On 23 September 2015, the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies held the second in this pair of workshops assessing developments in alternatives to custody in the UK since 2000.

These workshops aimed to explore why the UK's substantial use of alternatives to custody in recent years has had no impact in reducing prisoner numbers. We wanted to identify examples of good practice, as well as problematic areas, in the use of alternatives, as part of a wider European project aiming to reduce our reliance on prison.

At this event, we considered restorative justice and the risks and challenges presented by the current criminal justice and probation climate: Professor Mike Hough and Ali Wigzell, of the Institute for Criminal Policy Research, discussed their recent work. Next, in a session led by Jenny Talbot OBE, from the Prison Reform Trust, we discussed learning and communication difficulty in the supervision context. Finally, Nathan Dick from CLINKS reported on a project monitoring the consequences, for the voluntary sector, of the Transforming Rehabilitation programme.

The event also saw the launch of a major new report by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, Community Sentences since 2000: How they work - and why they have not cut prisoner numbers   

Speaker presentations and video clips from the day can be accessed below.

1. The risks and challenges of mainstreaming restorative justice

Professor Mike Hough and Ali Wigzell, Institute for Criminal Policy Research

Here are the slides for this presentation.

2. Taking account of a learning disablity or difficulty, and communication difficulty: towards effective supervision

Jenny Talbot OBE, Prison Reform Trust

Here are the slides for this presentation.

3. Improving outcomes for offenders with a learning disability or difficulty 

Amy Hall, Greater Manchester and Cheshire CRC

Unfortunately Amy was unable to join us to present her speech, but here are her slides.

4. Warning signals:the voluntary sector's role in Transforming Rehabilitation

Nathan Dick, Clinks

Here are the slides for this presentation.

These workshops form part of a two year, European Commission funded project, Alternatives to Custody in Europe, analysing and comparing the alternatives to custody offered in eight EU countries.

Our next publication on this project will be the European Handbook on Alternatives to Custody. This will present key data and highlights from all eight of the participating member states' systems, and include proposals for the better, fairer use of alternatives to prison across Europe. We expect to publish this in February 2016. Other project outputs will incude a short film on alternatives to custody with contributed footage from all eight countries.

For more information, email Catherine Heard or Will McMahon, Centre for Crime and Justice Studies.