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read much
    more, Please do keep up the awesome work.

  9. Your means of telling everything in this article is genuinely pleasant, all be able to simply be aware of it,
    Thanks a lot.

  10. Thanks for the auspicious writeup. It if truth be told used
    to be a leisure account it. Look complicated to far delivered agreeable from
    you! By the way, how can we be in contact?

  11. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something
    that I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me.
    I am looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

  12. Hi there it’s me, I am also visiting this web page on a regular
    basis, this web page is actually good and the users are in fact
    sharing pleasant thoughts.

  13. great points altogether, you simply gained a new reader.
    What could you suggest about your post that you simply made a few days in the past?
    Any certain?

  14. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article.
    I’ll make sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful info.
    Thanks for the post. I will definitely return.

  15. My brother recommended I might like this website.
    He was entirely right. This post truly made my day.
    You can not imagine simply how much time I had spent for this
    info! Thanks!

  16. Thanks for your personal marvelous posting! I quite enjoyed reading it, you’re a great author.

    I will make certain to bookmark your blog and will
    come back very soon. I want to encourage you to ultimately continue your great writing, have a
    nice holiday weekend!

  17. I know this web page provides quality based articles and extra material, is there any other web page which gives these data in quality?

  18. Do you have a spam issue on this website; I also am a blogger,
    and I was wondering your situation; we have created some nice procedures and we
    are looking to trade solutions with other folks, be sure to shoot me an e-mail if

  19. May I simply say what a comfort to discover someone that really knows what they are talking about on the internet. You actually realize how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people must look at this and understand this side of the story. I cant believe you are not more popular since you surely have the gift.

  20. I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Anyway keep up the nice quality writing, it?s rare to see a nice blog like this one nowadays..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *