This UK Justice Policy Review Focus scrutinises some key manifesto pledges in the area on the police, prisons and drugs policy
The endless calls for tough community sentences do more harm than good, argues Richard Garside
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.
The Centre's Deputy Director, Will McMahon, and Senior Policy Associate, Rebecca Roberts, have warned that David Cameron's recent speech on prison reform signals a move towards the expansion and privatisation of criminal justice, rather than a serious attempt to address the problems in the system, or society more broadly.
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
An article published by The Economist recommends that Michael Gove looks to Scotland for examples of 'progressive' prison policy.
The article explains that Scotland is less punitive in its approach with a greater emphasis on rehabilitation and community sentences.
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:
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