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Tags are what WordPress calls is keywords. I attach a small number of tags to every post to help people navigate between content with the same keywords. Tags may be people (David Gauke say), organisations (The Howard League, Revolving Doors Agency), themes (women offenders, homelessness) or specific items (heroin, cocaine, ROTL). If you’re looking to research a particular issue, they can be invaluable.

Criminal Justice

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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Criminal Justice

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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Commissioning

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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Criminal Justice

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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Criminal Justice

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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Prison

If Alex Cavendish were Justice Secretary

At the moment our prisons are a ticking time bomb that could explode into violence without warning. Frontline staff shortages and overcrowding are contributing to this explosive and toxic environment. If I were Secretary of State for Justice my first priority would be to ensure that no prison in England and Wales has less staff than it needs to operate a safe, normal regime.

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Criminal Justice

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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On Probation

The Probation Institute’s Justice priorities

Splitting up responsibility for offender management has created a divide between a small national probation service and the 21 CRCs leading a huge increase in bureaucracy and growing professional tensions. The probation profession is potentially being undermined as there is no longer a requirement for CRCs to use staff with recognised probation qualifications. They no longer have to employ qualified probation officers to manage complex cases.

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Criminal Justice

What are the priorities for restorative justice?

This would benefit victims, offenders and the wider public. It would have the additional benefit of being popular. Polling shows that 75% of the public think that every victim of crime should have the right to meet their offender. Surely no politician can ignore that level of public support?

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Featured

The Prison Governors’ Association justice priorities

We cannot go on thinking we can imprison our way to a safer society, not only is it poor value for money for the taxpayer, it also fails to recognise the evidence already available that there are better and more cost effective ways to protect the public and reduce reoffending.

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On Probation

Justice should embrace the treasury

It is this relentless focus on ensuring that everything we do actually achieves our aims that is desperately needed in crime and justice policy. To do something radical such as cutting prison numbers, a new Justice Secretary will need allies and I think the best bet is the Treasury.

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On Probation

If NoOffence! were Justice Secretary

The design of the CJS is not evidence-led, despite some attempts to reference evidence when it fits the prevailing ‘politics’. The prevailing ‘politics’ and public attitude is one of punishment first and foremost . Any discussion is predominantly an emotional response to the harm done by those who commit crimes, bounded by vested interests and political dogma.

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