CJA and EQUAL respond to s.60 stop and search equality impact assessments

Following requests from the CJA in letters to the Home Secretary and her predecessor, the Home Office has published Equality Impact Assessments (EIA) for the changes to s.60 suspicion-less searches. These changes, which lower both the threshold and seniority of rank required to authorise a s.60 order, were piloted initially in March 2019 in seven police forces before being rolled out nationally in August.

The CJA wrote to the Home Office setting out concerns that the pilot and subsequent roll out were done without any public consultation, without providing evidence to demonstrate their necessity and without due regard to the Public Sector Equality Duty.

Given the disproportionate use of suspicion-less searches on BAME people and the impact this has on police community relations and trust in the criminal justice system amongst BAME people, the EIA is a vital document to understand how, given the above, the government demonstrates it is complying with the Duty.

The Duty requires the public bodies to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not. The published EIAs rightly point out that s.60 is used disproportionately against BAME people and acknowledges that increasing the use of. S.60 searches will ‘pose the risk of magnifying any residual levels of discrimination in the use of this power. We would also expect, given that individuals from BAME backgrounds are more likely to be searched, that any increases in s60 would continue to disproportionately affect them.’

The EIA concludes in relation to police/community relations, that ‘it is likely that more BAME individuals are searched under this power despite not committing any offences, and without being provided with significant person specific justification for searches taking place. Given the potentially negative impact on trust in the police that an increase in stop and search might have, this would probably risk having a negative effect on a part of the community where trust / confidence levels are typically low. Since trust in the police and co-operation with them is often necessary for effective community policing, such changes may create broader issues.’

Meanwhile, the EIAs’ assessment of the potential positive impact of increasing s.60 searches is highly caveated: ‘It is not possible to rule out that a modest increase in the use of S60 stop and searches might have a small positive impact on serious violence offences, if the power is used in a highly targeted way.’

The CJA and EQUAL will be writing to the Home Secretary to seek an urgent review of the changes to s.60 in light of these revealing assessments. We will also raise our serious concerns that, contrary to the government’s stance, the EIAs do not in fact demonstrate compliance with the Public Sector Equality Duty. Trust and confidence within BAME communities will only increase where they see the Government and the police acting on the evidence they produce on racial disparities.

 

 

 

ends

 

The CJA is recruiting!

Communications and Engagement Officer

This exciting new post will harness and amplify the expertise of our 150 member organisations, helping us to achieve our vision of a fairer and more effective criminal justice system. This role forms a crucial part of our new strategy – ‘Connecting for Change’ – by assisting with the development of the CJA’s new communications strategy and leading on its implementation to reach a variety of audiences including policy makers, the public, CJA members and the wider sector. Having a wide membership from across the CJS means there will be great variety to your work which will cover a range of crucial issues from policing to prison reform, race disparity to restorative justice.

You will have the opportunity to develop new, creative approaches to communicating our messages, lead on social media, support the re-design of the website and liaise with the media. You will travel to visit members across the country to understand and promote their work and help them share their expertise and network through arranging engaging and effective member meetings, round-tables, policy forums, expert groups and our annual CJA Awards and Media Awards.

You will develop methods to capture member feedback and maintain up to date and accurate systems to track engagement and areas of member expertise. We are a small team, so you will work closely on a day to day basis with the Director and Policy Officer to influence change and work together with our members and Board to achieve a criminal justice system that is safe, smart, person-centred, restorative and trusted.

You will have at least two year’s (paid or unpaid) relevant work experience in a communications and/or engagement related post, strong IT and social media skills and excellent organisational skills, including some experience of event management. You will need excellent verbal and written skills to communicate with impact  and the ability to build positive relationships with a range of stakeholders and work flexibly as part of a small team. Crucially, you will have a commitment to the vision, mission and strategic objectives of the CJA.

We value having a diverse range of perspectives, expertise and insights on our team.  We are particularly keen to receive applications from black, Asian and minority ethic people and people with lived experience of the criminal justice system.

The deadline for applications is midnight on 17 November 2019.

If you’d like to have an informal conversation about the role, please email nina.champion@criminaljusticealliance.org.uk to arrange a time.

We look forward very much to receiving your application.

 

 

CJA and CJI launch new briefing for prospective PCCs

Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) play a crucial role in tackling crime, addressing the needs of their communities, and ensuring the justice system is fair and effective. In this role, PCCs can stimulate local innovative practice, bring together organisations and individuals from across the criminal justice system to make these initiatives a success and make substantial change to the lives of people affected by crime.

