Policy, politics and the way forward

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:
Policy, politics and the way forward

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This chapter brings together the main conclusions drawn from the previous chapters, and their implications for policy and practice. In proposing a longer-term framework for twenty-first-century criminal justice, it argues that integrity, decency, transparency and trust are essential if the governance and administration of criminal justice are to command the respect and compliance of those who work with them in the criminal justice sector, and those who are affected by what they do, including victims of crime, offenders and the wider public. The chapter emphasises that the reduction of crime and the prevention of reoffending depend as much on social circumstances and individual situations, opportunities and relationships as they do on sentencing or the operation of the criminal justice services; and argues for a simplification of the current system and for a renewed respect to be given to local and professional discretion. It suggests that the pressures on public expenditure — and the recurring uncertainty regarding criminal justice policy following the riots of August 2011 — might paradoxically provide the impetus for progress to be made in adopting more constructive approaches, if possible in a less adversarial political context and preferably with cross-party support.

Keywords: early-years prevention; diversion; discretion; localisation; voluntary sector; young adult; Breaking the Cycle; justice reinvestment; procedural justice; trust

Chapter.  5737 words. 

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