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Criminal Justice Alliance news

The latest news from the Criminal Justice Alliance is listed below.

17 February 2013
CJA Response to Justice Committee Inquiry: Older Prisoners
The CJA has responded to the Justice Committee's inquiry into older prisoners. People over the age of 60 are the fastest growing population in prison. This increase in the ageing prison population is mainly due to the fact that more people are being sent to prison and they are being sent to prison for longer. The health and social care needs of older prisoners are not consistently met in custody and upon release, though there are good examples in some prisons. A cross-government strategy on older prisoners should be published without delay. This strategy should include a commitment to halting the growth of the number of older people in custody. For those older people who must be in custody, responsibility and guidance for addressing their health and social care needs must be defined. Our full response is available here.

15 February 2013
Transforming Rehabilitation Consultation
The CJA has responded to the Ministry of Justice's Tranforming Rehabilitation consultation. Many thanks to members who contributed. The final response is available in full here. The Minister for Prisons and Rehabilitation, Jeremy Wright MP, has agreed to speak at the July CJA members' meeting when the proposals reach the next stage.

10 February 2013
CJA briefing on the Crime and Courts Bill
The Criminal Justice Alliance believes the Crime and Courts Bill represents an important opportunity to strengthen and enhance the provision of community sentences. This briefing highlights the main areas of interest for the Criminal Justice Alliance in the Crime and Courts Bill. In particular: Part 1 Community orders: punitive elements: We are concerned that the measures in Part 1 of the schedule which mandate a punitive element in every order will unduly restrict sentencers’ discretion and, in practice, could mean that numbers of vulnerable offenders, in particular offenders with learning difficulties, disabilities and mental health issues, will be given inappropriate sentences. Part 2 Deferring the passage of sentence to allow for restorative justice: The CJA strongly welcomes this provision which will ensure more access to Restorative Justice for victims of crime. This measure builds on the strong evidence base for restorative justice at the pre-sentence stage of the criminal justice process. Part 7 Provision for female offenders: This important inclusion will ensure that, in every local area, community sentences are available that are appropriate for women offenders. This legislation is an important opportunity to ensure this is the case. The full briefing is available here.

2 February 2013
Vicki Helyar-Cardwell spoke at a conference on Police and Crime Commissioners
The CJA was invited to speak at a conference on Police and Crime Commissioners on the subject of 'Engaging with campaigning charities and voluntary sector'. Please contact Vicki if you would like to see the notes from this conference. Our talk covered the opportunities for PCCs to work across the justice system and with the voluntary sector - with organistions involved in both policy and practice. We outlined our support for justice reinvestment which forms part of our new Transforming Justice campaign.

20 January 2013
CJA Director Vicki Helyar-Cardwell has given evidence to the London Assembly
Vicki, alongside Catherine Hennessy (Revolving Doors Agency), Heather Munro (CEO of London Probation Trust) and Alyson Sprawson (Chief Crown Prosecutor for London, CPS) gave evidence to the London Assembly about the Mayor’s Draft Police and Crime plan for London. CJA's response focused on the fact the Restorative Justice was missing from the plan which was a major oversight, especially given new work being undertaken by London Probation. We welcomed the commitment to partnership working and the main aims of the plan. We also raised issues around young adults in transition, reducing reoffending and the work of non-criminal justice agencies, payment-by-results and alcohol treatment. You can view the session here.

7 January 2013
The CJA has responded to the Home Affairs Select Committee's call for evidence on the Government’s draft Anti-Social Behaviour Bill
The CJA’s response to the call for evidence focused on three areas: Formal measures for addressing anti-social behaviour (ASB) should be used sparingly and only when other informal alternatives have proven to be unsuccessful. Allowing requirements to be part of measures to address ASB is a positive development, however greater emphasis should be placed on more policies that seek to prevent this behaviour being committed in the first place; The threshold for an activity to be potentially classified as ASB and therefore within the scope of a formal measure under the draft legislation is too broad. It risks, along with the continued use of the civil standard of proof, allowing a disproportionate response to very minor illicit behaviour and increasing community tensions. ASB has a serious impact on the lives of large sections of communities across the country. The introduction of ASBOs almost 15 years ago achieved little directly in addressing this issue or reducing the level of ASB. Failing to tackle the needs and vulnerabilities of either victims or those responsible for the behaviour, they have primarily succeeded in criminalising thousands of individuals for exceptionally minor illicit activities. A concerted effort that takes a holistic approach to the problem taking in the viewpoints of the victim, the individual guilty of the behaviour and the community as whole is needed to rectify this. Our full response is available here.

15 December 2012
The CJA and the Centre for Mental Health have published a report on the mental health treatment requirement
The CJA and Centre for Mental health published a report focusing on the mental health treatment requirement. While 39% of offenders in the probation caseload have a mental health condition, there has been a surprisingly low uptake of the MHTR to date. The MHTR is used in less than 1% of all Community Sentences. Yet for people who are given the requirement it can be a valuable source of support to bring their life 'from chaos to stability. Last week’s changes to the legal framework for the MHTR include widening the range of health professionals who can assess a person’s mental health needs, and giving the courts greater flexibility in responding to breach of a Community Order. These changes, the report suggests, will remove some of the barriers to greater use of the MHTR. However the report also warns that the proposed changes to the community sentencing in the Crime and Courts Bill, specifically the proposal for all Community Orders to contain a ‘punitive element’ may mean that the emphasis in sentencing will no longer focus on addressing root causes of offending and the MHTR will remain underused. The report makes a number of further recommendations, including that training and information on mental health and the MHTR should be made available to criminal justice staff. And health professionals should also have more information on the MHTR and their role in delivering it. The full report is available here.

10 December 2012
Vicki-Helyar Cardwell Chaired a Conference entitled 'Transforming Probation Services'; the conference was supported by the Probation Association.
The conference explored the government's plans for the structure and shape of probation services; the proposed changes to community sentences; the devolution of budgets and integrated commissioning of services for offenders; and the payment-by-results.

2 December 2012
CJA commented on unannounced prison inspection.
Speaking on BBC Radio Gloucestershire's morning news programme, Vicki Helyar Cardwell commented on the unannounced inspection of HMP Gloucester. Vicki focused on the challenges of doing meaningful work in prison with large numbers of short sentenced and remand prisoners, and the high level of churn at the prison, as well as the poor facilities. She commented that this was a national issue and government should consider reducing the numbers held in prison. Nick Hardwick, Chief Inspector of Prisons, publishing the report said that HMP Gloucester prison had many problems to address. It is an old prison with a poor infrastructure, situated in a cramped inner city location. Much needs to be done to raise often basic standards, including investment in the environment and the regime. As a local prison, it receives prisoners on remand, awaiting trial or during the early stage of their sentences. It remains to a great extent a safe place, predicated on the quality of staff-prisoner relationships. To read the full inspection report click here.

22 November 2012
The CJA has signed a letter advocating for prisoners' right to vote.
The letter appeared in the Guardian and is available here. It asks MPs to consider if they are prepared to continue to flout international law, face substantial financial penalties, and millions in mounting compensation claims, and ignore the advice of the attorney general in order to stop prisoners from acting responsibly by voting in democratic elections. It was signed by Juliet Lyon Director, Prison Reform Trust, Shami Chakrabarti Director, Liberty, Rt Rev James Jones Bishop of Liverpool and bishop to Her Majesty's prisons, David Ramsbotham House of Lords, Chris Bath Executive director, Unlock – the National Association of Reformed Offenders, Michael Bartlet Parliamentary liaison secretary, Quakers in Britain, Dr Peter Selby President, National Council for Independent Monitoring Boards, Alison Hannah Executive director, Penal Reform International.

22 November 2012
CJA briefing on Payment-by-Results
The CJA support the shift of focus from processes to outcomes that underpins the move towards payment by results, but the implementation of this model needs to be given careful consideration to ensure that it is effective in meeting the needs of all offenders and allows a diverse range of providers to participate in the delivery of services. We welcomed the use of pilots to test and develop the payment by results approach and are disappointed that roll-out is going ahead without time to evaluate the pilots. Payment by results could help providers to improve their practice, including by examining what has not been successful in reducing reoffending and what could be done better. It can drive innovation and can arguably cut costs. However, there is a risk that payment by results could instead lead to conservatism in delivery, with providers focusing on a narrow range of services that are known to produce acceptable results, rather than innovating at the risk of failure and little or no payment as a result. For these reasons rigorously-assessed and evaluated pilots are essential. To read the briefing in full click here.

19 November 2012
The CJA is delighted to welcome three new members to the Alliance: the Prison Governors Association, Westminster Drug Project and Khulisa
This now takes the CJA to 71 alliance members. For more information on the organisations, do visit their websites: Prison Governors Association, Westminster Drug Project, and Khulisa.

10 November
Crime and Courts Bill - new CJA Briefing
The Crime and Courts Bill was introduced in the Queen’s Speech in May 2012 and is currently in the House of Lords. This Bill contains new provisions on community penalties, including moves to include a "punitive element" in every community order. The Bill also introduces the possibility for courts to defer a sentence to allow the victim and offender to be offered Restorative Justice. This is welcome - Restorative Justice is very popular with victims and can reduce reoffending. The Criminal Justice Alliance has produced a briefing for Committee Stage of the Bill. A summary of the debate is found below in parliament news section.

1 November 2012
The CJA has produced a briefing for Police and Crime Commissioners
The CJA has produced a short briefing paper for Police and Crime Commissioners covering subjects across the criminal justice system including re-offending, resettlement and restorative justice. For a copy of our briefing please click here.

