CJA news

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.'
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In the news

New female offender strategy launched

The Ministry of Justice has published its Female Offender Strategy, announcing pilots for five residential women's centres and a greater focus on innovative community provisions. The full strategy can be read here.

New employment strategy in prisons announced

Justice Secretary David Gauke today announced a new policy intervention aimed at putting offenders  on the path to employment from the day they enter prison. The Education and Employment strategy sets out new measures to boost prisoners’ skills while in custody and improve their chances of securing work on release. In this strategy, education and training, work in custody, and the availability of employment opportunities in the community are highlighted as the key areas of focus in achieving this. Further information on the new strategy can be found here.

Inspection highlights failures of probation reforms

On 17 April, HMI Probation published a thematic report on Probation Supply Chains. Dame Glenys Stacey, HM Chief Inspector of Probation, found that probation reforms have failed to deliver the aim of ensuring that voluntary and third sector organisations play a central role in providing specialist support to offenders. The full report can be viewed here.

Parole Board Chair Nick Hardwick resigns following Worboys decision

On 28 March, Nick Hardwick - Chair of Parole Board - resigned after Justice Secretary David Gauke told him his position was 'untenable' following the court overturning the Parole Board's decision to release John Worboys. A copy of his letter of resignation can be found here.
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