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News Archives: Index

October 7, 2010: Probation Set For Industrial Action

October 5, 2010: Turning Prisoners Into Taxpayers

October 4, 2010: Murder Changes Now In Force

September 20, 2010: Probation Programmes Face Cuts

August 24, 2010: Victorian Poor Law Records Online

August 10, 2010: Justice Job Cuts

July 28, 2010: Prison Violence Growing

July 22, 2010: Police Numbers: Latest Figures

July 22, 2010: New Jurisdiction Rules

July 16, 2010: CCJS On Prison And Probation Spending Under Labour

July 15, 2010: Latest Statistics On Violent And Sexual Crime

July 15, 2010: Latest National Crime Figures

July 15, 2010: New Chief Prisons Inspector

July 14, 2010: Hard Times Ahead For Prisons: Anne Owers

July 14, 2010: Prison Does Not Work: Ken Clarke

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform: Sentencing and Rehabilitation

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform Priorities

July 12, 2010: What Price Public Protection, Asks Probation Chief Inspector

July 12, 2010: NOMS has failed, says Napo

July 10, 2010: IPCC To Investigate Death of Raoul Moat

July 9, 2010: Women In Prison: New Report

July 9, 2009: Unjust Deserts: Imprisonment for Public Protection

July 8, 2010: Police Search Powers Change

July 7, 2010: Make 'Legal High' Illegal, Says ACMD

July 2, 2010: Failing Children In Prison

July 2, 2010: Police Buried Under a Blizzard of Guidance: HMIC

July 1, 2010: Freedom To Change The Law?

June 30, 2010: A New Outlook On Penal Reform?

June 30, 2010: Revolving Door Of Offending Must Stop, Says Clarke

June 30, 2010: Ken Clarke: Speech on Criminal Justice Reform

June 29, 2010: No More Police Targets

June 26, 2010: Family Intervention Projects Questioned

June 25, 2010: Cutting Criminal Justice

June 24, 2010: Napo on Sex Offenders Report

June 23, 2010: Closing Courts: The Cuts Begin

June 23, 2010: Strategy To Tackle Gangs

June 15, 2010: Courts and Mentally Disordered Offenders

June 8, 2010: Working With Muslims in Prison

June 1, 2010: Your Chance To Nominate a QC

March 29, 2007: New Ministry of Justice

Prime Minister Tony Blair has announced major changes to the Home Office, which will be divided and refocused. The National Offender Management Service (NOMS), including the Prison and Probation Services, will move from the Home Office to the Department for Constitutional Affairs on 9th May, 2007, creating a Ministry of Justice. The Home Office will retain its other existing responsibilities, including for policing, anti-social behaviour, drugs, overall crime reductions, immigration, asylum and identity management (ID cards and passports).

The Home Office will take on a stronger role in tackling the threat of terrorism, alongside its existing responsibilities of the police service, crime reduction, immigration and asylum, and identity and passports. A new Office for Security and Counter-terrorism will be set up within the Home Office, responsible for developing and supporting the country's overall counter-terrorism strategy.

As part of the changes, which build on the government's recently published Security, Crime and Justice Policy Review, the government will form a new Ministerial Committee on Security and Terrorism, chaired by the Prime Minister, which will meet regularly to share information on security issues. A national security board chaired by the Home Secretary will meet weekly to study threats to the UK.

A new Ministry of Justice will be created, in order to provide a stronger focus on the criminal justice system, and on reducing re-offending. The Prime Minister said the new Ministry of Justice will take the leading role in delivering a fairer, more effective, speedy and efficient justice system. This new ministry will take over the staff and responsibilities of the Department for Constitutional Affairs, and NOMS, including the prison and probation services, and have lead responsibility for criminal law and sentencing. Finally, the Office of Criminal Justice Reform will remain a tripartite office, as it is now, but will operate from the new ministry, rather than from the Home Office.

In a written ministerial statement, the Prime Minister stated that the security and counter-terrorism changes will have immediate effect:

 "Separately I have decided to bring the agencies that deal with offenders into a new Ministry of Justice. Protecting the public demands we grip those who commit crime from the moment they enter the criminal justice system right through court, prison and probation".

In a statement to Parliament, Home Secretary John Reid explained that in the wake of reviews conducted last year, the Prime Minister had decided to enhance the Home Office's focus on issues critical to national security. The relationship between the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice will be vital, and strong agreements will be put in place between NOMS, the police, and the Immigration and Nationality Directorate, to ensure that they all work together smoothly.

Alongside these changes the Prime Minister today announced the creation of a Ministry of Justice that will bring together the main agencies dealing with the offender. The National Offender Management Service (including the Prison and Probation Services) and lead responsibility for criminal justice and sentencing policy will move from the Home Office to the Department for Constitutional Affairs from May 9.

The Ministry of Justice will be responsible for policy on the overall criminal, civil, family and administrative justice system, including sentencing policy, as well as the courts, tribunals, legal aid and constitutional reform. It will help to bring together management of the criminal justice system from end to end, meaning that once a suspect has been charged their journey through the courts, and if necessary prison and probation, can be managed seamlessly.

The Ministry will take a leading role in delivering a fairer, more effective, speedy and efficient justice system, and also in reducing re-offending. In doing so it will, with the Home Office and the Attorney General's Office, respect the vital roles and independence of the judiciary and the Prosecuting authorities.

Public protection and crime reduction will continue to be the core focus of Government policy. The Government has made clear that prison will continue to be necessary to protect the public from the most serious offenders, although some non dangerous offenders do not need to be in custody because their offending can be better addressed through non-custodial means, the Government has announced plans to build a further 8,000 prison places by 2012, having already increased capacity by 19,700 since 1997.

Criminal Law and sentencing policy will move to the new Ministry of Justice. In order to maintain the Government's clear focus on public protection, and crime reduction, the Home Secretary will continue to have a core role in decision making in this area, reflecting his responsibilities for crime reduction. The Secretary of State for Justice will work with the Home Secretary, Attorney General and other Ministers to ensure flexible and effective responses to different types of crime, from anti-social behaviour, to serious and organised criminality, including through the expansion of summary powers. Government policy in this area will in future be decided by a new Cabinet committee on Crime and the Criminal Justice System, chaired by the Prime Minister.

Responsibility for the Crown Prosecution Service and the other prosecuting authorities will remain with the Attorney General, who has a statutory duty to superintend them. The prosecuting authorities are an integral part of the Criminal Justice System and the Ministry of Justice will continue to work with the Office of the Attorney General to deliver a world-class criminal justice system.

There will continue to be a shared National Criminal Justice Board and an Office for Criminal Justice Reform, based in the Ministry for Justice and working trilaterally between the Home Office, the Ministry of Justice and the Attorney General's office. This will ensure that the police and prosecutors continue to work closely and effectively with the courts, prison and probation.