28 Ooctober
CJA Director Vicki Helyar-Cardwell has prepared a concise round up of criminal justice news at party conferences
Following on from the previous year when the LASPO Bill was going through parliament, this year the theme of crime and justice was less prominent. In relation to crime the key issues were the November Police and Crime Commissioner elections, and a debate around whether the appointment of Chris Grayling as new Secretary of State for Justice marked a change of direction or business as usual at Ministry of Justice. New MoJ Ministers were keen to stress in meetings and at fringe events that the commitment to rehabilitation would continue. In addition, the emerging themes were: Payment-by-results would be more widespread and fast-tracked across prisons and probation, potentially with more focus on joining up of the two; Work in prisons would continue to be a key priority, and the aim was to increase numbers of prisoners undertaking a full working week; Mental Health Liaison and Diversion was a continued important commitment; The new team would not aim to reduce prison numbers or set targets, but that reducing reoffending would be a means of controlling numbers entering prison; Community sentences would be more ‘robust’ and there was a reiteration of the policy to include a punitive element in every order, as announced previously.

The Lib Dems voted against part of justice and security bill rejecting the advice of Nick Clegg. This has been nicknamed the Secret Courts Bill. Across several fringe events, Lord McNally, the Liberal Democrat minister in the Ministry of Justice, stated the government was committed to continuing the ‘rehabilitation revolution’. The Shadow Justice Secretary, Sadiq Khan MP, used his speech to announce some proposals for the next election including that a Labour government would establish a Women’s Justice Board, appoint a Justice Minister with specific responsibility for ensuring mental health was addressed appropriately in the justice system, and would introduce measures so that courts will have to consider the option of restorative justice as part of any sentence handed down. The new Justice Secretary used his speech to announce some new measures (and re-announce some older ones). He would not aim to reduce prison numbers or set targets, but that reducing reoffending would be a means of controlling numbers entering prison. Community sentences would be more ‘robust’ and there was a reiteration of the policy to include a punitive element in every order, as announced previously.

22 October 2012
The Criminal Justice Alliance responds to Prime Minister’s ‘Tough but Intelligent’ speech.
Vicki Helyar-Cardwell, Director of the Criminal Justice Alliance, said: “The Prime Minister was at his strongest and most persuasive earlier when he talked about issues including as substance misuse, limited education and being care leavers, of those currently occupying our prisons with reoffending, and the need to provide these people with opportunities and chances to stay away from crime in the future. We welcome this necessary focus on prevention and rehabilitation, to give offenders a real opportunity as the Prime Minister said “to become part of the solution”.

“This speech was an opportunity to regain the momentum promised at the start of the coalition government to drive forward a genuine rehabilitation revolution to cut crime, prioritise prevention and reduce the damaging levels of reoffending. The danger is the intelligent bit gets lost at the expense of sounding tough.

A truly smart approach would be to focus on offenders making amends for their wrongdoing, treating drug and alcohol addictions that can fuel crime and getting ex-offenders back into real work. Much of this relies on wider society – organisations and people outside of the criminal justice system.  The real strength of the Prime Minister’s 2006 so called ‘hug a hoodie speech’ is that it recognised that criminal justice and social justice are inextricably linked. Yet several years on the criminal justice system still often picks up the pieces when others have failed, the high levels of children in care who end up in our youth justice system a telling example of this.

Rehabilitation

“Criminal Justice Alliance organisations, working in prisons and with offenders and their families in the community, report that prison overcrowding and budget cuts mean rehabilitation is being undermined. Making governors more accountable for what happens after prison is welcome, but this will backfire without efforts to curb huge prison overcrowding that blights much of the positive work in prisons. Overcrowding extracts a heavy price from prisoners, prison staff and voluntary sector working to cut reoffending, and ultimately harms communities to which ex-prisoners will return.

The commitment to include short term prisoners in the rehabilitation revolution is a progressive step and an admission that they are currently a neglected body within the criminal justice system. However, our concerns remain as to the ability for adequate finances to be made available to assist these individuals and the fact that any positive developments will be contingent on the ability of the Ministry of justice to reduce overcrowding in the prison estate, as at present 82 out of 128 prisons are above recommended capacity levels. 

Community sentences

“Community punishments should be challenging, effective and start much more quickly after the sentence is handed down.  But to make sure community sentences cut crime they have also got to tackle drug and alcohol dependency and better treat people with poor mental health. Currently there are not enough places available on these schemes and scarce resources should go into what we know works. The Prime Minister’s speech comes the week after the Chief Inspector of Prisons said the in order to deliver a rehabilitation revolution, government needs to reduce numbers of people in prison or invest more in prison budgets.

22 September 2012
CJA Director Vicki Helyar-Cardwell has had an article published in the Safer Communities Journal exploring the impact of becoming a father on young offenders' desistance from crime. The paper, Fathers for good? Exploring the impact of becoming a father on young offenders' desistance from crime, aims to explore the available evidence on whether becoming a young father can enhance desistance. Recent literature on young fathers in the justice system was reviewed, alongside the major desistance theories. The findings from the review were explored in five semi-structured interviews with five young fathers under probation supervision. Despite the correlation between young fatherhood and offending, very little research has been conducted into the impact of young fatherhood on desistance from crime. Overall, there are good indicators that fatherhood can be a motivational “hook” for enhancing desistance. Very little is known about the experience or context of fatherhood amongst young male offenders, nor about the relation between young fatherhood and desistance from crime. This paper fills some of the gaps. To read the full paper click here.

10 September 2012
The CJA is delighted to welcome two new members to the Alliance as full and associate members respectively. The Centre Centre for Justice Innovation aims to improve the implementation, evaluation and dissemination of new ideas and new practices throughout the criminal justice system in the United Kingdom. The Centre supports and champions front-line innovators in their efforts to reduce crime, aid victims and improve community confidence in the justice system. The Centre for Justice Innovation’s priorities in 2012 include launching the Probation Innovation Network, a project designed to strengthen and spread innovative practice within the probation service in England and Wales, helping the Scottish government implement the Criminal Justice Change and Innovation Fund, and providing technical assistance to the North Liverpool Community Justice Centre. The APCC has been commissioned by the Home Office to provide an 'umbrella body' for elected PCCs and all policing governance bodies in England and Wales. Working with the APCC provides a good opportunity for CJA members to share their expertise and news and with incoming PCCs.

2 September 2012
The CJA has submitted evidence to the Justice Select Committee's Inquiry into Women Offenders. The response is available here. Male and female offending patterns, background histories, and needs are different. To achieve equitable outcomes for male and female offenders, different approaches need to be taken. A cross-government strategy on women offenders should be published without delay. This strategy should include a commitment to reduce numbers of women in custody, and to diverting women from crime, with clear means of achieving this. Accountability for this strategy should be built into relevant roles within government departments, including the Ministry of Justice, Home Office, Cabinet Office, Department of Health, Department for Work and Pensions and Department for Education, and should have ministerial leadership. There are clear dangers posed by an immediate move to local funding for women’s services, with a real risk that hard won progress and good practice will be lost. Government should commit to an appropriate level of grant funding and ensure a smooth transition to local commissioning over a longer time frame.

29 August 2012
The CJA has responded to the consultation paper "Swift and Sure Justice". We welcome the fact the Government is attempting to cut out unnecessary delay within the criminal justice process but highlight the fact that not enough consideration has been given to safeguarding the rights and needs of vulnerable defendants. We are concerned that defendants with mental health needs or learning disabilities will be not be properly assessed due to speed of process priorities and as a result levels of need will go unidentified. To read our response in full click here.

22 August 2012
The CJA has responded to the consultation paper "Swift and Sure Justice". We welcome the fact the Government is attempting to cut out unnecessary delay within the criminal justice process but highlight the fact that not enough consideration has been given to safeguarding the rights and needs of vulnerable defendants. We are concerned that defendants with mental health needs or learning disabilities will be not be properly assessed due to speed of process priorities and as a result levels of need will go unidentified. To read our response in full click here.

10 August 2012
CJA Director Vicki Helyar-Cardwell has written a piece for the Guardian about the treatment of remand prisoners within the prison estate. The piece argues that this report should land on the desk of the ministers for housing, health and employment as it is their departments that bear partial responsibility for the numbers of vulnerable people being temporarily housed in our prisons. Most individuals held in prison on remand have been here before; overall two thirds report being previously held in prison - although we don't know for what reason and whether they were convicted of any offence. To have any chance of breaking this cycle, we must look beyond the criminal justice system. To read the full article click here. Vick also spoke on BBC Radio 5 on the subject.

25 July 2012
The CJA is carrying out a survey of members as part of our strategic review of the organisation. We would be extremely grateful if you took no more than five minutes to complete the survey

1 July 2012
The CJA has responded to two consultations from the Ministry of Justice. Effective community sentences: The CJA stated its strong support for the use and continued promotion of community and the need to further promote their use. We expressed a concern that too great an emphasis has been placed unnecessarily on increasing the punitiveness of sentences in a bid to improve public confidence, believing that this focus and the failure to adequately highlight the need for positive rehabilitative and reparative elements will potentially jeopardise the current success and advantages of community orders. It is fundamental that any increase in electronic monitoring does not result in individuals being up-tariffed through the criminal justice system, or reduce the vital human interaction often necessary for offenders’ pathways to lives free of crime. There is a risk that over reliance on electronic monitoring could reduce engagement with orders to simply tick the box exercises. The confiscation of assets is unlikely to be an effective punishment as many offenders have low incomes, and the non-payment of a fine is not necessarily ‘wilful’ but rather a result of their difficult financial circumstances. The case for pre sentence restorative justice has been strongly demonstrated. It leads to greater victim satisfaction, makes substantial financial savings and helps offenders develop a better sense of remorse over their criminal activities. Additionally it allows sentencers greater clarity over offenders’ intentions and opinions and has shown to lead to less punitive sanctions. To read the response in full click here.

