BETTER COURTS
BUILDING A FAIRER, MORE EFFECTIVE JUSTICE SYSTEM
Our courts system has the potential to do more to cut crime and inspire public trust. But to do that requires two things. Firstly, we need new problem-solving courts to tackle the complex issues which drive offending. Problem-solving court target issues like addiction, mental illness and homelessness by combining punishment with help. Secondly, we need to ensure that our courts work with people in a way that they see as fair. When people feel fairly treated – when they understand the justice system, are given a voice, feel respected, and believe the process to be neutral – they are more likely to comply with the decision of the court and to respect the law in future.
Procedural fairness

When people feel fairly treated by the justice system they are more likely to respect and obey the law. This challenges courts to not only act even-handedly but also to be seen to be fair. Research shows that this is less about the outcomes of court cases take and more about “procedural fairness”: the way those cases are handled

Domestic abuse in courts

The rate of domestic violence incidents reported to the police has risen sharply over the past few years and the justice system is struggling to keep up. Dedicated domestic violence courts offer a better way to prosecute perpetrators and keep victims safe

Young adults in court

Research has demonstrated that young people’s brains are still in development as late as their mid-twenties. But once they reach the age of 18, the courts treat them as though they were fully mature. We are working with courts in England and Wales to design new approaches for young adults. We hope that simple ideas like using less jargon and involving defendant’s families can improve young adult's experience of court and ultimately reduce their reoffending

Advice and support at court

There are many opportunities for serious and persistent offenders to get support in the justice system. But for those whose offending is just beginning much less help is on hand. Advice and support services seek to help people who are coming to court but who aren’t eligible to work with probation. They offer support on a voluntary basis in order to tackle the issues which drive people to offending