The CJA and the Centre for Justice Innovation have launched a new briefing highlighting some of the main challenges facing the criminal justice system and provides practical innovative solutions that prospective PCCs could include in their manifestos for the 2020 elections.

CJA and CJI to launch PCC briefing at party conferences

Looking ahead to the 2020 PCC elections, CJI and CJA are producing a briefing informed by an expert group of CJA members, which showcases current innovative practice supported by PCCs across the country. The launches of this briefing at party conferences will feature discussions with David Jamieson, PCC for the West Midlands, and Katy Bourne, PCC for Sussex, who will be joined by a range of voices on topical justice issues including Serious Youth Violence, County Lines and Restorative Justice. After initial presentations from the panels, the events will be opened up to all attendees to contribute to the discussion about the crucial role PCCs have to play in leading innovation in justice, and about the challenges and opportunities the future holds.

The events are free and you do not need an official conference pass. Please email dlugton@justiceinnovation.org if you would like to attend, and please state whether you have any accessibility requirements.

Labour Police and Crime Commissioners: Leaders for Justice Innovation

Tuesday 24th September 2019, 13:30 – 15:00

Mercure Brighton Seafront Hotel, 149 Kings Road, Brighton, BN1 2PP, Room: Ballroom

 

  • David Jamieson, PCC for the West Midlands
  • Gareth Evans, Intern for the West Midlands PCC
  • Lucy, Restorative Justice Ambassador for Why Me?
  • Junior Smart, Business Development Manager and Founder of the SOS Gangs Project, St. Giles Trust.

 

 

Conservative Police and Crime Commissioners: Leaders for Justice Innovation

Monday 30th September 2019, 15:00 – 16:30

Friends’ Meeting House, 6 Mount Street, Manchester, M2 5NS, Room G3

 

  • Katy Bourne, PCC for Sussex
  • Linda, Ambassador for Sussex Restorative Justice Partnership
  • Joanne Bakare, Custody Suite Youth Specialist Worker, St. Giles Trust

Director’s Update – July 2019

Dear Members,

 

This month marks one year since I joined the CJA as Director.  I have enjoyed meeting so many of our members. I’m proud of what we have achieved over the last year in developing a new vision, mission and strategy for the CJA ‘Connecting for Change’.  Our new strategy began in April. To keep members up to date with progress, I am going to provide a verbal and written update at each members’ meeting.

 

Effective Scrutiny and Accountability:

  • Following our Stop & Scrutinisereport, the College of Policing are revising the Authorised Professional Practice on scrutiny of stop and search.
  • MOPAC (London), Cheshire and Humberside are using the report to review their community scrutiny processes.
  • We wrote to the Home Secretary about our concerns with the new pilot making it easier to authorise suspicion-less s.60 searches. The Minister of Policing confirmed they would consult with the CJA on the impact of the pilot and next steps.
  • We convened two expert meetings to co-ordinate a response to 6-month review stage of the pilot.
  • I gave evidence to the APPG on Knife Crime on stop & search and to the Justice Select Committee on progress since the Lammy Review.

Restorative practices and supporting BAME victims:

  • We published and disseminated a report on Restorative Justice which was endorsed by the Victims Commissioner and PCC Lead for Victims.
  • We held a roundtable event with members in partnership with the MoJ Race Disparity Team discussing the needs of BAME victims.

Fit for purpose and diverse workforce:

  • Our volunteer on release on temporary licence from prison has been exploring the experiences of people with lived experience working in the criminal justice system. A briefing with recommendations will be published later this year.
  • We held a roundtable event at the MoJ bringing together people working to increase the racial diversity of the workforce from across the criminal justice pathway.

Engaging members to draw together expertise:

  • We held a roundtable hosted by Lord Ramsbotham, discussing probation reforms. A briefing note has been circulated to policy makers and key stakeholders.
  • We hosted a policy forum at the Ministry of Justice on the topic of post-release accommodation with the new Head of Accommodation for HMPPS.
  • We look forward to opening the 2019 CJA awards shortly, which will be presented at an evening reception on 29 November, combined with our members meeting and UK launch of the global ‘Incarceration Nations Network’ in the afternoon.