Effective probation services: The work undertaken by the probation service is of huge importance and value. Probation trusts have a strong role to play in local communities, and should also be accorded a greater role in improving policy at national level. We recognise the need to ensure that demands placed on the probation service and partners are matched by appropriate resources, and that other non-criminal justice agencies including health and social care, are able to play their crucial role. Recent academic work has underscored the importance of consistency in supporting offenders to desist from crime. This must not be compromised by commissioning the ‘cheapest’ service or by allowing the fragmentation of community sentences so that offenders are passed from pillar to post without consistent support. The proposals hint at a future role for PCCs and/or local authorities in working with, or having oversight of, probation trusts. Already, we know there is insufficient work being done locally to support people with mental health needs, alcohol treatment needs and family support. The new approach should be to enable and help realise the potential for local joint commissioning to make the best use of resources in local areas and to prioritise prevention. Our full response is available here.

10 June 2012
The Criminal Justice Alliance appeared on BBC Breakfast to discuss our concerns about the government’s new proposals. We welcome measures to simplify the system, but enforcement powers will not on their own be enough to prevent anti-social behaviour and there is a risk that if these new measures are not accompanied by necessary support in communities - youth clubs, family support and health services - they will do little in the long term to tackle this important issue. Care should be taken to ensure the new orders do not result in more and more people being sent to prison for breaching their order when the original offence would not have warranted custody. Our prisons are already severely overcrowded, and we know that warehousing people who often have social or health needs can make them more not less likely to reoffend. The CJA also received media coverage on the issue from numerous national and local newspapers including the Independent, the Guardian, the Metro and even the Irish Times.

4 June 2012
The Criminal Justice Alliance has published a report by Rob Allen ‘Reducing the Use of Imprisonment: What can we learn from Europe?’ which analyses how several European countries, particularly the Netherlands and Germany have seen sharp falls in their prison populations over the last five years. The report points to a number of features in continental justice systems that are associated with a more moderate use of prison. These include distinctive approaches to young people who commit crime with higher ages of criminal responsibility and a flexible approach to young adults; large numbers of cases settled by prosecutors rather than proceeding to courts and sentencing; greater availability of mediation and restorative justice options at various stages of the process and less severe sentencing tariffs and infrequent use of life and indeterminate sentences. An extended version of Ian Birrell's introduction to the report appeared in today's Guardian Comment is Free. CJA Director, Vicki Helyar Cardwell, also had an article in the Huffington Post on the report entitled Going Dutch: Can We Follow the Netherlands and Cut Our Prison Population?

12 May
CJA Director, Vicki Helyar-Cardwell, has written an article for Criminal Law and Justice Weekly and another for Public Sector. The former article, Delivering Justice: Competing for Reform, discusses the collection of essays the CJA published. The latter, Criminal Justice - Does it matter who delivers, states that whether or not arguments are couched in terms of economics, efficacy or ethics, the appropriate role of the public, private and voluntary sectors in delivering justice remains controversial. Whichever side you take, there is no doubt that the momentum around outsourcing of justice services is gaining pace. The value of various sectors should be continually evaluated to ensure that the services for both prisoners and offenders in the community are provided in the best possible way.

8 May 2012
The CJA has released a collection of essays on the issue of privatisation within the criminal justice system. The publication is opportune, with the MoJ recently releasing their consultation document on opening up probation services to competition. The collection seeks to get a range of views on the issues involved, attempting to achieve a balance between those in favour of and those opposed to the current trend of marketisation of criminal justice services. Contributors include Professor Alison Liebling and Dr. Ben Crewe; Helen Edwards, Director General of the MoJ’s Justice Policy Group; Heather Munro, Chief Executive of London Probation Trust and Jonathan Ledger, General Secretary of Napo. To read our response in full click here.

20 April 2012
The CJA has sent a response to the Ministry of Justice regarding this consultation document earlier today. Despite large sections of the paper being outside the scope of the CJA there were several areas we felt were of great interest to our members, most notably in relation to the use of Victim Personal Statements, expansion of restorative justice, the extension of the victims’ surcharge to almost every offender and the attempted restriction of offenders from the victim’s compensation scheme. To read our response in full click here.

17 April 2012
The CJA published a report, written by Professor Carol Hedderman, on the developments in relation to sentencing female offenders since the release of the Corston report some five years ago. The report considers how the female prison population has increased, why this has happened and what the consequences have been. It reviews the way the Labour government sought to reduce the number of women going to prison and the very limited impact its policies had in practice. The report concludes by considering what the government has achieved during its first two years in office; and what changes might be needed if the number of women entering prison is really to fall. The three main recommendations are to reduce the number of women going to prison due to breach of community orders, withdrawing the powers of magistrates and district court judges to impose custodial sentences and introducing sentencing guidance to avoid incarcerating women for first time non violent offences. To read the full report click here. Additionally The CJA had a letter published in the Telegraph highlighting the publication of our report and the the recommendations put forward in it. The letter was signed by our chairman, Judge John Samuels, a number of our members and Baroness Stern. To read the letter click here.

12 April 2012
The Law Society Gazette has published an article on the CJA's call to have government legislate to increase the use of restorative justice. The article describes the restorative process and its broad aims. It goes on to detail our demands outlined in our report Restorative Justice: Time for Action, that the government should put a duty on criminal justice agencies to offer restorative justice to all victims of crime pre-sentence, whenever an offender pleads guilty and agrees to participate in the process, and where it is appropriate and safe to do so. It states that the reasoning behind our arguments is compelling and that the greater use of quality restorative justice should be a no brainer. To read the full article click here.

7 April 2012
Following on from our recent overcrowding report Policy and campaigns officer Stephen Moffatt has written an article on overcrowding and rehabilitation in Criminal Law and Justice Weekly. The article, ‘No Vacancies’, demonstrates the serious issue of overcrowding and how the rapid upsurge in numbers due to the punitive response to last summer’s riots highlighted the effects such has on the ability of prisons to successfully carry out perhaps their most important function, the rehabilitation and reformation of offenders. It argues that with prison levels worryingly high, placing huge strain on staff and increasingly limited resources in an environment that is inherently tense and pressurised, offenders' vulnerabilities will simply be exasperated in custody to the detriment of society as a whole. To read the full article click here.

30 March 2012
In reaction to the Independent riot panel's report the CJA wrote a letter to the Telegraph about the role social deprivation played in the summer disturbances.The letter states that the government must now address issues of social justice which are very closely linked to criminal justice. To read the full letter click here.

29 March 2012
CJA Director, Vicki Helyar Cardwell, wrote an article in the Guardian In response to the government's community sentencing consultation. The article argues that it is wrong to label existing community sentencing measures as soft. Community orders are already more approximately 8% more effective than short custodial sentences at reducing reoffending. Prison is largely unable to do more than warehouse those offenders on short sentences, owing to severe overcrowding and high levels of churn throughout the system. Too much emphasis in the proposals is placed on poorly evidenced enforcement orders such as tags, longer curfew orders and enforced sobriety. What really helps people to stop offending seems to have been sidelined – a notable exception being the welcome expansion of restorative justice, which can reduce reoffending by between 14% and 27%, repair harm in local communities and help some victims to feel a sense of closure. The documents demonstrate retreats from earlier talk of reform and actual alternatives to custody. To read the full article click here.

12 March 2012
John Samuels is the new Chairman of the Criminal Justice Alliance. The CJA is delighted to announce that HH John Samuels QC has been elected chairman of the Board of trustees. John has been a member of the CJA Board of for several years, providing huge assistance, support and direction to the organisation, sharing his vast experience and knowledge of the criminal justice. He is a long-time proponent of alternatives to custody, represents the Council of Circuit Judges on the London Probation Forum and continues to sit ad hoc in the Crown Court. The CJA is very grateful to Martin Wargent who has been an excellent Chair since 2007 and would like to thank him for all the tireless work he carried out for the organisation. Martin will remain on the Board.

8 March 2012
CJA policy and campaigns officer, Stephen Moffatt, has written an article for OpenDemocracy about the vulnerabilities, restorative justice and the riots. The Article demonstrates the levels of vulnerabilities amongst those convicted of riot related offences, in particular their performance in school, economic backgrounds and employment opportunities. It goes on to argue that the extremely punitive response adopted towards the offenders was overly harsh and will only serve exasperate such vulnerabilities and represents a real missed opportunity to use restorative justice to help positively deal with the aftermath of the disturbances. To read the full article click here.

6 March 2012
The CJA has produced a briefing paper, Crowded out? The impact of prison overcrowding on rehabilitation. Last week the CJA releases a briefing paper Crowded Out? The impact of prison overcrowding on rehabilitation. The prison population in England and Wales has almost doubled over the last 20 years from about 45,000 to over 85,000. On top of the long term rise in the use of imprisonment, there has been a surge in prison numbers in the months following the public disorder in August. This rapid increase in prison numbers is putting additional pressure on a prison system that has been overcrowded for decades. Members of the Alliance reported that the recent increase in overcrowding is making their work more difficult and undermining the rehabilitation of prisoners. The evidence collected in this briefing makes the case that the Government needs to take urgent steps to limit the unnecessary use of prison, ensuring it is reserved for serious, persistent and violent offenders for whom no alternative sanction is appropriate. The briefing attracted a large amount of media interest, most notably in the Huffington Post, Independent and Daily Express along with the Metro and the Evening Standard.

21 February 2012
CJA Director Vicki Helyar-Cardwell has written an article for the Huffington Post on overcrowding in prisons. It states that we cannot simply build our way out of the problem as evidenced from the past. With new proposals for improving community sentences to be published soon there is a real challenge to ensure community sentences are used where possible instead of custody, rather than deployed as an additional means of punishment. Additionally, too many people with vulnerabilities and substance misuse issued are receiving custodial sentences. Ensuring the provision of effective community sentences, important as this is, may not prove sufficient to tackle the crisis without also curtailing the overuse of prison - increasingly deployed in an attempt to 'solve' societal and community problems. Community sentencing reform should therefore be part of a wider strategy that challenges the over-reliance on custody and looks to solutions within local communities, such as restorative justice, local drug courts and women's centres. Until a fundamental rethink of prisons policy is undertaken, overcrowding will remain a critical issue. To read the full article click here.

