crime and justice

Give victims greater voice in sentencing decisions

Thom Brooks  |  16 December 2013

Criminal justice suffers from a lack of public confidence. It is easy to see why. The legal system can appear an unwelcome place where the victim – and not the offender – is truly on trial. Many victims unsurprisingly report dissatisfaction with their treatment. Sometimes they feel like bystanders in trials they might have affected …

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Jenny Earle  |  13 November 2013

Prisonomics is a timely contribution to debates about the cost-effectiveness and proportionality of women’s imprisonment for relatively minor, non-violent offending. It contains lots of facts and figures (including from the Prison Reform Trust’s Bromley Briefings), but it is the snapshots of women whose paths Vicky Pryce briefly crosses that most convincingly demonstrate the futility of …

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The unwinnable crusade

James Bloodworth  |  6 November 2013

Everyone knows the war on drugs has failed. So why doesn’t the public want change? Yet another call has been made for an end to the so-called ‘war on drugs’, this time from former United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan. Like so many politicians who recognise the absurdity of the state’s unwinnable crusade against narcotics, …

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LPC13: Justice: cuts we can believe in

Simon Jeffrey  |  24 September 2013

This event will consider how, traditionally, reforms including the movement away from imprisonment towards non-custodial sentences have been seen as ‘politically contentious’, with Leaders of the Opposition and Shadow Home Secretaries keen to impress ‘toughness’ over wider evidence. However, in an austerity era, where the political consensus for public spending cuts requires careful examination of …

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The rehabilitation counter-revolution

Frances Crook  |  23 September 2013

On his appointment as justice secretary, aware of the need to make cuts, Chris Grayling made clear that he saw a stark choice between reducing the number of people in prison and reducing the costs of each prison place. He, of course, chose the latter – an approach laden with wishful thinking that is in …

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The cost of prison is too high

Charles Clarke  |  17 September 2013

Time to make alternatives to prison a real choice for courts Charles Clarke —The reduction of crime ought to be a central goal of any democratic government. As a wide range of statistics demonstrates, it was a goal at which Labour in office was pretty successful. The reason for our success was a combination of …

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End child enlistment in our armed forces

Alex Cunningham MP  |  22 May 2013

Britain remains one of just 20 countries in the world which still recruits children from the age of 16 into the armed services. Most accept it as simply the ‘way things are’, but I would think many have never really considered what it means to enlist 16 and 17 year olds and if the needs …

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Doorstep challenge

Ash McGregor  |  16 May 2013

Shadow home affairs minister Gloria de Piero kicked off the Progress annual conference breakout debate, Doorstep challenge: Can we win on crime and immigration?, focusing on antisocial behaviour. She said that the government was turning the clock back. In the most recent crime survey for England and Wales, eight out of 10 respondents thought levels …

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No new broom for policing

Jacqui Smith  |  30 April 2013

When Tom Winsor was appointed as the first non-police chief inspector of constabulary last year, I toyed with the idea that this could be a good thing. A breath of fresh air: focusing on the public rather than just the profession; allowing innovative new ideas brought from across the public sector and beyond. However, I …

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From justice to McJustice

Tim Starkey  |  10 April 2013

Fighting for the rights of those accused of crime is never a popular cause. Legal aid clients are vilified by the Tory press as ‘spongers’, their lawyers as ‘greedy fat cats’. So it is no surprise that the government sees legal aid as a soft target. This week’s consultation paper Transforming Legal Aid: Delivering a …

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