Influence policy makers, commissioners and the public to achieve our vision

  • We convened an expert group of members to begin co-producing a PCC manifesto in advance of the PCC elections in May 2020 with Centre for Justice Innovation.
  • I presented a paper on women and remand at the Advisory Board for Female Offenders and organised a meeting of CJA members on the issue of the overuse of custodial remand.
  • We convened an expert group of journalists and CJA members to refresh and develop of annual CJA outstanding Journalism Award, to better promote constructive, solution focused and ethical reporting of criminal justice issues.
  • We responded to consultations including the Home Affairs Select Committee on 20 years since the MacPherson report, the Labour Party consultation on their future justice policy and the Home Office consultation on a public-health duty. In line with the CJA response the government u-turned on plans for an individual duty.

Build the capacity of small organisations and people with lived experience to influence change

  • We have established a CJA lived experience expert group and I continue to support and advise the HMPPS Service User Advisory Group. We have also held regional meetings in Bristol and Birmingham.

CJA news

 

I hope you have a wonderful summer!

Very best wishes,

Nina Champion, Director

‘A journey of learning, growth and change’

The CJA has launched its latest briefing on Restorative Justice – ‘A journey of learning, growth and change‘. The briefing provides a succinct account of the current landscape for Restorative Justice and restorative practices in England and Wales. It is based on a survey sent to all police forces across the country and follow-up interviews.

In her foreword to the report Baroness Newlove, the Victims’ Commissioner, writes:

‘Under the Victims Code, all victims should be informed how to take part in RJ, but sadly only 7.5% say they recall being offered the option. In effect, this means that the remainder have the decision made for them. This is not good enough. I want all victims to be empowered to make an informed decision on whether to seek RJ. And for those who do, they should find a service of the highest quality, treating them with sensitivity and care. I therefore welcome this report from the Criminal Justice Alliance, highlighting the benefits of RJ and how to deliver a service that is truly transformational for a victim’s recovery.’

Dame Vera Baird, PCC for Northumbria and the APCC’s national lead for victims, writes:

‘Police and Crime Commissioners are committed to a vision of RJ for victims at all stages of the Criminal Justice System. This report gives examples of good practice, including my force area, Northumbria. It also sets a challenge to the whole RJ field to ensure that the delivery of RJ is strengthened further. I look forward to the CJA sharing this report with the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, so PCCs can bring about further improvements in this area.’

Chair of Met BPA addresses CJA members

Janet Hills, Chair of the Metropolitan Black Police Association, addressed CJA members at the latest Members Meeting on the topic of policing, diversity and scrutiny. A transcript of her speech and Q&As is available here.

New briefing: Stop and Scrutinise

The CJA’s latest briefing ‘CJA Stop and Scrutinise 2019‘ sets out key principles and recommendations for good practice in community scrutiny of stop and search. The briefing is the result of a survey sent to all police forces in England and Wales and interviews with a wide range of stakeholders, including police representatives, academics and community scrutiny experts.

New CJA Strategy Launched

The CJA has launched its new strategy ‘CJA Strategy Summary 2019‘, which sets out a bold vision to harness and share our members’ expertise in order to tackle some fundamental, systemic issues with relevance across the criminal justice pathway.

Become a CJA Trustee!

‘In a sector I love it’s been a privilege to be a part of a wonderful Board for a forward-looking charity’ 

– C.J. Burge, St. Giles Trust (CJA Trustee)

As we prepare to launch and implement our three year strategy in 2019, we are seeking to recruit new trustees to join us at this exciting time to help us achieve our ambitious goals for a fairer and more effective criminal justice system.

We always aim to recruit both from our member organisations and among those with expert knowledge to bring to our work.

We value having a diverse range of perspectives, expertise and insights on the Board.  We are particularly keen to receive applications from black, Asian and minority ethic people and people with lived experience of the criminal justice system.

We are also looking for applicants with knowledge of charity finance, communications, fundraising, policy/public affairs, equalities issues and/or expertise in any of the topics related to our work streams.

The role is unpaid, but we can cover reasonable expenses and provide access to relevant training and mentorship. Please find below:

Applicants are asked to send a CV (maximum two sides) and covering letter (of no more than 500 words) outlining why they’re interested in the role and what they could bring to our Board. They’re also asked to provide details of two referees.

The closing date for applications is 28 January 2019. Interviews will be held in Vauxhall at the start of February 2019.

