Chapter

What happened in criminal justice: the 1980s

David Faulkner and Ros Burnett

in Where Next For Criminal Justice?

Published by Policy Press

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9781847428929
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447305569 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847428929.003.0003
What happened in criminal justice: the 1980s

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This chapter describes the confidence that existed up to the 1960s; the period of disillusion which followed; and the strategy that the Conservative government developed during the first part of its period in office (corresponding roughly with Margaret Thatcher's time as Prime Minister). During the 1980s, the government, the judiciary and the criminal justice services began to realise that traditional assumptions and practices could not deal adequately with issues of race and ethnicity, and that minority groups would not receive justice unless changes were made. They also came to acknowledge that victims of crime had been neglected for too long and that the scheme of compensation for criminal injuries introduced in the 1960s was an inadequate response to their needs. Drug abuse developed into a major social problem. Crime was increasing. That was the period during which the government for the first time began to develop a comprehensive strategy for preventing and reducing crime, for supporting victims and for improving the quality of justice as well as the treatment of those who commit it, and, at the same time, for coordinating the work of government departments, courts and public services.

Keywords: effectiveness; proportionality; judiciary; 1980s; Conservative government; Criminal Justice Act; Woolf Report; crime prevention; victim; consultation

Chapter.  5846 words. 

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