UK Justice Policy Review: Volume 4

Richard Garside and Matt Ford
Monday, 29 June 2015

The fourth in an annual series by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, supported by The Hadley Trust, tracking year-on-year developments in criminal justice and social welfare across the UK.

Combining analysis of the main developments with key data on issues such as spending, staffing and the numbers going through the criminal justice system, UK Justice Policy Review offers an accessible overview of UK-wide developments.

In this edition, revelations that controversial security companies G4S and Serco received more than seven pounds in every ten spent by the government on prison and probation-related contracts in the four years to April 2014.

In late 2013 the Ministry of Justice cancelled G4S and Serco's electronic monitoring contracts, following revelations that the companies had overcharged on the contracts for many years. Yet last week the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies revealed that G4S and Serco continued to be paid millions for electronic tagging work, more than a year after the companies' contracts were supposed to have been cancelled in the wake of an overcharging scandal.

Richard Garside, the Centre's Director and one of the report authors remarked:

'It is a strange world where the companies charged with tagging criminals are themselves under criminal investigation'.

Other content in the fourth edition of UK Justice Policy Review includes:

  • The first UK-wide analysis of suicide, self-harm incidents and assaults in prisons in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. It finds that suicides and assaults grew sharply in England and Wales between 2013 and 2014, adding to concerns that funding cuts and rising prisoner numbers are contributing to growing misery and conflict in the UK's prisons.
  • An analysis of criminal justice expenditure, staffing and caseloads across the UK. Criminal justice expenditure fell by 18 percent between 2010 and 2014. Staffing levels across the police, prisons and probation also fell. Scotland bucked the UK trend, with rising expenditure and staffing levels.
  • A review of the privatisation of probation in England and Wales and the creation of the new Community Rehabilitation Companies.
  • An assessment of the first year of operations of the single Scottish police force: Police Scotland.
  • An overview of the disputes over criminal legal aid across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Get the data

A full set of data and notes for the charts and tables that are presented in each volume of UK Justice Policy Review are available for download.

The data is available by clicking on the links below.

Special focus : harms in prison


Staffing and outsourcing

Criminal justice populations

Welfare and wider social circumstances