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All you need to know about criminal justice:

Here you can find over 200 posts tracking every major development in criminal justice since 2011. You can track crime trends, court modernisation and digitisation programmes and the impact of austerity. If you’re looking for something in particular, try the search box below:

Justice system still lets down victims of disability hate crime

There has been little progress in improving the response of the police, probation and Crown Prosecution services to disability hate crime. That is the core finding of a recent (21 May 2015) joint inspection report. The report, officially titled “Joint review disability hate crime follow-up”, was designed to see how these three key agencies (although of course probation is now split into the National Probation Service and 21 Community Rehabilitation Companies) had responded to a critical joint inspection in March 2013. That earlier report set out seven recommendations which is the focus of this review.

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PCCs spotlight better mental health practice

The election of a Conservative government means that PCCs are here to stay (Labour would have abolished them), and there is much to learn from how the first generation of PCCs have approached these challenging partnership issues, and used their role to help improve responses in their area. Given the current state of crisis in the police, probation and prison services, the leadership of PCCs may turn out to be critical and there is real value in this briefing series which points the way forward, instead of merely identifying problems.

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How to tackle inequality in the Justice System

The value of this report is that it does not waste time and space rehearsing the depressing level of inequality within the criminal justice system, with which everyone is familiar.
Instead, it focuses on practical ways forward grounded in the real life work of a number of pioneering voluntary sector organisations.

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What next for justice?

Guest bloggers came from a wide range of viewpoints including several organisations with a particular criminal justice focus including prison reform, employment for women offenders, restorative justice etc. This, thankfully, made for very different priorities with limited repetition. Nevertheless, four key themes emerged from this spectrum of views.

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Lowest number of offenders since records began

We know that crime rates have been falling steadily over the last 20 years but what about other trends in the criminal justice system. The MoJ has just (21 May 2015) published its report on activity in the criminal justice system for 2014. The total number of individuals dealt with formally by the CJS hit an all time low at 1.73 million.

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We need a new focus on complex needs

The report recommends investing £216 million over three years which should realise extensive savings since the current annual costs for the 58,000 individuals with substance misuse, criminal justice and homelessness problems is estimated at between £1.1 billion and 2.1 billion per year.

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The Justice priorities of Unlock

As things stand, a criminal record is for life, no matter how old or minor. This is despite knowing that, in particular, young people make mistakes when they’re young. In essence, young people should be allowed to fail. Ways to properly and fully ‘wipe the slate clean’ for minor offending should be established.

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Big Society Capital’s priorities for the new Justice Secretary

Charities and social enterprises have a lot of value to bring in the future criminal justice system, building on the deep knowledge and experience they have gained from the work they have already done. And while an increasing number of corporates delivering public services are working to embed social values alongside their traditional aims,

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If Jocelyn Hillman were Justice Secretary

My first priority as Justice Secretary would be to lead by example, hiring an ex-offender as my diary secretary. By employing women with convictions the government could reduce reoffending at no cost to the taxpayer, while also creating life-changing opportunities for some of the most marginalised people in our society.

I would ensure that ex-offenders were included in the Ministry’s diversity quotas and that my staff, from top to bottom, were engaged in understanding the importance of inclusive hiring practices. I would also ensure all government contractors were obliged to implement the same measures.

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Langley House Trust’s justice priorities

As Justice Secretary I would ensure that we never lost sight of the fact that offenders are human beings – just like you and me – with basic needs which need to be properly met. I would also remember that offenders as human beings also need to have hope. Hope that as convicted prisoners they can serve their time in a constructive way

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Criminal justice voluntary sector under threat

Perhaps the most depressing finding of the survey, was that the majority of the sector has had to make redundancies with 50 organisations expecting to make 131 redundancies in the current financial year. Some of these job losses are being offset by the recruitment of more volunteers. In fact, the voluntary sector is again starting to resemble the volunteering sector with organisations having on average 1.7 volunteers for every member of paid staff.

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The Prisoners’ Education Trust justice priorities

If we all want people to leave prison and make a positive contribution to society, why not enable them to start during their sentence? I would make it a priority to ensure prison staff work together with prisoners to improve rehabilitation by giving them more responsibility, using their talents and encouraging them to help others with roles such as peer mentors, student council representatives and learning champions.

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