16 February 2012
Michael Spurr has kindly agreed to speak at the next CJA members' meeting in April. He will outline the Government's review of probation and take part in a discussion. The Chair of the Probation Chiefs Association, Sue Hall, will also be speaking at the meeting on the implications for probation. The CJA is delighted to have the opportunity to have Michael address us at such a pertinent time when the Government's plans for the future of probation are to be announced soon.

10 February 2012
The issue of sobriety orders has become an increasingly prominent issue within the UK. The CJA has prepared a briefing covering the recent increased support for them, the planned pilot schemes for London this summer, the original sobriety in South Dakota, the potential effects on imprisonment and reoffendig and the potential risks and advantages of introducing such a scheme here. To read the briefing click here.

27 January 2012
Lord Woolf tabled an amendment to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill on restorative justice, championed by the Restorative Justice Council, the Prison Reform Trust and the Criminal Justice Alliance. This amendment would enable courts to remand cases for restorative justice arrangements. There was an excellent debate, and Baroness Northover, speaking on behalf of the government concluded the debate saying “We are very supportive of restorative justice. I gave reasons why we feel that we want to take this further forward and see it in practice before building it into statute........ We can continue to discuss this. We accept the principles and wish to take it further forward. Whether that means that it will go into statute is another matter.” The CJA along with its members will continue to campaign on this issue.

25 January 2011
The CJA is delighted to welcome three newly elected members of the CJA Board: Catherine Hennessey, Director of Partnerships and Development at Revolving Doors Agency; Charlotte Weinberg, CEO of Safe Ground; and Pat Thompson, Assistant Director of Communications at Catch22. They join the existing board and mean that CJA has 12 trustees
.

24 January 2011
Vicki commented on the positive changes that the Sentencing Council included in their drugs guideline, in particular welcoming the alterations surrounding sentencing of drug mules. To view the clip click here. The CJA also had comments on the guideline published in the Evening Standard, Huffington Post, and Criminal Law and Justice Weekly.

16 January 2012
The Criminal Justice Alliance is delighted to welcome three new members to the Alliance. The Prince's Trust, the Forgiveness Project and the Detention Advice Service have all joined the CJA as of 16 January 2012.

10 January 2012
The Criminal Justice Alliance has written a letter in response to the Home Affairs Committee Consultation on Drugs Policy.The CJA welcomed this inquiry and highlighted some of the key concerns of our members in relation to drugs policy: the increase in recent years in the number of those sentenced to custody for drug offences; the length of sentence for low level supply; the continuing failure of the criminal justice system to rehabilitate many offenders with addictions to drugs and alcohol and the inappropriateness of prison as a place to receive treatment for substance misuse. To read the letter click here.

6 January 2012
The Criminal Justice Alliance responded to the Labour Party Justice Policy Working Group's consultation Punishment and Reform: What Works to Protect the Public and Stop Crime. The consultation covered nearly every aspect of the criminal justice system, including sentencing, rehabilitation, public opinion and victim support. To read our response in full click here.

20 December 2011
CJA Director, Vicki Helyar-Cardwell, has written a response piece in the Guardian highlighting the work of the Alliance in campaigning for a distinct approach to young adults in the justice system.To read the piece click here.

19 December 2011
The CJA responded to the Consultation on Police Powers to Promote and Maintain Public Order. The response highlights the main areas of interest and concern including proposals to extend the imposition of curfews. These measures, in our opinion, would potentially exacerbate tensions between community members and police, and potentially undermine the good and valuable work of the police.
To read the full response click here.

8 December 2011
The CJA was pleased to have the opportunity to participate in the Sentencing Council’s consultation on allocation, offences taken into consideration and totality. We supported the establishment of a new Sentencing Council and believe that the Council can promote stability and consistency in sentencing and improve the availability of data and other information about sentencing, while also playing a role in reviving public confidence in the sentencing process and maintaining judicial confidence. The full response can be read here.

6 December 2011
The Criminal Justice Alliance has produced a briefing for the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill Committee stage in the Lords. The full response can be read here.

26 November 2011
The CJA Director, Vicki Helyar-Cardwell, has written an article for Barrister setting out the arguments for introducing the issue of maturity into sentencing decisions and the need to avoid custodial sentences for the young adult population unless absolutely necessary. To read the full article click here.

23 November 2011
The CJA welcomed the Government's decision to retain the Office of Chief Coroner. To read our earlier response to the Ministry of Justice consultation on the Public Bodies Bill, click here.

21 November 2011
CJA Director, Vicki Helyar-Cardwell, writes for Huffington Post on mandatory minimum prisons sentence for knife offences. To read the article, click here.

21 November 2011
The Criminal Justice Alliance has produced a briefing for the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill Second Reading in the Lords.
To read the briefing, click here.

7 November 2011
The Criminal Justice Alliance has responded to the Magistrates' Association national enquiry into community justice. To read our response, click here.

7 November 2011
The Criminal Justice Alliance has responded to the Department for Communities and Local Government's consultation on a new mandatory power of possession for antisocial behaviour. To read our response, click here.

4 November 2011
The Criminal Justice Alliance's Director, Vicki Helyar-Cardwell, has written a letter to the Guardian highlighting the need for reform of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, and the importance of getting more ex-offenders into work. To read the letter, click here.

3 November 2011
The CJA's Policy and Campaigns Officer, Gemma Lousley, has written an article for the Huffington Post UK which argues that the Government's plans for two new mandatory sentences marks a shift away from its earlier commitment to effectiveness and proportionality. To read it, click here.

27 October 2011
The Criminal Justice Alliance's Director, Vicki Helyar-Cardwell, has commented on the Government's plans to introduce a mandatory minimum sentence of four months' imprisonment for 16 and 17 year olds convicted of certain knife offences. The comment was covered by the Independent, here.

27 October 2011
Vicki has written a letter to the Telegraph which argues that, following the publication of Ministry of Justice statistics on the background of those involved in the August riots, the coalition should now "address issues of social justice that are inextricably linked to criminal justice". To read the letter, click here.

19 October 2011
Nigel Newcomen CBE, Prisons and Probation Ombudsman, spoke at the Criminal Justice Alliance members' meeting, on the role of the Ombudsman and issues for the new Ombudsman.

17 October 2011
The Criminal Justice Alliance event 'Sentencing young adults: Getting it right' was hosted by Paul Maynard MP on 17 October in the House of Commons. Speakers included John Thornhill, Chairman of the Magistrates' Association, Roz Campion, Head of the Office of the Sentencing Council, and Adam Smith, Deputy Director of Sentencing and Rehabilitation at the Ministry of Justice. A transcript of the event is available here.

14 October 2011
The CJA's Director, Vicki Helyar-Cardwell, and Julie Harmsworth, Deputy Chief Executive of UNLOCK, have written an article for Progress Online on the impact of prison on housing, employment and finances. To read the article, click here.

13 October 2011
The Criminal Justice Alliance's Director, Vicki Helyar-Cardwell, has written a letter to the Times commenting on the Sentencing Council's new definitive guideline on burglary offences. The letter welcomes the Sentencing Council's decision to include guidance that, for offences of domestic and non-domestic burglary, "where the defendant is dependent on or has a propensity to misuse drugs and there is sufficient prospect of success, a community order with a drug rehabilitation requirement ... may be a proper alternative to a short or moderate custodial sentence." To read the letter, click here
(paywall). Vicki also commented on the guideline: the Guardian covers the comment here, and the Telegraph here.

7 October 2011
Gemma has written a blog for the Huffington Post UK in response to an article by Sadiq Khan, the Shadow Justice Secretary, on the "growing crisis in our prison system". To read the blog, click here. Sadiq Khan's article is here.

1 October 2011
The CJA's Policy and Campaigns Officer, Gemma Lousley, has written a blog for Liberal Conspiracy on the development of the prisoner voting rights issue, and the Government's proposed justice reforms. To read it, click here.

30 September 2011
The Criminal Justice Alliance is recruiting a Policy and Campaigns Officer. For more information and details on how to apply, click here.

30 September 2011
Vicki has written an article on 'Young adults and maturity: The case for sentencing reform' for Barrister magazine. To read the article, click here
.

23 September 2011
Vicki commented on the record prison population, which now stands at 87,214. The comment was covered by the Independent, here. The full comment can be read here.

6 September 2011
Vicki commented on the Justice Secretary's description, in an article for the Guardian, of the penal system as "broken". The comment was covered in the Independent, here. Ken Clarke's article for the Guardian's Comment is Free is here.

6 September
The Criminal Justice Alliance's Director, Vicki Helyar-Cardwell, has written a letter published in Children and Young People Now, which says that "evicting looters and their families is likely to backfire". To read it, click here.

1 September 2011
The Criminal Justice Alliance will be hosting events at the three main political party conferences this year, focusing on how a fairer, more efficient and effective criminal justice system can be delivered. For further details, click here.

1 September 2011
The Law Society Gazette has published an article which looks the CJA's briefing 'Sentencing young adults: Getting it right', published for the Transition to Adulthood (T2A) Alliance. To read the article, click here. To read the briefing, click here.

31 August 2011
The Criminal Justice Alliance has produced a briefing for Committee Stage of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill in the House of Commons. To read it, click here.

25 August 2011
The CJA's Director, Vicki Helyar-Cardwell, has written a letter to the Guardian about the Government's plans for community sentences and unpaid work. To read it, click here.

