CJA news

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 We had our first board meeting with six new trustees who bring a mix of professional and lived experience to help guide the work of the CJA. We approved 12 new members: Advance, Another Night of Sisterhood, Belong, Census Life, the Corbett Foundation, the Howard League for Penal Reform, the Independent Custody Visiting Association (associate member), Neighbourhood Watch Network, Remedi, Restorative Thinking, The Traveller Movement and Victim Support.   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.'
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In the news

PM announced justice policy changes

In a string of announcements from No 10, the government revealed proposals to create an additional 10,000 prison places through a £2.5b prison building programme, to increase prison security with a £100m investment in new technology including x-ray scanners and metal detectors, and to award £85m to the Crown Prosecution Service to assist with caseload. Boris Johnson also ordered a review of the sentencing of 'dangerous and prolific offenders', which will consider changes in legislation including removing automatic release at the half-way point of a custodial sentence. This review comes despite a long-term trend of increasing sentence lengths for serious crimes and the lack of evidence that increasing sentence length reduces reoffending.

Probation services to be returned to the public sector

The Ministry of Justice announced that responsibility for offender management will be returned to the public sector. From Spring 2021, the National Probation Service will manage 11 probation regions across England and Wales. Each NPS region will have a private or voluntary sector 'Innovation Partner' who will be responsible for providing unpaid work and accredited programmes - up to £280m will be made available each year for this work. However, the core functions of supervision and management will be carried out by the NPS. The Ministry of Justice published these proposals in its response to its consultation on the future of probation services. Specific proposals include: Dynamic framework to award contracts for resettlement and rehabilitation programmes, similar to the DPS in place for prison education. A statutory professional regulatory framework across the probation system with continual professional development standards and a practise and ethical framework. An emphasis on equalities in both training and the continuous professional development offer, and a focus on improving workforce diversity and progression for under-represented groups.

NAO expresses concern about probation reforms

The National Audit Office published its latest progress review of the Transforming Rehabilitation reforms. The report concludes the Ministry of Justice 'set itself up to fail in how it approached the Transforming Rehabilitation reforms' and identifies of a litany of poor outcomes, including a lack of the much-promised innovation, a significant increase in the average number of reoffences committed by reoffenders and increased costs paid by the Ministry to CRCs to keep them afloat.
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