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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

February 28, 2008: Community Sentences Reduce Reoffending, Says Straw

Community sentences can be a more effective punishment than short prison sentences, said Secretary of State for Justice Jack Straw today, on a visit to the Liverpool Community Justice Centre.

The  Centre opened in September 2005. It is a community resource - a one-stop shop for tackling crime, and taking action against the problems that cause crime, as well as delivering advice and support services for the wider community. It houses a court, criminal justice agencies and a range of services and facilities for people living in the local area.

The centre aims to tackle the causes of crime in the local area, as well as dealing with the crimes themselves. It combines the powers of a court with a range of community resources, available to all North Liverpool residents as well as victims, witnesses and offenders. The judge has a range of powers and can sentence offenders in a way that benefits the community.

Jack Straw said:

'Non-custodial community sentences such as unpaid work, supervision, behaviour programmes, drug rehabilitation, alcohol treatment and curfews are often more effective in preventing reoffending than short prison sentences.

'Community justice works by making courts more responsive to the priorities of local people. By strengthening the links between the courts and the community, I believe people's confidence in the work of the court will rise and the community will feel more confident about tackling offending behaviour.

'Without the co-operation of the community, many offenders simply repeat the cycle of offending and detention.

'When I say community sentences can often be a better, more effective alternative punishment for low level offenders, I'm not trying to do magistrates' jobs for them. I'm just keen to highlight all the alternatives that are available in those cases where the court concludes that a custodial sentence is not required. It is for them to decide how to sentence individual offenders, and I will always protect their independence in doing so.' 

At North Liverpool the distinctive focus on the community has meant that local people are directly involved in ways that are unprecedented for courts.

For example, they helped design the centre and its services. Residents have been talking about their concerns about crime at community meetings held at the centre with the judge and his team, at community events and at public meetings. Any issues can also be reported directly to staff at the centre, and this approach has been effective in ensuring the centre tackles local issues.

The Centre in North Liverpool seeks to repair harm to victims through restorative justice. This brings offenders and victims face-to-face to discuss the impact the offence has had. The evaluation states that this has made specific, positive differences to the lives of victims and offenders.