Drug policy language at the UN level is failing to embrace the growing movement towards drug decriminalisation seen around the world, argues Niamh Eastwood
alternatives to custody
The relationship between sentencing practices and the official crime rate was discussed last week at a packed event hosted by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies.
The event – Alternatives to custody: Data and policy perspectives – was organised jointly with the University of Birmingham.
Criminal justice reformers should be influencing the development of electronic monitoring, argues Professor Mike Nellis, rather than leaving it to right-leaning think tanks
Badging community sentences as alternatives to custody is fundamentally dishonest, argues Ken Pease
Community punishments do not have a significant impact on crime rates, but neither does prison, Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay writes
Catherine Heard, Policy and Research Associate at the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, writing for the Probation Quarterly asks why the increased use of community sentences did not lead to a corresponding fall in prisoner numbers:
As part of the Justice Matters project we asked people to tell us what they would build in place of criminal justice to deal with the social harms that affect society. This is a challenging subject. It is challenging because it is about rethinking the configuration of policy and practice – for instance in housing, education, health, social security and employment – so that many current criminal justice responses are not required at all.
These workshops, held on 10 June and 23 September, aimed to explore why the UK's substantial use of alternatives to custody in recent years has had no effect on 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.
Catherine Heard, the Centre's Research and Policy Associate, has described how community sentences have failed to cut prisoner numbers.
In a guest blog on the CLINKS website, Catherine outlines the findings of our latest research report Community sentences since 2000: How they work and why they have not cut prisoner numbers.
The data from all three UK jursidictions suggests that
This report is published under our Alternatives to Custody in Europe project, which takes a detailed look at alternatives across eight EU member states.
The report outlines the key policy developments since 2000 in our prison population and use of alternatives, in all three UK jurisdictions. It covers: