Skip to main content

The Criminal Justice Alliance (CJA) responds to the HMICFRS report on our super-complaint regarding Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 and independent community scrutiny of stop and search. The CJA’s 2021 super-complaint called for the repeal of Section 60 powers, emphasising the need for a review of the legislation’s effectiveness. The HMICFRS report acknowledges issues of police non-compliance with legal and best practice frameworks but falls short of advocating strongly for a robust mandatory framework.

Specific concerns include the absence of interviews with individuals impacted by stop and search, child safeguarding, the questionable effectiveness of stop and search in reducing knife crime, and racial disparities. The CJA proposes a set of recommendations, including repealing Section 60, adherence to the law and best practices, prioritising lived experiences, addressing child safeguarding, adopting evidence-based policies for serious youth violence, improving police community consultative frameworks, and addressing racial disparities through collaboration with civil society partners.

In this report, we explore the effectiveness of independent monitoring boards (IMBs) at monitoring outcomes for Black, Asian and minority ethnic women in prison. We surveyed IMB Chairs and board members with responsibility for monitoring equalities issues in prisons holding women. We found some examples of IMBs assisting in improving conditions for and treatment of Black, Asian and minority ethnic women. However, there are still key challenges for Board members to effectively monitor outcomes for women from minority ethnic backgrounds, such as cultural and language barriers, inconsistent equalities data and the limited resources and expertise of IMBs.

This report is part of a three-part collaborative project, Towards Race Equality, between the CJA and IMBs.

Report 1 outlines the findings of over 260 survey responses from Black, Asian and minority ethnic women, including Gypsy, Roma and Traveller women and foreign nationals, held in prison about their experiences.

Report 2 outlines the challenges that equality staff working in prisons holding women face, and the solutions they have implemented in their respective prisons.

The Executive Summary of the Towards Race Equality project contains our overarching conclusions and 26 recommendations for urgent change.

In this report, we explore the effectiveness of independent custody visitors at monitoring race and gender equality in police custody. We found some examples of positive work by independent custody visitors to improve the treatment and welfare of Black, Asian and minority ethnic people and women in police custody. However, a number of custody visitors lack understanding of institutional racism and discrimination, and custody visiting schemes need to be more racially diverse to better reflect the people detained in police custody. We also found a range of systemic barriers preventing custody visitors from monitoring race and gender equality effectively.

The CJA has interviewed journalists, charities, academics and people with lived experience to explore how the media can report on criminal justice in a more nuanced, sensitive and constructive way. This report draws together these insights and provides a range of ideas and suggestions for journalists, news organisations, policy makers, charities and funders.

This report sets out the CJA’s super-complaint into section 60 stop and search. It draws on submissions from national and grassroots organisations, academics and former police officers as well as the CJA’s own research. The CJA argues that section 60 is harmful, ineffective and unnecessary, and calls for the government to repeal the power. It also recommends how community scrutiny of wider stop and search could be made more effective.

Annex 1 contains submissions from supporting individuals and organisations discussing their concerns around section 60.

Annex 2 is a deep analysis of data around section 60, secured through Freedom of Information requests.

This report focuses on how restorative approaches have provided a unique and effective response to the unprecedented challenges and tensions caused by COVID-19. We also explore how restorative approaches could be used to address the harms and trauma caused by the pandemic, build a better criminal justice system and create a safer, more cohesive and resilient society.

Routes to Recovery draws on discussions with CJA members in virtual meetings in June and July. The report highlights challenges and good practice during COVID-19 across policing, courts, prisons, probation and resettlement, victims’ services, mental health and drug and alcohol services. The report also provides recommendations for policy makers, highlighting how they can build a better criminal justice system following the pandemic.

The report highlights the urgent need for the sector to provide greater opportunities for people with lived experience to move into paid employment, leadership and influencing positions in the sector.

It makes a range of recommendations for government departments, commissioners, public bodies, employers, the Charity Commission, criminal justice funders, universities and the inspectorates.

This briefing sets out key principles and recommendations for good practice around community scrutiny of stop and search. The briefing is a result of a survey sent to all police forces in England and Wales and interviews with a wide range of stakeholders.

This report details the winners and shortlisted organisations and individuals at the 2018 CJA Awards. For the fourth year running, the Awards demonstrate the innovative and effective work being done across the criminal justice system.

A report on the recent experience of young black, Asian and minority ethnic people (BAME) and stop and search.

This report highlights the experiences of victims, witnesses and defendants of criminal trials in the Crown Court

This report outlines the role of the French juge d’application des peines, or JAP, and what the courts in England and Wales could learn from the French experience.

This report considers where desistance stands at present, the barriers that may limit its further progress and the opportunities and risks afforded by current developments.

This report discusses the concept of procedural fairness within and the impact it has on compliance with court orders and the law generally.

This report highlights the key elements of personalisation and examines how an agenda focused on it could be achieved within a justice reinvestment model.

This study focuses on the inclusion of the concept of maturity into the new CPS Code and how it will work in practice.

This report focuses on Mental Health Treatment Requirements and their ability to address a major cause of offending behaviour. It warns that the proposed changes may mean that the emphasis in community sentencing will no longer focus on addressing root causes of offending and the MHTR will remain underused.

This report analyses how several European countries, especially the Netherlands and Germany have seen a sharp decline in their prison populations over the last five years. It highlights several features in continental justice systems that are associated with a more moderate use of prison.

This collection of essays on the role of the public, private and voluntary sectors within the criminal justice system, attempts to achieve a balance between those in favour of and those opposed to the current trend of marketisation of services. Contributors include Professor Alison Liebling, Dr. Ben Crewe; Helen Edwards, Director General of the MoJ’s Justice Policy Group and Heather Munro, Chief Executive of London Probation Trust.