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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

October 25, 2007: Report Links Social Injustice And Crime

The experience of social injustice is concentrated among the poorest and most vulnerable, according to a report just published by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies at King's College London. Victims of crime living on low incomes are substantially more likely to experience a range of civil legal problems.

The report, `The problems of everyday life', offers a detailed picture of the nature, pattern and impact of people's experience of civil justice problems, along with information on crime victimisation. It explores the nature and degree of connections between social exclusion, criminal victimisation and the experience of civil justice problems.

The report, authored by Dr Vicky Kemp, Professor Pascoe Pleasence and Dr Nigel Balmer of the Legal Services Research Centre, presents findings from a survey of more than 5,000 adults in households in England and Wales. The 2004 English and Welsh Civil and Social Justice Survey (CSJS) is conducted by the Legal Services Research Centre, the independent research arm of the Legal Services Commission.

The survey had responses from 5015 adults in private households in England and Wales and covers around 100 different problems types, grouped into 18 distinct problem categories: discrimination, consumer, employment, neighbours, homelessness, rented housing, owned housing, money/debt, welfare benefits, divorce, relationship breakdown, domestic violence, children, personal injury, clinical negligence, mental health, immigration, unfair police treatment.

The findings show:

  • a strong association between criminal victimisation, social exclusion and people experiencing a broad range of civil justice problem. The `socially excluded' appears to be at particular risk.
  • socially excluded victims were substantially more likely to experience civil problems than non-socially excluded non-victims, with 60 per cent of the former group reporting problems compared to 28 per cent of the latter group.
  • Multiple victimisation and social exclusion are associated with a dramatic increase in vulnerability to civil justice problems.
  • The sense of powerlessness and helplessness often experienced by people who face such problems.

One of the report's authors, Professor Pascoe Pleasence, Head of the Legal Services Research Centre said:

'Importantly, the Civil and Social Justice Survey looks at crime victimisation in the context of people's broader experience of social and legal problems. So, we were able to explore the interrelationship between victimisation, social exclusion and everyday rights related problems. Socially excluded victims of crime were particularly likely to experience rights problems also. This has important implications and again illustrates the necessity of addressing social problems in a way that recognises their interconnections, rather than in an ad hoc manner.'

Will McMahon, policy director of the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies said:

`This survey highlights the links between vulnerability, poverty and social injustice. By looking at the challenges faced by the socially excluded, it becomes clear that experience of social injustice is a day to day reality for a substantial section of the population. While all the main political parties have placed a huge emphasis on tackling crime, the far more widespread experiences of injustice have often been overlooked.'