 

Read what some of our current trustees have to say about the experience:

C.J. Burge, St. Giles Trust: ‘As a first-time trustee I have found the experience very interesting and rewarding. In a sector I love it’s been a privilege to be a part of a wonderful Board for a forward-looking charity, particularly as someone with lived experience of the criminal justice system. The role has given me great insight into both the macro and micro management of an organisation such as managing risks and resources. I have benefited from listening to, and working alongside, the other trustees.’

Lucy Jaffé, Why Me? ‘I value being involved with the Criminal Justice Alliance as a Board member because I can contribute to supporting vital change across the criminal justice system, support the important work of member organisations and learn from Board colleagues. It is very rewarding.’

Frances Flaxington, Criminal Justice Consultant: ‘The strength of the Board is the diverse mix of skills and experience which enables us to support members and the small staff team to focus on different challenges in the criminal justice system.’

John Drew, Chair ‘I have been a CJA trustee for more than 3 years now and have enjoyed every moment. Our 150 members speak with the expertise of more than 13,000 people, and the broadest imaginable set of experiences. Our aim is to strengthen the voices of these experts in pursuit of our overarching objective of building a fairer and more effective criminal justice system.’

 

CJA Awards Shortlists Announced

The Criminal Justice Alliance Awards shine a light on individuals and organisations who have made a ‘marked contribution to effectiveness, fairness or new models of delivery’.

The Awards, generously supported for the fourth year by The Hadley Trust, will give prizes of £4,000 and £2,000 to organisations and £1,000 to an individual who have contributed materially to improving outcomes and demonstrating impact. An award will also be given for outstanding journalism which has made a notable contribution to a better understanding of criminal justice.

 

Please see the full shortlists here.

Shadow Justice Secretary addresses CJA members

Richard Burgon MP, Shadow Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor, delivered a speech at the last CJA Members Meeting setting out the Labour Party’s current priorities on criminal justice. A copy of his speech is available here.

How to start reducing the prison population

Today we have published a briefing setting out eight pragmatic and incremental ways the government could begin to reduce the prison population without impacting public safety.

We estimate that these measures could reduce the population by 12,000 places over the lifetime of this parliament. This would reduce the pressure on the system, making it safer and freeing up to £900 million which could instead be spent on diverting people from the criminal justice system in the first place and providing effective rehabilitation services to prevent re-offending.

We propose the government focus on eight areas: recalls, remand, indeterminate sentences (IPP), sentence creep, short sentences, people experiencing mental health problems, women and black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people.

The full briefing can be read here and a blog from our Director Nina Champion on this can be read here.

Prisons Minister addresses CJA Members

Rory Stewart MP, Minister for Prisons, delivered a speech at the CJA Members Meeting on 26 April, stating his concerns with the high levels of violence and drug use occurring in prisons across the country. A summary is available here.

Nina Champion appointed CJA Director

The Criminal Justice Alliance (CJA) is delighted to announce the appointment of Nina Champion as its new Director with effect from 1 July. Nina is currently Head of Policy at the Prisoners’ Education Trust.

CJA Chair John Drew said: ‘We couldn’t be more pleased that Nina has accepted our invitation to lead the CJA in the years ahead. At a time of crisis for many parts of the criminal justice system, her experience and clarity of thought about effecting change will be of enormous benefit to the charity.’

Nina Champion said: ‘I’m hugely honoured to have been offered this important and exciting role, working with a wide range of inspiring organisations doing such impressive work across the country. I look forward to engaging with them, and in particular with as many people as possible who have lived experience of the criminal justice system.’

The CJA is a coalition of 136 member bodies, founded in 2007 and now employing some 17,000 people between them. Membership – across the criminal justice pathway from policing to prisons and probation – has doubled since 2015.

Nina Champion succeeds Ben Summerskill. John Drew said: ‘Ben has made an outstanding contribution both to the CJA and to criminal justice reform during his three years with us. We’re indebted to him for everything he’s done.’

Divert and Panorama top CJA Awards 2017

We are delighted to announce the winners of this year’s CJA Awards. A full list of the winners can be found here and further details of their work, and the work of shortlisted and longlisted organisations and individuals can be found in What Good Looks Like.

PGA President Andrea Albutt speaks at CJA Members Meeting

Andrea Albutt, President of the Prison Governors Association, spoke at the last CJA Members Meeting about the historical and current challenges facing the prison service and what can be done to improve treatment and outcomes for prisoners and staff.

A full transcript of her speech is available here.

CJA Awards 2017 Shortlists

We are delighted to announce the shortlists for this year’s CJA Awards. The full lists for outstanding organisation, individual and journalism are available here.

