Stories from 2005:

Life On the Line: 2) The rural poor

Published October 2005.

Official figures show the gap beween rich and poor, which widened dramatically under the Thatcher and Major governments, remains unchanged by Labour policy. In the second part of his series on the poverty line, Nick Davies explores an old English village with new English problems.

Life on the Line: 1) The old

Published October 2005.

The government has lifted the income of the poorest fifth of the UK population, but official figures show that up to 12 million men, women and children still live in poverty, usually ignored by the media. In the first of a three-part series, Nick Davies traces the life of one man who lives on the poverty line.

Life On the Line: 3) Migrants

Published September 2005.

The government says East Europeans may not claim the same benefits as other EU workers. In the final part of his series on the poverty line, Nick Davies meets destitute Poles in London and discovers a secret city.

The senior judge who wants less punishment for criminals

Published August 2005.

The Guardian, August 2005 The retiring lord chief justice, Lord Woolf, today makes a passionate plea for a new approach to law and order which would see a major shift away from punishment towards the solution of problems which generate crime. Writing in today’s Guardian, Lord Woolf suggests a shortlist of four strictly limited categories […]

Organising chaos in probation

Published June 2005.

There is an old saying that a camel is really just a horse which was designed by a government committee. So it seems to be with NOMS – the new National Offender Management Service which is due to merge prisons with probation.

The man who vanished

Published June 2005.

Somewhere in some dark corner of this country, there is an impoverished and homeless man who does not know that he has been given a bank account full of cash which could change his life.

Prison as a refuge

Published May 2005.

The prisoner is on the phone to his sister. He is due in court soon and he is hoping for a short sentence. She doesn’t see it that way: “You don’t want to come out. You’ll get right back on it. Lola’s on it, Tedda’s on it.”

Dying for a break

Published May 2005.

Maybe nothing really changes. Several hundred years ago when red-faced judges and pot-bellied politicians were happy to procure power by ordering men to be hanged by the neck and left dangling to rot by the wayside, there was a popular rhyme: “Little villains oft submit to fate, so great ones may enjoy the world in state.”

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