The challenges of changing crime patterns and scarce resources demand that courts innovate. Our research sets out new ideas to help our courts meet these challenges, and explores how to put them into practice
This briefing compares the differing use of community sentences in England and Wales with Scotland.
We welcome plans to modernise the court process but the system must feel fair
How courts can respond to increasing complex crime and falling resources.
Problem-solving courts specialise in tackling the complex issues like addiction and mental illness which drive people to commit crime. By helping offenders get support and holding them accountable, they can cut crime and save money
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
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
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
Each month more than a thousand cases are brought to remove children from their families in England, and substance misuse plays a part in at least a third of them. Family drug and alcohol courts work to create safe, stable homes for children at risk of being removed by helping parents address their issues
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