Regulating Police Detention

Voices From Behind Closed Doors

John Kendall

Regulating Police Detention

John Kendall

Distributed for Bristol University Press

152 pages | 5 x 7 3/4 | © 2018
Cloth $75.00 ISBN: 9781447343516 Published March 2018 For sale in North and South America only
When suspects in the UK are arrested, they spend their time in police custody largely in isolation and out of public view. These custody blocks are police territory, and public controversies about what happens there often only arise when a detainee dies. Custody visitors are volunteers who make what are supposed to be random and unannounced visits to police custody blocks to check on the welfare of detainees. However, there is a fundamental power imbalance between the police and these visitors, which calls the independence and effectiveness of custody visiting into question. Investigating this largely unexplored part of the criminal justice system, this timely book includes the voices of the detainees, who have a unique insight into the arrangement. It offers detailed proposals for radically reforming custody visiting to make it an effective regulator of police behavior, with an explanation of the political context that could make that a reality.
 
Contents
Tables and photograph
Abbreviations
Acknowledgements
Foreword by Andrew sanders
One Visiting the state’s secret places
The key issues
Police power and the ideology of custody visiting
Volunteering
Background, motivation and funding
Research methods
The criminal process in the custody block
Detention in police custody
How custody visiting operates
Custody visiting as a regulator of police conduct
Conclusion
 
Two Gutting a good idea
Michael Meacher MP
The Brixton riots and the Scarman Report
The policy of the Home Office and of the police: the 1986 Circular
The Lambeth lay visitors
Deaths in custody
Introduction of the statutory scheme
Operation of the statutory scheme
Conclusion
Three Getting the visitors on side
Socialisation
The visitors and the Police and Crime Commissioner
Orientation
Probationary experience of the custody block
Team meetings
Visitors’ attitudes
Changes in visitors’ attitudes
Deaths in custody
Conclusion
 
Four Does custody visiting achieve anything?
Effectiveness
Whether the visits took place, and the frequency and pattern of visiting
Whether the police behaved differently towards detainees because they knew that custody visitors might arrive at any time, without notice, or because a visit was actually in progress
Whether visits caused police behaviour to be changed, either at the time or subsequently
Whether the reporting system caused police behaviour to be changed
Whether custody visiting enabled the public to know what was happening in custody blocks
United Nations standards and the requirement of expertise
Official claims for custody visiting
Conclusion
 
Five Could custody visiting be made to work?
The key issues
The link with deaths in custody
Scope for further research
Recommendations for reform
How to make the reforms a reality
 
References
Index
 
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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