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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

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

The Government’s vision for criminal justice reform has been unveiled today by the Justice Secretary, Kenneth Clarke, in his first major speech. Arguably more radical a speech than might be expected from a Conservative Justice minister, it will inevitably raise some concerns in the Conservative party.

The reforms will create a more intelligent, consistent and transparent system of sentencing, and introduce a rehabilitation revolution that engages the expertise of independent organisations and gives them financial incentives to reduce reoffending. In turn this will help to reduce crime, and make our communities safer and better places to live.

Nearly half of all offenders sent to prison are reconvicted within a year, and the rate of reoffending is even higher – 60% – for the 60,000 prisoners who serve short-term sentences each year, creating a revolving door of crime. The Government will tackle this by looking in detail at the sentencing frameworks available, including the full range of penalties on offer.

In particular proposals to restore public trust through minimum / maximum sentencing will be explored. Under this system, offenders would serve a minimum period in prison set as the minimum punishment by the judge in court, without being eligible for release. The judge would also set a maximum period, and offenders would have to earn any release before that point.

The Government’s key priority is to punish offenders effectively as well as protect the public. Whilst prison remains the necessary punishment for many offenders – and is the only place for those offenders deemed a risk to the public – it is vital that the opportunities offered by community sentences to effectively punish and reform offenders are examined alongside the role of prison.

Kenneth Clarke    "...simply locking people up for the sake of it is a waste of public funds"
Justice Secretary Ken Clarke

Justice Secretary, Kenneth Clarke said:

'I have three main priorities – to protect the public, punish offenders and provide access to justice.
'More than half of the crime in this country is committed by people who have been through the system. We must now take action and shut off this revolving door of crime and reoffending.
'We need a more constructive approach that tackles this head on. An intelligent and transparent approach to sentencing that targets the causes of reoffending, so making our communities safer and better places to live. We describe it as a Rehabilitation Revolution.
'Prisons have a crucial role to play. There are some nasty people who commit nasty offences. They must be punished, and communities protected. My first priority is the safety of the British public. Prisons must be places of punishment, but also of education, hard work and change.
'But simply locking people up for the sake of it is a waste of public funds. We must have other penalties on offer – such as rigorously enforced community sentences that punish offenders, but also get them off drugs and alcohol and into employment.
As part of this we intend to make better use of the voluntary sector’s expertise to help us get offenders away from crime. The most radical part of our new approach will involve paying independent organisations by results in reducing reoffending. And success would be measured - perhaps by whether the offender finds and keep a job, housing and so on; whether they become functioning members of society. But above all – by whether they are law abiding and avoid reoffending within the first few years of leaving prison.'