19 August 2011
Vicki has written an article for politics.co.uk in response to the record prison population, which now stands at 86,654. To read it, click here.

17 August 2011
Vicki appeared on BBC News 24 to discuss the sentencing of individuals convicted of riot related offences, and called for a proportionate approach. She also comments here.

12 August 2011
The Criminal Justice Alliance's Director, Vicki Helyar-Cardwell, has written a letter to the Times, alongside the Restorative Justice Council's Director, Lizzie Nelson, calling for wider use of restorative justice as a response to the riots across England. To read the text of the letter, click here. Vicki also commented on the need to reserve prison for the most serious offenders: her comments were covered by the Daily Mail, here, and by the Telegraph, here.

4 August 2011
The Criminal Justice Alliance has responded to the Sentencing Council's consultation on the draft guideline on burglary offences. To read our response, click here.

22 July 2011
We are delighted to announce that the Criminal Justice Alliance has been granted charitable status, and is now a registered charity. Our registered charity number is 1143038.

22 July 2011
The Criminal Justice Alliance has published 'Restorative Justice: Time for action'. The briefing sets out what restorative justice is, the benefits of restorative justice - high victim satisfaction rates, reductions in reoffending and cost savings for the criminal justice system - and how it can be implemented across the criminal justice system. As a first step to ensuring that high quality restorative justice is available on a much wider scale across the adult criminal justice system in England and Wales, it calls for legislation to be introduced that places a duty on criminal justice agencies to offer restorative justice to all victims of crime pre-sentence, whenever an offender pleads guilty and agrees to participate in the process, and where it is appropriate and safe to do. To read the briefing, click here.

22 July 2011
The Criminal Justice Alliance has also published 'Sentencing young adults: Getting it right', a briefing written for the Transition to Adulthood (T2A) Alliance. As the briefing sets out, young adults aged 18-24 constitute less than 10% of the population, but make up almost one-third of offenders found guilty or cautioned for an indictable offence, more than one third of those commencing a Community Order or Suspended Sentence Order, and almost one-third of those sentenced to prison each year. In spite of this, however, there are very limited provisions within the sentencing framework made specifically for young adults. The briefing sets out the current situation with regards to the sentencing of young adults, examines the case for considering maturity as part of the sentencing process and discusses what the benefits of this approach would be. It then considers how a new approach to sentencing young adults could be implemented in practice, and makes five recommendations for change. To read the briefing, click here.

12 July 2011
The Criminal Justice Alliance's Director, Vicki Helyar-Cardwell, gave evidence to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill Committee on 12 July 2011. To read the transcript, click here.

12 July 2011
The Criminal Justice Alliance hosted 'How can Police and Crime Commissioners help cut crime and disorder?' at the Congress Centre in London. Lord Wasserman, the Government's adviser on policing and criminal justice, Ian Loader, Professor of Criminology and Director of the Centre for Criminology, Oxford University and Andrew Morley, former Chief Executive of the London Criminal Justice Partnership spoke at the event. To listen to an audio recording of the presentations, click here, and to listen to the question and answer session, click here. A written transcript of the presentations is available here.

6 July 2011
Sadiq Khan MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Justice, spoke at the Criminal Justice Alliance members' meeting, on Labour's review of criminal justice policy and what he sees as the priorities for future reform.

29 June 2011
The Criminal Justice Alliance has produced a briefing for the Second Reading of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill in the House of Commons. To read it, click here.

21 June 2011
The CJA's Policy and Campaigns Officer, Gemma Lousley, commented on the publication of the Government's response to the 'Breaking the Cycle' consultation and the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill: the comment was covered by the Independent, here, and by Metro.

20 June 2011
The Criminal Justice Alliance has responded to the Sentencing Council's consultation on the draft drug offences guideline. To read our response, click here.

10 June 2011
On Tuesday 12 July 2011, The Criminal Justice Alliance is hosting the event 'How can Police and Crime Commissioners help cut crime and disorder?' at the Congress Centre, 28 Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3LS, from 10am-12.30pm. The event will focus on what role elected Police and Crime Commissioners will play in reducing crime and disorder, examining what impact they can have on crime reduction and how they can best work with other agencies and organisations in their areas. Rt Hon Nick Herbert MP, Minister of State for Policing and Criminal Justice, will give the main presentation. Ian Loader, Professor of Criminology and Director of the Centre for Criminology, Oxford University and Andrew Morley, former Chief Executive of the London Criminal Justice Partnership, will respond. A question and answer session with the panel will follow. To book a place at this event, please email us at info@criminaljusticealliance.org or call 020 7840 1204. Further details about the event are available here.

10 June 2011
The CJA is delighted to announce that Vicki Helyar-Cardwell has been appointed as the Criminal Justice Alliance's Director. Vicki will be joining the CJA in early July.

17 May 2011
The Criminal Justice Alliance has responded to the Home Office consultation, 'More effective responses to antisocial behaviour'. To read our response, click here.

12 May 2011
The CJA's Policy and Campaigns Officer, Gemma Lousley, commented on the Sentencing Council's draft guideline on burglary offences. To read the comment, click here. The comment was covered by the BBC news website: click here.

May 2011
Jon has written an article on payment by results for Public Servant magazine. The article says that the introduction of payment by results to the criminal justice system is intended to drive innovation by enabling providers to explore new ways of reducing reoffending. However, it suggests that a lack of clarity over how the scheme will be delivered may make it difficult to judge its success. Click here.

27 April 2011
Jon has written a letter to the Times in response to an article it published by former Justice Secretary Jack Straw. To read the letter, click here (paywall). To read Jack Straw's article, which argues that "cutting jail numbers plays into the hands of criminals", click here (paywall).

13 April 2011
Dr Peter Selby, President of the National Council for Independent Monitoring Boards and former Bishop to HM Prisons spoke at the Criminal Justice Alliance members' meeting.

4 April 2011
The Criminal Justice Alliance's Director, Jon Collins, has written a letter to the Independent on the Sentencing Council's draft guideline on drug offences. To read it, click here.

April 2011
Jon has written an article on payment by results for Safer Communities journal. It describes the proposals contained in the justice green paper to implement a process of payment by results across the criminal justice system, examines some existing examples of payment by results-based projects, and discusses some of the key questions that need to be resolved in the development of this new approach. It is available online for free for a limited period. Click here.

30 March 2011
The Criminal Justice Alliance has co-signed a letter to the Guardian supporting the Women's Institute's 'Care not Custody' campaign. To read it, click here.

28 March 2011
The Criminal Justice Alliance commented on the Sentencing Council's draft guideline on sentencing for drug offences. To read the comment, click here. The comment was covered in The Times, click here (paywall). The CJA's Director, Jon Collins, was also interviewed about the guideline on BBC Radio York.

16 March 2011
The Criminal Justice Alliance's Director, Jon Collins, commented on the Sentencing Council's guideline on assault. To read the comment, click here. The comment was covered in the Daily Mirror, here. The CJA's Policy and Campaigns Officer, Gemma Lousley, blogs about the guideline on Liberal Conspiracy, here.

4 March 2011
The Criminal Justice Alliance has responded to the Ministry of Justice green paper, 'Breaking the Cycle: Effective Punishment, Rehabilitation and Sentencing of Offenders'. To read our response, click here.

March 2011
Gemma has written an article for the debating section of the March issue of Criminal Justice Matters, on 'Should prisoners work from 9-5?'. For more information, click here. To read the article, click here (subscription required).

28 February 2011
The Criminal Justice Alliance has produced a briefing on prisoner education and training, in advance of Lord Sheldon's question today in the House of Lords. To read it, click here.

11 February 2011
Jon's comment on the Commons debate on prisoners' voting rights was covered by the Morning Star: click here. Jon was also interviewed on BBC Radio York.


10 February 2011
The Criminal Justice Alliance's Director, Jon Collins, has written an article for Progress online on voting rights for prisoners. Click here.

10 February 2011
In advance of the debate in the Commons today, the Criminal Justice Alliance has produced a briefing for MPs on prisoners' voting rights. Click here.

10 February 2011
Read a briefing on prisoners' voting rights supported by the Criminal Justice Alliance, the Aire Centre, JUSTICE, Liberty, Penal Reform International, the Prison Reform Trust and and UNLOCK here.

7 February 2011
Jon commented on the new antisocial behaviour measures proposed by the Government: the comment was covered in the Independent here.

1 February 2011
The CJA has written a blog on 'Breaking the Cycle' and the 'rehabilitation revolution' for the Works for Freedom website, run by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies. To read it, click here.

26 January 2011
Crispin Blunt, Minister for Prisons and Probation, spoke at the Criminal Justice Alliance members' meeting on 26 January 2011. Mr Blunt's speech on 'Breaking the Cycle', the criminal justice green paper, focused on rehabilitation and government proposals for reducing reoffending. He also used the speech to announce that plans for slimmed down contracts for Probation Trusts, as set out in the Green Paper, will be implemented by April 2011, a year earlier than originally set out.


20 January 2011
Jon has written an article for the Yorkshire Post on voting rights for prisoners, arguing that 'voting is a right not a privilege, even in jail'. To read it, click here.

19 January 2011
The Criminal Justice Alliance commented on reports that the Government is planning to restrict the right to vote to prisoners sentenced to one year or less. To read the comment, click here. The Morning Star covered the comment: click here.

18 January 2011
The Criminal Justice Alliance commented on the news that Jack Straw and David Davis have joined forces to secure an early Commons vote on prisoners' voting rights. Read the comment here. The comment was covered in the Daily Mail: click here.

17 January 2011
The Criminal Justice Alliance has responded to the Department for Communities and Local Government's consultation document 'Local decisions: A fairer future for social housing'. To read our response, click here.

