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The Criminal Justice Alliance (CJA) is working closely with parliamentarians to advocate for greater access to Restorative Justice services for victims of crime, ahead of the Victims and Prisoners Bill. As part of this, we have produced a briefing for parliamentarians, in partnership with CJA members Why Me? and the Restorative Justice Council, which sets out the value of  Restorative Justice for victims and highlights areas where the Bill could be improved in relation to this issue.

Recently, the government rejected the Justice Committee’s recommendation to include a ‘right to access restorative justice services’, which the CJA had advocated for in evidence to the Committee. We are disappointed with this decision but remain committed to continuing discussions with ministers and officials and will seek to put down amendments to the Bill. The intention of the recommendation is to ensure victims receive information to make an informed choice about restorative justice and to support them in coping and recovering from the harm they have experienced.

CJA Director Nina Champion was asked by the Shadow Justice Secretary to be part of an advisory group for his ‘end-to-end’ review of the CJS taking place between January to March 2023. Nina was invited to attend a roundtable on the theme of preventing offending and re-offending at Portcullis House on 12 January. To inform her contributions, Nina organised an online discussion with members working on prevention issues on 6 January. Following the roundtable, The Labour Party asked those present to submit written responses to some set questions within a few days of the roundtable. This submission is based on discussions with members on 6 January and other work the CJA have published over recent years, co-produced with CJA members.

The government recently announced it would publish a White Paper setting out prison reforms to cut reoffending. In this briefing, we set out what the government should include in the Prisons White Paper, mapping the practical steps necessary to ensure everyone in prison or leaving prison has access to meaningful education and employment, as well as support to maintain family ties and positive social relationships. We highlight how the government can reduce the prison population while ensuring safer communities. The briefing draws on the expertise of CJA members working in these areas.

This joint briefing from a coalition of criminal justice organisations outlines how 10 clauses in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill will deepen racial inequality in the criminal justice system, and without evidence that they will reduce crime or improve public safety. We draw on the government’s own equality assessments, which acknowledge that most of the provisions reviewed in this briefing are indirectly discriminatory. We also highlight the government’s lack of evidence that they are a ‘proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim’ and the lack of sufficient mitigation of their impact on Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.

This is the CJA’s submission to the inquiry into the use of restorative justice and practices across England and Wales by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Restorative Justice. Drawing on focus groups held with restorative practitioners and academics as well as individuals working to influence policy, we make a series of recommendations in areas such as embedding a restorative culture in policing and the criminal justice system; improving public awareness of restorative justice and practices; and increasing inclusion in restorative justice and practices for people with protected characteristics.

The CJA and Why me? have worked with Baroness Molly Meacher on an amendment to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill which will increase the use of Restorative Justice, with the aim of better supporting victims and reducing reoffending. The amendment will require the home secretary and the justice secretary to prepare a Restorative Justice Action Plan every three years to improve access, awareness, capacity and evidence of the use of Restorative Justice and practices. The home secretary and justice secretary will also be required to report on progress to parliament. This is a briefing for peers on the amendment.

This briefing from a coalition of criminal justice and race equality organisations explores how the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill could deepen racial inequality in the criminal justice system. It analyses the equality impact assessments behind the Bill, and calls for the government to withdraw the discriminatory measures and launch a proper public consultation.

Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) play a crucial role in tackling crime, addressing the needs of their communities and ensuring the justice system is fair and effective. This document highlights some of the main challenges currently facing the criminal justice system and provides practical, innovative solutions that PCCs could include in their plans upon taking office. It also focuses on ideas that involve working together with community and voluntary sector organisations, making use of the unique convening role of PCCs.

In this response to the government’s White Paper on sentencing, the CJA and members highlight the positive elements of the government’s sentencing plans, as well as identifying areas of concern. The response also makes wide-ranging recommendations for government to create a criminal justice system which diverts people away from the dead end of prison and gives individuals the best chance at a life away from life

The CJA has sent a third COVID-19 briefing to the Justice Select Committee, discussing the government’s recovery planning for prisons and probation, and providing recommendations on prisoner release, testing, resettlement, the need for demographic data, and more.

The CJA has worked with some of its members to establish pragmatic recommendations to reduce the burden of COVID-19 on the criminal justice system, and ultimately, to protect the lives of those working in or affected by i

The CJA has followed up with a second briefing on COVID-19 for the Justice Select Committee, highlighting the urgent actions that must be taken to protect life.

In this briefing, which is a response to the Home Affairs Select Committee inquiry on the Home Office’s preparedness for COVID-19, the CJA gives recommendations on policing and supporting victims.

In this briefing for the Women and Equalities Select Committee, the CJA discusses the impact of COVID-19 on those with protected characteristics within the criminal justice system.

Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) play a crucial role in tackling crime, addressing the needs of their communities, and ensuring the justice system is fair and effective. In this role, PCCs can stimulate local innovative practice, bring together organisations and individuals from across the criminal justice system to make these initiatives a success and make substantial change to the lives of people affected by crime.

This document highlights some of the main challenges facing the criminal justice system and provides practical innovative solutions that prospective PCCs could include in their manifestos for the 2020 elections.

This briefing is the result of a round table event on 21 May 2019 organised by the CJA and Ministry of Justice for a group of CJA members to discuss the accommodation challenges faced by people leaving prison.

On 7 May 2019, the CJA and the Ministry of Justice’s Race Disparity team hosted a policy forum on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) victims of crime with the objective of improving understanding around the specific needs and issues of BAME victims and what more could be done to support them. This briefing note reflects the key themes discussed at the meeting and includes anonymised quotes.

The briefing provides a succinct account of the current landscape for Restorative Justice and restorative practices in England and Wales. It is based on a survey sent to all police forces across the country and follow-up interviews.

This briefing is the result of a round table event organised by the CJA and Ministry of Justice for a group of CJA members to discuss the challenges facing the justice system created by the ageing population. Attendees were asked to focus on two key questions: What are the unique needs of older people involved in the CJS? What changes could we consider over the longer term to ensure the needs of this group are better met?

This briefing sets out eight pragmatic and incremental ways the government could begin to reduce the prison population without impacting public safety. We estimate that these measures could reduce the population by 12,000 places over the lifetime of this parliament, reducing the pressure on the system, making it safer and freeing up over £900 million.