The fight against homelessness

This is the sixth in a series of blogs from the finalists of this year’s Policy Idol competition. These blogs were originally presented as policy pitches at the live final of the competition earlier this year. Policy Idol is an annual competition open to all staff and students at King’s.

By Oliver Marks, Katie-Louise Marvin, Paul Ng and Emma Shleifer

Homelessness is around us all the time yet we barely notice it. Many of us prefer to put the problem down as something out of our control. It is time we face the facts: homelessness is getting worse. Since 2010, it has increased by over 30 per cent nationwide. This is largely due to increased housing costs forcing more people to the streets, and the inefficient management of the issue. Continue reading

Non-custodial community programmes for non-violent female criminals in the UK

This is the fifth in a series of blogs from the finalists of this year’s Policy Idol competition. These blogs were originally presented as policy pitches at the live final of the competition earlier this year. Policy Idol is an annual competition open to all staff and students at King’s.

By Sarah Williams and Emma Wynne-Bannister

In the UK, approximately 9,000 women are imprisoned each year for non-violent crimes such as shoplifting, parking fines and non-payment of a TV licence. This includes around 5,000 women who are remanded in custody before being given a non-custodial sentence. A typical confinement is six months or less, a paradoxical situation in which these women are imprisoned just long enough for benefits to cease, but insufficient time to secure alternatives (the rate of official homelessness on discharge from prison sits at almost 40 per cent). As a result, many of these women get caught in a cycle of re-offending and re-imprisonment – a cycle that is costing the UK economy approximately £200 million each year. Continue reading

How racial biases can influence outcomes in the criminal justice system

By Rachel Hesketh

Last week David Lammy MP published his independent review into the treatment of, and outcomes for, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) individuals in the criminal justice system (CJS). His findings on the extent of disproportionality in the CJS are sobering: England and Wales would have 9,000 fewer prisoners (the equivalent of 12 average-sized prisons) if the prison population was representative of the ethnic composition of the two countries. The overrepresentation of Black people in prisons here is actually greater than in the US. Continue reading

Looking at NIHR’s research through the lens of impact

This post originally appeared on the NIHR website.

By Adam Kamenetzky

As people gather for the 2017 Health and Care Innovation Expo, Adam Kamenetzky reflects on how the ‘impact agenda’ provides a sophisticated opportunity to understand how research benefits society.

I’m not going to lie… As part of the team that pulled together 100 stories highlighting NIHR’s achievements for its 10th anniversary last year, I had a few late nights. Colleagues and I pored over content both lay and scientific, written up for websites, policy briefings, reports, pamphlets, and (of course) journals. We synthesised, evidenced, cross-referenced, edited, tagged and indexed examples from a pool of over 200 suggestions; crowd-sourced from NIHR communication professionals, senior managers, and researchers and healthcare practitioners themselves. Sleep notwithstanding, we ended up with both bite-sized and full-length versions of what we called an ‘impact synthesis’ – a centuplicate compendium of benefits delivered through NIHR’s support of health and care research. Continue reading