13 January 2011
The Criminal Justice Alliance commented on the Ministry of Justice's announcement that three prisons will be closed. Read the comment here. The comment was covered in the Guardian, click here, and we were interviewed on LBC Radio and BBC Radio 5 Live.

11 January 2011
The Criminal Justice Alliance co-signed a letter in the Guardian with JUSTICE, Penal Reform International, the Prison Reform Trust, UNLOCK, the Howard League, Liberty, and others, in support of government proposals to enfranchise prisoners serving sentences of up to four years. Click here.

5 January 2011
The Criminal Justice Alliance has responded to the Sentencing Council's consultation on the draft assault guideline. To read our response, click here.

21 December 2010
The Criminal Justice Alliance has produced a briefing on the diet and treatment of prisoners, in advance of Lord Sheldon's question today in the House of Lords. Click here.

17 December 2010
The Criminal Justice Alliance commented on the Government's announcement that prisoners serving less than four years are to get the right to vote. Read the comment here.

14 December 2010
Jon has written an article for Progress online on 'Breaking the Cycle', the green paper on criminal justice reform. To read the article, click here.

10 December 2010
Jon co-signed a letter published in the Daily Telegraph calling for more use of restorative justice with Victim Support, the Prison Reform Trust, the Restorative Justice Council, the Independent Commission on Youth Crime, Why me? and Make Justice Work. To read the letter, click here.

8 December 2010
Jon wrote a letter to The Times on Indeterminate Sentences for Public Protection, in response to an article by Jonathan Aitken on the Green Paper proposals. Click here (paywall).

7 December 2010
The Criminal Justice Alliance commented on 'Breaking the Cycle: Effective Punishment, Rehabilitation and Sentencing of Offenders', the Government's green paper on criminal justice reform. Read the comment here.

6 November 2010
The Criminal Justice Alliance commented on reports that the Government intends to cut prison numbers and close six prisons. To read the comment, click here. The comment was covered in The Times, click here (paywall).

4 November 2010
The Criminal Justice Alliance commented on the publication of a 'Compendium of reoffending statistics and analysis' by the Ministry of Justice. Read the comment here. The comment was covered in the Telegraph (click here) and Jon did an interview on BBC Radio 4.

2 November 2010
The Criminal Justice Alliance commented on reports that prisoners are to get the right to vote. Read the comment here. The comment was covered in the Telegraph (click here), on the Express website (click here), in the Yorkshire Post (click here) and in the Morning Star (click here).

20 October 2010
We commented on the announcement of the results of the spending review, and Jon was quoted briefly in the Telegraph; click here. Read the full statement here.

20 October 2010
During 2011, membership meetings will take place on Wednesday 26 January, Wednesday 13 April, Wednesday 6 July and Wednesday 19 October, all at 11.30am in London.

20 October 2010
The Criminal Justice Alliance met with Rt Hon Lord Justice Leveson, Chairman of the Sentencing Council.

14 October 2010
Jon Collins was quoted by the Mirror here and the BBC here with regard to the Sentencing Council's consultation on proposals to change the guidelines for assault. Read the full statement here, in which he states that the proposed guidance would "promote consistency and prevent a postcode lottery in sentencing, helping to make sure that offenders receive the sentence that they deserve".

11 October 2010
We wrote a round up of the three party conferences for Nacro's blog, available here.

5 October 2010
The CJA co-hosted fringe events, titled 'Inside Out: Should There Be Fewer People In Prison?', at all three party conferences, scrutinising the UK's current approach to prison and the criminal justice system and asking how effective it is in preventing crime and reducing reoffending. The fringe events were jointly hosted by the Criminal Justice Alliance, the Prison Reform Trust, Centre Forum, Policy Exchange and the Fabian Society. For coverage of the Conservative event click here, for coverage of the Liberal Democrat event click here and for coverage of the Labour event click here, here, here and here. Read the CJA's round-up of the three conferences on Nacro's blog here.

October 2010
Jon wrote an article on government consultations for the Autumn 2010 edition of Action for Prisoners' Families News. Click here.

24 September 2010
The Criminal Justice Alliance commented on the prison population figures released on Friday 24 September, which showed that the population had reached a record 85,201. To read the comment, click here. The comment was covered in the Independent, click here.

17 September 2010
The new Government has signalled its intention to ensure that all public services, including the criminal justice system, are more accountable to the public and better deliver on the public's priorities. In this context, the Criminal Justice Alliance organised a roundtable seminar for its members and invited guests to examine the public's current views of the criminal justice system, what the public would like the criminal justice system to achieve, and what changes to the criminal justice system the public would support. Speakers included Julie Taylor, Director of Offender Management Policy at the Ministry of Justice, Ashley Ames, Research Director for Crime and Justice at Ipsos MORI, Mark Easton, Home Editor at the BBC, Julian Roberts, Professor of Criminology at the University of Oxford, and Mike Dixon, Director of Strategic Policy for Victim Support. A summary of the event will be available soon.

10 September 2010
The Criminal Justice Alliance commented on the launch of the Social Impact Bond pilot at HMP Peterborough. To read the comment, click here. The comment was covered on the BBC website, click here, and on the Daily Mail website, click here.

8 September 2010
The Criminal Justice Alliance commented on the Director of Public Prosecutions' comments on the laws on murder, saying that reform of the law on homicide is long overdue. To read the comment, click here. The comment was covered in the Express, click here.

10 August 2010
Jon commented on the new Ministry of Justice prison population projections. To read the comment, click here. It was covered in the Financial Times here and the Morning Star here and on the Guardian website here and the Telegraph website here.

1 August 2010
The CJA is co-hosting fringe events, titled 'Inside Out: Should There Be Fewer People In Prison?', at the three party conferences. The event at the Liberal Democrat conference will be at 12.15pm-2pm on Saturday 18 September in Room 11a at the ACC Hall, King's Dock, Liverpool and speakers will include Lord McNally, Minister of State at the Ministry of Justice, Ben Page, Chief Executive of Ipsos MORI, and Dr Mary Harris, Director of the Young Offender Programme led by National Grid. The event at the Labour Party conference will take place at 8pm-9.30pm on Monday 27 September at the Conference Hall in Manchester Town Hall, Albert Square, Manchester, M60 2LA and speakers will include Rt Hon Jack Straw MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Justice, Peter Kellner, President of YouGov, and Chukka Umunna MP. The event at the Conservative Party conference will take place at 7pm-8.15pm on Monday 4 October in Room 103 at the Jury's Inn Hotel, 245 Broad Street, Birmingham, B1 2HQ and speakers will include Crispin Blunt MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice, Juliet Lyon, Director of the Prison Reform Trust, and Dr Mary Harris, Director of the Young Offender Programme led by National Grid. All the events are open to the public without booking, but the event at the Liberal Democrat party conference is inside the secure zone, so a conference pass will be required to attend.

22 July 2010
The Criminal Justice Alliance has published a discussion paper ‘Criminal Justice and government at a time of austerity’, by David Faulkner, a Senior Research Associate at the University of Oxford Centre for Criminology. The paper considers the state of criminal justice as it has developed in England over the last 15–20 years, the assumptions and policies which have led to that situation, and the issues facing the coalition government which took office in May 2010. It then reviews the wider context of policy making and governance which affects public services of all kinds, and the implications of the period of austerity which must now be expected in all areas of public expenditure. Radical changes which have been needed for some time may now be easier to achieve, not only in criminal justice, but also in what the country expects from its public services, in the style and scope of government, and perhaps in the nation’s attitudes to social and political issues and the means of dealing with them. Download a shorter version here and an extended analysis here.

15 July 2010
Jon commented on the annual crime statistics. To read the comment, click here. It was covered on the BBC News website, click here, and on the BBC Nottingham website, click here.

15 July 2010
The Criminal Justice Alliance's recent briefing 'Criminal justice: Areas for action' was mentioned by Lord Thomas of Gresford in a House of Lords debate on reform of the criminal justice system on 15 July 2010. To read the debate, click here. To download the briefing, click here.

10 July 2010
Jon did an interview on Sky News discussing drugs in prison and links between the prison service and the police, as part of the coverage of the Raoul Moat case.

7 July 2010
The Criminal Justice Alliance today held a meeting with Dame Anne Owers, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons.

30 June 2010
The criminal justice system in England and Wales is in crisis. The cost of the system has grown dramatically in recent years, yet prisons are dangerously overcrowded, the public’s confidence in the system is low, and reoffending rates remain high. A fresh approach to criminal justice policy is long overdue, and this Criminal Justice Alliance briefing 'Criminal Justice: Areas for Action' suggests twelve problem areas within the adult criminal justice system that need urgent attention in the new parliament. To download, click here.

June 2010
In an online discussion, Jon asked Labour leadership candidate David Miliband, 'If elected leader would you review Labour's law and order policies with a view to reducing the use of prison and promoting more effective alternative sentences served in the community?' Miliband replied: 'We certainly need to make community sentences work better. One thing I am interested in is so called "restorative justice" where individuals have to make amends for their crimes to their victims. I first came across this in the 1990s in the Thames Valley. Would like to know more about it. If you have ideas please send them to team@davidmiliband.net or visit www.davidmiliband.net'. To read, click here.

23 June 2010
The CJA's letter in response to Polly Toynbee's article 'Budget 2010: Forget being tough, it's time to get realistic on crime', was published in the Guardian, here.

