Effective Restorative Justice Studies Published

Breaking the cycle: effective punishment, rehabilitation and sentencing of offenders
Open date: 07 December 2010
Close date: 04 March 2011
Response date: 21 December 1999
The Ministry of Justice Structural Reform Plan published in July 2010 set out a commitment to introduce a 'rehabilitation revolution' and conduct a review of sentencing policy.
This consultation sets out the resulting proposals which aim to break the destructive cycle of crime and protect the public, through more effectively punishing and rehabilitating offenders and reforming the sentencing framework.

                     Breaking the Cycle [PDF 0.59mb]
                     Torri’r Cylch: Cosbi, Ailsefydlu a Dedfrydu [PDF 0.41mb]
                     Green paper evidence report [PDF 0.45mb]
                     Impact assessment [PDF 0.20mb]
                     Screening equality impact assessment [PDF 0.40mb]
Consultation response
In December, we launched a consultation (Green Paper) called ‘Breaking the Cycle: Effective Punishment, Rehabilitation and Sentencing of Offenders'.
This asked people what they thought of our proposals to change the ways we punish, sentence and reform offenders to reduce reoffending. The paper focused on the following aims:
   making punishments demanding, robust and credible
   improving how we reform offenders to keep the public safe, cut crime and prevent more people from becoming victims; and
   making offenders pay back to victims and communities for the harm they have caused.
More than 1,200 people responded to the consultation and their ideas and suggestions have helped shape the Government's response.

                     Breaking the cycle - Government response [PDF 0.24mb]
                     Impact assessment [PDF 0.12mb]
                     Equality impact assessment [PDF 0.11mb]
                     Equality impact assessment - Annexes [PDF 0.29mb]

Green Paper Evidence Report - Breaking the Cycle: Effective Punishment, Rehabilitation and Sentencing of Offenders

Samples from pages 15 to 18

Effectiveness of courts and offender management
There is a developing evidence base to inform how the aims of the criminal justice system might be delivered more efficiently and effectively. This includes:
the potential for greater gains through prevention, early intervention, diversion and resettlement;
       ensuring that interventions are targeted and tailored to match the characteristics of individual offenders, and improving knowledge on the best sequencing of interventions;
       using the developing evidence base on desistance, to improve understanding of how and why people stop offending and the role of practitioners in supporting this process;
making greater use of restorative justice and other approaches which enable greater reparation to the victim or community.
Recent analysis suggests that community sentences are more effective at reducing reoffending than short prison sentences, and cautions are slightly more effective than fines.
1.37  A wide range of restorative justice approaches are used at various stages of the criminal justice process in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Germany and Northern Ireland. Evidence suggests that many of these approaches have a positive impact on victim satisfaction and have a positive impact on reducing reoffending in some circumstances. These impacts have also been demonstrated in pilots run in England.
There is a strong economic and social case for investing in rehabilitation (Chapter Six)
1.38  Given the demands on the system and the current financial resource climate, there is scope to increase effectiveness and efficiency through the use of different delivery systems. A number of approaches - which encourage and provide incentives for local joint working and greater focus on outcomes – have been tried in other sectors in the UK and abroad. Not all of these have been fully evaluated yet but some of the early results are promising and offer practical lessons for applying these ideas to the criminal justice context in England and Wales.
1.39     There is a strong case for investing in rehabilitation. The economic and social costs of crime are far greater than those costs which offenders place on public services. Focusing on rehabilitation could therefore generate significant benefits to society through having fewer victims of crime, less damage and destruction of property and more offenders becoming productive members of society. In addition, there could be cost savings to government through reduction in demand for services, such as the criminal justice system, and increases in taxable earnings.

Breaking the Cycle: Effective Punishment, Rehabilitation and Sentencing of Offenders
Presented to Parliament by the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice by Command of Her Majesty
December 2010
A few quotes from the above;
To achieve this we will free local managers, professionals and volunteers from central control. We will draw on the expertise of everyone who can make a contribution, whether they work in the public sector or elsewhere. In doing so, we will create a rehabilitation revolution that will change those communities whose lives are made a misery by crime.
19. A recent study of prisoners3 also found that:
       37% of prisoners have stated that they will need help finding a place to live when they are released from prison;
       12% said they had a mental illness or depression as a long-standing illness, while 20% reported needing help with an emotional or mental health problem;
         24% said they had been taken into care as a child;
         almost half (47%) said they had no qualifications; and
         13% said that they have never had a paid job.
27. The reforms should result in a better outcome for victims, with more of them receiving direct financial payback from offenders. They will benefit from services which are paid for directly out of the pockets of criminals. They will increasingly be offered opportunities to make a personal statement to the court and take part in restorative justice approaches.

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