CJA Trustee Recruitment

The Criminal Justice Alliance is seeking to recruit new trustees to join our Board from January 2018. We always aim to recruit both from our member organisations and among those with expert knowledge to bring to our work.

Please find below:

  • Background Information on the CJA and its Board, including a Role Description
  • Recruitment Analysis Form

Applicants are asked to send a CV and covering letter (of no more than 500 words) outlining why they’re interested in the role and what they could bring to our Board. They’re also asked to provide details of two referees. Applications close on Monday 25 September. Interviews will be in October.

 

 

CJA Awards 2017

The CJA Awards celebrate organisations and individuals who have made a marked contribution to

  • Effectiveness
  • Fairness
  • New models of delivery

anywhere across the criminal justice pathway from policing to prisons and probation.

The 2017 Awards – generously supported by the Hadley Trust – will give prizes of £4,000 and £2,000 to two organisations and £1,000 to an individual to support the area of their work. Entrants must have worked in their field for at least two years. This year’s judges include Frances Gibb, Legal Editor of The Times, and Eva Hamilton MBE, Founder and CEO of Key4Life.

Details about how to apply available here.

Peter Clarke addresses CJA members

Peter Clarke, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, spoke at the latest CJA Members Meeting on 6 July. He highlighted the continuing and growing challenges facing the prison estate, and the role and impact that the inspectorate can and should be having. A transcript is available here.

No respect: Young BAME men, the police and stop and search

The CJA has published a briefing on the recent experience of young black, Asian and minority ethnic people (BAME) and stop and search. No Respect is a digest of in-depth interviews and opinion polling among the two million BAME young people aged 16-30 in England and Wales.

 

Policy Officer – Criminal Justice Alliance

We’re recruiting a Policy Officer. If you or anyone you know would like to join the Criminal Justice Alliance, the Recruitment Pack can be downloaded here. If you have experience working for a member programme – our membership is now 120, up from 70 organisations two years ago – that’s an added bonus. The Application Form can be downloaded here. The Recruitment Analysis Form can be downloaded here. Closing date Monday 10 July.

Restorative Justice Costings Briefing

The CJA published a briefing on the national cost of a legal entitlement to restorative justice for victims of crime. Taking into account that not all crimes are suitable for restorative justice and using the available polling and research on the demand for restorative justice, we estimate this cost to be £30.5 million annually. The full briefing is available here.

Youth Justice Board

Charlie Taylor has been appointed the new Chair of the Youth Justice Board. The Government is creating a new Youth Custody Service as a distinct arm of HM Prison and Probation Service, which will have operational responsibility for the day-to-day running of the youth estate. Responsibility and accountability for commissioning youth custody services will pass from the YJB to the Ministry of Justice.

Ian Bickers addresses CJA members

Transcript of Ian Bicker’s speech to CJA members about the changes made, successes achieved and lessons learned at HMP Wandsworth since it became a reform prison.

CJA Award Winners 2016

STORYBOOK DADS TOP 2016 CJA AWARDS

£4,000 prize for most inspiring organisation

BBC News wins accolade for Journalism of the Year

Storybook Dads, the charity enabling 15,000 children every year to hear stories read by their parents from prison, won the top award as Organisation of the Year at last night’s 2016 Criminal Justice Alliance Awards ceremony.

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Dame Glenys Stacey addresses CJA members

Summary of Dame Glenys Stacey’s speech to CJA members about her first six months at Chief Inspector of Probation, the role she sees for the Inspectorate and the current state of probation in England and Wales.

CJA Awards Shortlists 2016

The shortlisted nominees for the CJA Awards 2016 have been announced. Judges include Baroness Young of Hornsey, journalist Joshua Rozenberg, Director of Anawim Joy Doal and Mark Johnson, Chief Executive of User Voice.

Criminal Justice Alliance Awards 2016

£4,000, £2,000 & £1,000 prizes for inspiring organisations or individuals. 

New award for journalism promoting ‘better understanding’. 

The 2016 CJA Awards will give prizes of £4,000, £2,000 and £1,000 to three organisations or individuals who have contributed materially to improving outcomes across the criminal justice pathway, from policing to prisons and probation, in the last 12 months. The Awards, supported for the second year by the Hadley Trust, acknowledge a ‘marked contribution to effectiveness, fairness or new models of delivery’.