18 June 2010
Jon wrote an opinion piece in The Times arguing that we should send fewer people to prison, saying that we simply cannot afford to warehouse thousands of people in prison who could be better dealt with in the community. In response, MP Philip Davies argued that we should be thinking of extending sentences, not shortening them. To read, click here. (subscription required)

17 June 2010
In an online discussion, Jon asked Labour leadership candidate Andy Burnham, "If elected leader would you review Labour's law and order policies with a view to reducing the use of prison and promoting more effective alternative sentences served in the community?" Burnham replied: "I have long advocated the need to look at better use of community sentences, particularly for first-time offenders or for lower-level crimes. We need new kinds of community sentences that are not seen as a soft option, but they need to help the rehabilitation process too. We also need to look at the cause of the criminality. There are too many people in our prisons with undiagnosed or untreated mental health problems. As Health Secretary, I put extra funding to help those with mental health issues in prison but we need to do more to tackle this, as well as offer better treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. Surely it is better to spend money helping people get their lives back on track, than to spend it on keeping them in prison?" To read, click here.

14 June 2010
The CJA's comment, here, following Ken Clarke's signals of a 'more sensible' prison sentencing policy was picked up in a Guardian article, here, and Jon also did an interview with BBC Radio Nottingham.

June 2010
Inside Time produced an article based on Jon's recent presentation on the criminal justice system. To read, click here.

8 June 2010
Jon attended a LGiU parliamentary reception on local government, where Eric Pickles discussed his priorities for the Department of Communities and Local Government. For a brief write-up click here.

18 May 2010
Jon gave a presentation on 'Understanding the Criminal Justice System' at a Centre for Parliamentary Studies event on 18 May. To download the slides, click here.

14 May 2010
The Criminal Justice Alliance has published a briefing on the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government summarising what we know to date about the new government's priorities on crime and criminal justice, and the relevant personnel. It also looks at some further possible areas of agreement. To download the briefing, click here.

7 May 2010
The CJA is on twitter. Follow us @cjalliance for the latest on criminal justice reform here.

4 May 2010
Jon has written an article for Nacro on Justice reinvestment, prison policy and the post-election world. To read, click here.

28 April 2010
The Criminal Justice Alliance today held a meeting addressed by Professor Alison Liebling, Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, and Dr Ben Crewe, Senior Research Associate, from the Institute of Criminology at the University of Cambridge.

14 April 2010
The Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat election manifestos were published on Monday 12 April, Tuesday 13 April and Wednesday 14 April respectively. This Criminal Justice Alliance briefing examines their proposals on crime and criminal justice issue-by-issue and then sets out, by party, the manifestos' contents on law and order. To download, click here.

8 April 2010
The CJA has updated its briefings on what we know so far about the Conservative Party's and Liberal Democrats' crime and criminal justice policies, ahead of the publication of their formal election manifestos. The new briefing on the Conservative Party is available here and the new briefing on the Liberal Democrats is available here.

26 March 2010
With a general election now expected on 6 May, this members' briefing, 'What have the Liberal Democrats proposed on law and order?' summarises the information available to date on the Liberal Democrats' crime and criminal justice policies. To download, click here.

24 March 2010
The Ministry of Justice has published the latest NOMS performance ratings for Quarter 3 of 2009/10. 2 probation areas have improved their performance since the previous quarter, with none seeing a drop in performance. 3 prisons have improved compared to the previous quarter, with 4 having seen a drop in performance. 13 prisons were rated as a four, the highest ranking, compared to 14 in the previous quarter. To download the statistics, click here. To download a comparison with previous statistics, prepared by the CJA, click here for probation and here for prisons.

19 March 2010
The Criminal Justice Alliance has updated its briefing on the Conservatives' crime and criminal justice policy agenda. To download the
updated briefing, click here.

10 March 2010
The CJA commented on the NAO report on short prison sentences. To read click here. The comment was quoted on the BBC website here and in the Guardian here. Jon did radio interviews on BBC Radio Leeds, talkSPORT and ‘SunTalk’, the Sun’s internet radio station.

8 March 2010
The Criminal Justice Alliance has joined with The Fawcett Society and over 40 other organisations in a pre-election campaign to ask all the parties ‘What about women?'. The campaign has submitted a range of questions on how the parties policies will impact on women and women’s equality. Click here for more information on the campaign.

6 March 2010
Jon has written an article for Criminal Law & Justice Weekly (formerly Justice of the Peace) on prison overcrowding. To read, click here.

25 February 2010
Jon writes about the encouraging progress in the youth justice system shown in the recent Government figures and examines some of the reasons behind the fall in the number of first time entrants into the system and the fall in the number in custody. To read the blog, click here.

24 February 2010
Jon Collins, Campaign Director, commented on the Chief Inspector of Prisons' annual report, which warned that prisons in England and Wales risk becoming unstable because of chronic overcrowding and budget cuts. He says, 'this report should act as a timely reminder that prisons policy needs a radical change in direction'. To read the full statement, click here. Jon was quoted in the Financial Times. To read the article, click here.

4 February 2010
Jon attended a roundtable hosted by Sunita Mason, the Independent Advisor for Criminality Information Management, who is carrying out a review for the Home Office of policy on retaining and disclosing records held on the Police National Computer. The terms of reference are available here. If you would like to find out more about this or contribute to this review, please contact Jon by email or on 020 7840 1207 for more information. The review will report by the end of this month, so any contribution will have to be made very soon.

3 February 2010
The Criminal Justice Alliance has produced a briefing which aims to summarise what we know to date about the Conservatives' crime and criminal justice policy agenda, as well as providing links to relevant policy documents, speeches and media articles. We will be updating it as the election gets closer. To download the briefing, click here.

February 2010
The Criminal Justice Alliance gave evidence to New Philanthropy Capital for their new report 'Trial and Error: Children and young people in trouble with the law'. A copy of the report can be downloaded here.

31 January 2010
Jon has written a letter arguing that prison ships, recently proposed by the Conservatives, should not be seen as a solution to the criminal justice system's problems. To read the letter in the Observer, click here.

27 January 2010
The Criminal Justice Alliance today held a meeting with Helen Edwards, Director General of the Criminal Justice Group at the Ministry of Justice.

21 January 2010
Jon responds to an article by Martin Kettle in the Guardian saying, 'at a time when the criminal justice system is in desperate need of reform, the justice committee has conducted a thorough and wide-ranging review of policy, something that the government and opposition have conspicuously failed to do.' To read, click here.

13 January 2010
Jon Collins, Campaign Director, commented on the Justice Committee's new report 'Cutting crime: the case for justice reinvestment'. He says, ‘this report provides whichever party wins the forthcoming general election with a comprehensive blueprint for reform'. To read the full statement, click here. Jon was quoted in Community Care. To read the article, click here.

13 January 2010
Jon has written an article examining the implications of the Conservatives announcement to drop proposals to build 5,000 additional prison places, on top of those planned by the current government for the Guardian's Comment is Free website. Read the article here.

7 January 2010
The CJA has responded to the Ministry of Justice consultation 'Knowing or reckless misuse of personal data - introducing custodial sentences'. The consultation paper proposes custodial sanctions for those found guilty of knowingly or recklessly obtaining, disclosing, selling or procuring the disclosure of personal data without the consent of the data controller. The CJA's response argues that custodial sentences would not be appropriate for these offences. To read it, click here.

14 December 2009
The Criminal Justice Alliance has today published 'Transforming Justice: New approaches to the criminal justice system', a collection of essays proposing potential routes to reform of the criminal justice system. In response to the range of challenges facing the criminal justice system, the Criminal Justice Alliance has asked experts on penal policy - including academics, campaigners and politicians - to put forward a series of potential reforms that could have a significant impact on the criminal justice system. The contributors to the collection are Professor Nicola Lacey, who proposes a Royal Commission to identify a future direction for the criminal justice system; David Howarth MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Justice for the Liberal Democrats, who proposes a National Institute for Criminal Justice Excellence; Professor Mike Hough, Director of the Institute for Criminal Policy Research, and Dr Jessica Jacobson, who discuss the benefits of a Sentencing Council for England and Wales; Douglas Carswell, Conservative MP for Harwich and Clacton, who proposes elected local 'sheriffs' to oversee all aspects of criminal justice policy; Amelia Walker, Head of Centre for Service Transformation at the Local Government Information Unit, who sets out proposals for localised 'primary justice'; Rob Allen, Director of the International Centre for Prison Studies, who discusses the potential of justice reinvestment; Chris Igoe, Information and Policy Officer at the Restorative Justice Consortium, who examines the evidence supporting a greater use of restorative justice; and Richard Garside, Director of the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, who discusses the need to tackle inequality. To read the report, click here. To read the accompanying press release, click here.

25 November 2009
The Transition to Adulthood Alliance launched their young adult manifesto, to which the CJA contributed. It contains 10 recommendations aimed to make the way in which we deal with young adult offenders more effective, fairer and less costly. They include the recognition of young adults (aged 18–24) as a distinct group, more use of diversion, less use of custody and better resettlement support. To download the report, click here. To download the accompanying economic analysis of alternative interventions for young adult offenders, click here.

20 November 2009
The Criminal Justice Alliance responded to the Ministry of Justice consultation on the future of the parole board. To read the response, click here.

18 November 2009
The Criminal Justice Alliance commented on the Chief Inspector of Prisons' report on HMYOI Portland, which described conditions in the young offenders' institution as 'filthy and squalid'. To read the comment, click here. We were quoted on the BBC website (to read the article, click here) and in the Morning Star (click here).

13 November 2009
Jack Straw's announcement of a minimum jail sentence, coming as it did after the Kinsella convictions, seems to lack rationale says Jon in an article for the Guardian's Comment is Free website. To read the article, click here.

9 November 2009
Jon has written an article saying plans to stop ex-offenders making money from writing about their crimes could damage rehabilitation for the Guardian's Comment is Free website. For more details, click here.

3 November 2009
Jon has written an article on Drinking Banning Orders, also known as 'Booze-Asbos', for the Stand Up Tall Project website. To read the article, click here.

