Contracts for prison and probation work in the UK are dominated by a few multinationals and large voluntary sector organisations, according to new research by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies.
UK Justice Policy Review
There has been a lot of discussion over recent months about the ongoing decline in the official crime rate. Yesterday's data from the Office for National Statistics suggested crime had fallen by 10 per cent during the last year.
What's going on?
The UK Justice Policy Review team is tracking crime trends across the United Kingdom as part of its annual reports. You can download the first two editions by clicking the links on the right hand side of the page.
A day after Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said that G4s may still be prosecuted over claims that it overcharged on electronic monitoring contracts, the company has announced via its website that it is to repay £108.9 million to the Ministry of Justice.
The company's Chief Executive, Ashley Almanza, said:
The third 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.
Troubled security company G4S may still face criminal prosecution over its alleged overcharging on electronic monitoring and prisoner escort contracts, The Guardian reports.
G4S and Serco are currently banned from bidding for contracts to run probation services in England and Wales. The Justice Secretary Chris Grayling reportedly said yesterday that he saw this as an opportunity to promote innovation.
An incoming Labour government should abolish Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) and replace them with boards that can better represent local interests, according to former Home Secretaries Alan Johnson and Charles Clarke.
A United Nations report on UK housing, which calls for the suspension of the bedroom tax, has been attacked by the government, The Guardian reports.
The report, by the UN's special investigator on housing Raquel Rolnik, argues that the bedroom tax had left many people 'tremendous despair'. The claims were attacked by housing minister Kris Hopkins:
In a ruling almost designed to get certain Eurosceptics foaming at the mouth, the Council of Europe (not to be confused with the European Union) has ruled that the UK's benefits levels are 'manifestly inadequate'.
According to The Guardian, the Council of Europe report states:
Today's Guardian carries an editorial examing the reasons for the ongoing fall in the official crime rate.
The previous Labour government and the coalition have passed roughly one crime-related piece of legislation a year, the editorial notes. Despite this legislative hyperactivity, 'even a glance at the trend behind the headlines suggests crime and policing policy has less influence on the figures than politicians want to believe'.
The government's plans for probation privatisation are likely to founder on the rocks of implementation, Richard Garside argues.