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Peter Dawson addresses CJA members

Transcript of Peter Dawson’s speech to CJA members about the Prison Reform Trust’s current priorities and his thoughts on the impact recent political decisions might have on penal reform and the prison estate.

David Lammy addresses CJA members

Transcript of David Lammy’s speech to CJA members about his independent Review of black, Asian and minority ethnic representation in the criminal justice system.

‘Structured mayhem’: Experiences of victims, witnesses and defendants in Crown Courts

Structured M
A CJA briefing on the sometimes harrowing experiences of victims, witnesses and defendants in a wide-ranging series of Crown Court cases. Structured Mayhem is a digest of a remarkable piece of research carried by the Institute for Criminal Policy Research. Featuring extensive interviews with court users it furnishes a stark reminder that, for all the progress made in recent years, our courts all too often still cause huge frustration and distress to victims and witnesses, and also defendants.

Justice Select Committee hears evidence from the CJA on Criminal Courts Charge

The Justice Committee held its first evidence session on its inquiry into courts and tribunals fees and charges on Tuesday 27 October. Our Director, Ben Summerskill, gave evidence alongside CJA members Phil Bowen, Director of the Centre for Justice Innovation, and Penelope Gibbs, Director of Transform Justice, as well as Frances Crook, Director of the Howard League for Penal Reform. Richard Monkhouse and Malcolm Richardson from the Magistrates’ Association also gave evidence.

A video of the session is available here.

 

President of the Supreme Court addresses CJA members

Lord Neuberger, President of the Supreme Court, addressed the members of the CJA at our offices with a speech entitled “Fairness in the Courts: The Best We Can Do” followed by a Q&A session. A transcript of both is available here.

An Agenda for the New Government

On the 10th March the Criminal Justice Alliance held a conference in Fitzwilliam College Cambridge entitled An Agenda for a New Government. It offered the opportunity to review what is effective and to recommend potential solutions for the new government to consider in order to achieve a fairer and more effective criminal justice system. This one day conference focused on developing ideas and messages for the new government looking in particular at desistance approaches, problem solving courts and Justice reinvestment. Speakers included:

  • Sir Alan Beith MP , Chair of the Justice Committee
  • Professor Sir Anthony Bottoms, University of Cambridge
  • Phil Bowen, Director, Centre for Justice Innovation
  • Penelope Gibbs, Director, Transform Justice
  • Nick Hardwick CBE, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons
  • Tapio Lappi-Seppälä, Director, National Research Institute of Legal Policy,  Helsink
  • Richard Monkhouse JP, Chair of the Magistrates Association
  • Nicola Padfield University of Cambridge
  • Professor Lawrence Sherman, University of Cambridge

 

Prison Fellowship: A Prisoner’s Journey

27 June – A conference exploring the support that the Church provides to prisoners at the various stages of their journey. Speakers include Penny Parker (Interim CEO, Prison Fellowship), Jonathan Aitken, Paul Cowley and Michael Spurr. Click here to book a place.

The Forgiveness Project: Annual Lecture

23 June – This year the main speaker is Karen Armstrong, giving a lecture “Forgiveness and Compassion: Is there a difference?” that focuses on why we must place compassion at the heart of public discourse on religion and morality. Further details here.

Safe Ground: Annual Symposium, Great Minds

10 June – This workshop will assess developments in alternatives to custody in the UK since 2000 and identify good national practice and areas for concern. For further details click here.

Prospects for a Desistance Agenda

The Criminal Justice Alliance has published a new paper, Prospects for a Desistance Agenda. Drawing on interviews with over twenty policymakers, and analysis of official publications, this report considers where desistance stands at present, the barriers that may limit its further progress and the opportunities and risks afforded by current developments. The findings suggest that desistance has made its way directly and indirectly into UK policy and practice and it would appear that its influence is growing. The research found that desistance theories’ greatest strength was seen to be their common sense appeal. Developing relationships between practitioners and offenders and involving offenders in the design of their rehabilitative plans seemed extremely logical. Freeing up discretion and reducing bureaucracy was also viewed as particularly attractive. However, the political focus on risk and public protection alongside the appetite for imprisonment may at times conflict with a desistance agenda. Robust evidence of the effectiveness of desistance-oriented practice would reassure policymakers, as would proven cost-effectiveness. The report recommends: promoting and utilising offender strengths, both through policy and practice; training staff to focus on developing appropriate relationships; and involving and supporting families in the desistance process. The report can be read in full here with an executive summary available here.