2 November 2009
The Criminal Justice Alliance has commented on the Centre for Social Justice's report on sentencing and the courts. To read the comment, click here.

21 October 2009
The Criminal Justice Alliance today held a meeting with John Thornhill, Chairman of the Magistrates' Association.

21 October 2009
The Criminal Justice Alliance was mentioned in a House of Lords debate on the Coroners and Justice Bill, in discussions about introducing financial support for bereaved families to participate in and be legally represented at inquests relating to deaths in state custody. To read the debate, click here. To read the Criminal Justice Alliance's letter to Jack Strw in this issue, click here.

19 October 2009
The Criminal Justice Alliance was a signatory to a letter in The Times opposing proposed measures on 'criminal memoirs' contained in the Coroners and Justice Bill. To read the letter, click here.

16 October 2009
The Criminal Justice Alliance has produced a briefing on the Coroners and Justice Bill for the Report Stage in the House of Lords. To download the briefing, click here.

15 October 2009
The Criminal Justice Alliance co-hosted a roundtable event with the CCJS on the National DNA database for its members and invited guests to examine the issues arising from the National DNA Database which are of immediate concern to those working in the criminal justice sector. Mick Carling of the NPIA, Home Office and Helen Wallace of Genewatch, spoke about recent developments around the database, the recent Government consultation and issues of concern.

8 October 2009
The Criminal Justice Alliance hosted a consultation meeting to discuss the recommendations of 'A New Start - Young Adults in the Criminal Justice System', a report by the Transition to Adulthood Alliance on improving the criminal justice system for young adults aged 18-24. To read the report, click here.

6 October 2009
The Criminal Justice Alliance commented on the Prison Governors' Association's call to scrap short prison sentences. To read the comment, click here.

5 October 2009
The Criminal Justice Alliance responded to the Ministry of Justice consultation on the draft regulations for the introduction of means testing for criminal legal aid in the Crown Court. To read the response, click here.

29 September 2009
The Criminal Justice Alliance responded to the second Ministry of Justice consultation on prisoners voting rights. The CJA response maintained that all prisoners should be enfranchised, regardless of the length of their custodial sentence. To read, click here.

28 August 2009
The Criminal Justice Alliance commented on the latest prison population projections. To read the comment, click here.

25 August 2009
The Criminal Justice Alliance commented on figures released by the Prison Reform Trust showing that two-thirds of prisons in England and Wales are overcrowded. To read the comment, click here.

17 August 2009
Susanna Siddiqui has joined the Criminal Justice Alliance as Policy and Campaigns Officer.

5 August 2009
The Criminal Justice Alliance has responded to the Sentencing Advisory Panel's consultation paper on sentencing for burglary in a dwelling. The CJA supported proposals for an offender with an addiction to receive a community order, but encouraged the Panel to consider reducing the starting points for sentences for adults and for young people currently proposed in the Paper. To read the response, click here.

31 July 2009
The Criminal Justice Alliance has responded to the Government’s consultation paper on 'Engaging Communities in Criminal Justice'. The CJA welcomed proposals to make the criminal justice system more open to the public and to increase public understanding of the criminal justice system, providing that they will not be detrimental to the reform and rehabilitation of offenders. To read the response, click here.

15 July 2009
The Criminal Justice Alliance has responded to the Sentencing Advisory Panel’s consultation paper on sentencing for drug offences. The CJA supports the Panel's proposals to reduce the length of prison sentences for people convicted of drug offences, but urges them to consider further reducing the starting points for drug offences in line with the lack of evidence of a deterrent effect of severe sentencing and the well-established damaging effects of imprisonment. To read the submission, click here.

15 July 2009
The Criminal Justice Alliance was mentioned in a House of Lords debate on the Coroners and Justice Bill. To read the relevant part of the debate, click here.

13 July 2009
The Criminal Justice Alliance was a signatory to a letter in the Guardian calling for improvements in the way we deal with young adults in conflict with the law. To read the letter, click here.

13 July 2009
The Transition to Adulthood Alliance, which the Criminal Justice Alliance has contributed to, has published its initial report, 'A New Start: Young Adults in the Criminal Justice System'. The report contains 21 new and innovative proposals aimed at changing the way that Britain deals with young adult crime. For more details, click here. To download the report, click here. The T2A Alliance is consulting on the proposals ahead of publishing a final report in the autumn. For more details, click here.

6 July 2009
The Criminal Justice Alliance has produced a briefing on the proposals for a Sentencing Council for the Committee Stage of the Coroners and Justice Bill in the House of Lords. To download the briefing, click here.

3 July 2009
The Criminal Justice Alliance has received a response from Ministry of Justice minister Bridget Prentice MP to the letter signed by 35 leading criminal justice and human rights organisation calling for the Coroners and Justice Bill to be amended to introduce financial support for bereaved families to participate in and be legally represented at inquests relating to deaths in state custody. To read the response, click here. To read the original letter, click here.

1 July 2009
The Criminal Justice Alliance today held a meeting with Andrew Bridges, HM Chief Inspector of Probation. To read his speech, click here.

9 June 2009
The Criminal Justice Alliance has published an open letter to Rt Hon Jack Straw MP, Secretary of State for Justice, calling on him to amend the Coroners and Justice Bill to introduce financial support for bereaved families to participate in and be legally represented at inquests relating to deaths in state custody. The letter is signed by 35 leading criminal justice and human rights organisations. To read the letter click here and to read the accompanying press release, click here. The letter was mentioned in the House of Lords debate on the Bill. Click here to read the debate.

8 June 2009
Jon wrote an article on 'Prison Expansion. Back to the drawing board?' for the latest edition of cjm, published today. For more details, click here.

29 May 2009
The Criminal Justice Alliance has obtained new data on Indeterminate Sentences for Public Protection from the Ministry of Justice. It shows that by the end of March 2009, 5,243 people had been given an IPP, and 58 people had been released. Over the last six months, 74 people on average have been sentenced to an IPP per month, and fewer than four people (3.66) have been released on average each month. To see the full figures, click here.

18 May 2009
The Criminal Justice Alliance was mentioned in the debate on the Coroners and Justice Bill in the House of Lords. To read the debate, click here.

13 May 2009
The Criminal Justice Alliance has produced a briefing for the second reading of the Coroners and Justice Bill in the House of Lords. To download the briefing, click here.

29 April 2009
The Criminal Justice Alliance today held a meeting with Edward Garnier QC MP, Shadow Justice Minister for the Conservative Party.

25 April 2009
The Criminal Justice Alliance was quoted on Titan prisons in the Independent. Click here to read the article.

24 April 2009
The Criminal Justice Alliance commented on the Government's decision to abandon plans for Titan prisons. To read the comment, click here. The Criminal Justice Alliance was quoted on the BBC website. Click here to read the article.

21 April 2009
The CJA organised a seminar with Maria Eagle MP to examine the progress that has been made in implementing the recommendations of the Corston report and discuss the priorities for future work to improve the criminal justice system for women. A summary of the discussion will be available soon.

7 April 2009
The Criminal Justice Alliance had a letter published in The Times. To read the letter, click here.

25 February 2009
The Criminal Justice Alliance today held a meeting with David Howarth MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Justice for the Liberal Democrats.

22 January 2009
The Criminal Justice Alliance has produced a briefing for the second reading of the Coroners and Justice Bill in the House of Commons. To download the briefing, click here.

27 December 2008
Jon wrote an article opposing Titan prisons for the Guardian's Comment is Free website. To read the article, click here.

17 October 2008
The Criminal Justice Alliance has received a response from the Secretary of State for Justice, Jack Straw, to our open letter on Titan prisons. To read the response, click here. To read the original letter, click here.

7 October 2008
The Criminal Justice Alliance today held a meeting with Phil Wheatley, Director General of the National Offender Management Service.

23 September 2008
Jon wrote an article on the Government's prison population projections for the Guardian's Comment is Free website. To read the article, click here.

6 September 2008
Jon wrote an article on reoffending rates for the Guardian's Comment is Free website. To read the article, click here.

28 August 2008
The Criminal Justice Alliance has published an open letter to Rt Hon Jack Straw MP, Secretary of State for Justice, on Titan prisons, signed by 35 leading criminal justice organisations. To read the letter click here, and to read the accompanying press release, click here.

28 August 2008
The Criminal Justice Alliance has submitted a response to the Ministry of Justice’s Consultation Paper on Titan prisons. It argues that the Government’s case for Titan prisons has not been effectively made and that Titan prisons are a wholly unwelcome development. To download it, click here.

6 August 2008
The Criminal Justice Alliance met with the consultation team to discuss the Ministry of Justice's consultation paper on Titan prisons.

5 August 2008
The Criminal Justice Alliance had a letter published in the Guardian. To read the letter, click here.

18 July 2008
Jon wrote an article on Titan prisons for the Guardian's Comment is Free website. To read the article, click here.

16 June 2008
The Criminal Justice Alliance has moved offices. We are now based at Park Place, 10-12 Lawn Lane, London, SW8 1UD. For full contact details, click here.

24 April 2008
The Criminal Justice Alliance today held a meeting with Lord Justice Gage. Lord Justice Gage is chairing the Sentencing Commission Working Group, which is examining proposals for a structured sentencing framework and Sentencing Commission. Click here for more details on their work.

3 March 2008
Jon Collins has joined the Criminal Justice Alliance as Campaign Director, leading the Alliance's campaign to end prison overcrowding.

29 January 2008
The Criminal Justice Alliance today held a meeting with Nick Herbert MP, the Shadow Secretary of State for Justice. Nick discussed the Conservative Party's review of prisons and sentencing.

24 January 2008
The Criminal Justice Alliance today held a meeting with Rt Hon David Hanson MP, Minister of State for Justice, who discussed the Government's proposals in response to the Carter and Corston reports.

 

 

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