Prison is Expensive – Worth Remembering When We Oppose Parole

“Shocking cases [such as David McGreavy – who was sentenced to life in prison in 1973 with a minimum tariff of 20 years, following the murder and mutilation of three children -] prompt questions about whether mandatory life sentences for those who kill are suitable: should we lock up murderers for good and throw away the key? Or would a gentler system of restorative justice, such as in Norway, bring benefits to both the imprisoned and society?”

 

Tawney Bennett, Law Lecturer, discusses on The Conversation.

Reducing Race Hate and Extremism in Local Community

On the 7th December, Sarah Page and Professor James Treadwell presented their current and proposed research into race hate and extremism to BSBT partners in Stoke, the local authority, the Home Office and Baroness Williams (lead for counter extremism). The research is being co-produced with our undergraduate students from Sociology and Criminology.

Sarah Page presenting (left) and Professor James Treadwell (on the far right)

 James also talked about his research findings from his book ‘The Rise of The Far Right’. The session was led by Community Coordinator Adrian Walters, from the Local Authority, and was hosted at YMCA North Staffs

Sarah Page said “We were honoured to be a part of the city’s plans and to be involved in work that supports building more cohesion in communities and reducing racial hatred. It was fantastic to hear about the different BSBT projects in the city and the various organisations working together to improve the city.” Sarah also went on to say she is “really proud of [the students] for all their hard work”.  

New BA is Already Helping Student Pursue a Career in Offender Management

We are fast approaching the end of the first semester for our students and this will be the end of the first ever semester for our new BA Criminal Justice with Offender Management degree. Kate Price discusses how the course is already helping her to pursue a career in offender management.

“I decided I wanted a career change, having been unsatisfied with work for many years; previous jobs never quite hit the spot the same way as if I was doing what I really wanted to, so I took the plunge and applied for university in summer 2018. I was overcome with joy when I got accepted on to my first course of choice – Criminal Justice with Offender Management – and now just 7 weeks down the line, I am training with SOVA as a volunteer to mentor ex-offenders; it’s rather surreal.

I first heard about this company in one of my lectures; we had a volunteer come in and talk to the class about what service they provide and the types of clients that come through their doors in search of help. Immediately I knew it was what I wanted to do, so I applied. I had received an email inviting me for a telephone interview, which really made my day, then I got offered a 2-day training course; I prepared myself!

I got up the morning the training began, I was nervous, excited and a little anxious, but I pushed through. Questions went through my head on the drive there: what will they ask me, what will I have to do? My anxiety has held me back before but I was determined to overcome it, so I walked into the room with my head up and, to my delight, there were some familiar faces which put me at ease right away; the other people there were all wonderful too, people from all walks of life – it was a real eye opener. I learnt so much whilst training about what support is in place for offenders upon release from prison, about being understanding and empathetic whilst remaining professional and firm: this was fantastic, I thought to myself.

I have been invited back to attend more training with SOVA, this time learning about homelessness. It has opened so many doors for me and is giving me a great opportunity to further my studies, but in relation to what I want to do after I graduate.

I have my second interview fast approaching [and] after this I will get to meet my own mentees. I am looking forward to helping others who are trying to settle back in to the community, those who are making positive steps with their lives and pushing through their own demons like I did. Wish me luck!”

 

 

 

How the LPC at Staffs is Helping Me Reach The Bar

“I am doing quite well thanks to Staffordshire University”

Amit Mahabir completed the Legal Practice Course at Staffordshire University and has since started his service training for the Bar in Trinidad and Tobago. 

“I would like to thank Staffordshire University for what was an interesting, uplifting experience for me. My time in the UK was indeed a memorable one.

Amit Mahabir BSc MBA LLB LPC

Thanks for everything. Thanks for listening to my concerns, responding in a quick and efficient manner on blackboard and, most of all, the dedication and commitment the tutors had to seeing everyone succeed.

My time with you was indeed a remarkable one. I contemplated long and hard to pursue the LPC at Staffordshire [and], 9 months later, having completed the programme I have no regrets.  Having a full time job and studies, I was still able to be flexible throughout the course.

 

I was successful at my exams and have started my in service training with a law firm here in Trinidad.  After completing 6 months in training I will be called to the Bar of Trinidad and Tobago.”

Congraulations to Amit, and all of our LPC graduates, and all the best for the future and Bar training. 

 

 

 

 

Staffordshire University Legal Clinic Launch

Last night was the official launch of the Staffordshire University Legal Advice Clinic (SULAC).

The event opened with refreshments at 5pm before an Official Welcome was given by Professor Ieuan Ellis, Pro Vice Chancellor.

Head of Law, Ruby Hammer, introduced the SULAC presentation, which was given by Tracey Horton – Law Clinic Manager – and Law Clinic students.

You can also read the coverage of the launch in the Stoke Sentinel here and Signal 1 Radio here

Tracey Horton explains that the “aim [of the Law Clinic] is to provide much needed support to vulnerable communities in Stoke on Trent and the region. As such, it represents a commitment to our strategy linked to Connected Communities and is representative of our values in being “Brilliant and Friendly” and “Proud to be Staffs”.

The Law Clinic has been launched at a time when the professional bodies are also gearing up to recognising time spent in placements/law clinics as counting towards the qualifying work experience required to become a solicitor. It therefore offers a unique opportunity to gain such experience and to practice lawyering and advice skills whilst at University. It directly enhances the employability and reputation of our law graduates.”

The legal advice is free and thirty-five students have been trained to work in the clinic; thirty three people have already signed up to the service.

The Legal Advice Clinic operates during term time at:

  • The Dudson Centre, Hanley, every Monday
  • Signpost, Stafford, every Tuesday
  • HMP Stafford, the first Friday of the month
  • Shrewsbury Hospital, the second Friday of the month

To book an appointment, call: 01782 294800

 

 

Inspiring The Next Generation of Scientists

Before the start of summer, Staffordshire University took part in the Potteries STEM Festival, celebrating Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

Dr Alison Davidson, one of our Technical Skills Specialists, and Mark Broadhead, a PhD Researcher, ran an activity for year 12 students titled ‘The Chemistry of Drugs and Guns’.

The hour-long session, demonstrating how Chemistry is used in Forensic Science, began in the Analytical Lab before moving to the SEM Lab. The visitors and were shown how to use the Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) with Energy Dispersive X-Ray Analysis (EDX).

We are looking forward to inspiring more scientists this academic year through outreach and events.

All of the equipment in our laboratories is open to all of our students, both undergraduate and postgraduate, to use for their research and project work. 

Law Student Gains Placement through Staffs Uni Mentoring Scheme

The Law Department’s Careers Tutor, Sallyann Mellor, runs a Staffordshire University Mentoring Scheme, which enables students to find out about placement opportunities to help them gain practical and hands-on experience. Law student, Naseem Khan discusses his experience whilst on placement at a solicitors that he found through the scheme. 

“Through the Staffordshire University Mentoring Scheme I gained a two-week placement with Knights 1759 Solicitors. Over the course [of the placement,] I was introduced to a range of solicitors and trainees from various fields of Law in different departments. This allowed me to gain a well-rounded insight into not only the working[s] of the legal team, but the role of a solicitor. I worked on administrative tasks, case studies, and was given the opportunity to meet the clients and attend court! My colleagues assisted me in so many ways, for example, on the first day one of the solicitors gave me a ‘life lecture’ on how not to give up no matter what.

It was such a valuable experience to be able to know what it actually feels like to be working in a Legal environment and to realise how the environment of a corporate law firm differs from those on the high street.

Overall, my experience was enjoyable while also being very educational. Through a wide variety of tasks I was able to appreciate all aspects of the job and was definitely not just stuck at a desk!

Naseem Khan

Now I know exactly what I want to be in the future and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Knights 1759 and our Careers Tutor Sallyann Mellor for implementing the Staffordshire University Mentoring Scheme and for giving me the opportunity.”

 

Policing Graduate Joins Cheshire Constabulary

At the start of October, BSc Policing and Criminal Investigation graduate, Jack Colton, shared the fantastic news about his new job with Cheshire Constabulary. 

“I started employment as Communications Operator in the Force Control Centre at Cheshire Constabulary.

Some of the equipment our students use to gain practical, hands-on experience 

I’d just like to say that these past 3 weeks of training have demonstrated just how appropriate and effective the content of the course was. I’m in a position where I am familiar with most things being covered in terms of law; whereas other graduates from criminology courses are not.

Visitors at the Crime Scene House on an Offer Holder Day

I’d also like to say a big thank you to the all the staff that organised the content of the course and delivered the lectures. It’s only just become obvious how suitable and useful the content learnt is now that I can apply it to my work.”

BSc Policing and Criminal Investigation Course Leader

Congratulations Jack! 

 

 

Knife Crime and Homicide Figures Reveal the Violence of Austerity

“The latest crime figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) offer a grim outlook on the state of criminal justice in England and Wales. Almost as if to head off criticism, the bulletin starts: ‘Over recent decades, we’ve seen continued falls in overall levels of crime but in the last year the trend has been more stable’.

Isn’t that an odd way of introducing a rise in serious violent offences?”

Professor James Treadwell explores whether ‘Knife Crime and Homicide Figures Reveal the Violence of Austerity’ on The Conversation.

Danske Bank: the story of Europe’s biggest money laundering scandal

“It is clear that Danske Bank has failed to live up to its responsibility in the case of possible money laundering in Estonia.

So said Thomas Borgen, CEO of Denmark’s biggest financial institution, when he resigned after admitting that around €200 billion of questionable money flowed through the Danish bank’s Estonian branch from 2007-15.”

Sean Curley, the Dean of the School of Law, Policing and Forensics at Staffordshire University, discusses Europe’s biggest money laundering scandal on The Conversation. Click here to read the full article.