Sentencing Bill 2021
The Centre for Justice Innovation has published a number of reports and briefings in connection to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, and the preceding White Paper 'A Smarter Approach to Sentencing'.
In September 2020, the Government published its Sentencing White Paper, ‘A Smarter Approach’. This document reflects a number of important ideas we have advocated for on community sentencing, probation reform, out of court disposals, problem-solving courts and electronic monitoring.
We have published a number of briefings to guide the implementation of these reforms, and to respond to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts bill that carries forwards the commitments of the White Paper. These briefings draw on our work with frontline practitioners, from the research and evidence base, as well as from practice in other jurisdictions. Our briefings can be read below.
If you would like to discuss the work, please contact our Head of Policy and Public Affairs Duncan Lugton email@example.com. To keep up to date with our work please subscribe to our mailing lists.
- Parliamentary briefing for second reading debate on Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill
We support a number of the measures the Bill, but are concerned that some will put pressure on the prison system, are unlikely to deter crime and likely to disproportionately impact specific communities.
We argue that the Government should invest energy and more resources into a smarter justice strategy.
- Reforming out of court disposals
In the Sentencing White Paper, the Government outlined its plan to streamline the out of court disposal framework to a two tier framework.
Out of court disposals are an effective and appropriate response to low-level offending – but only if they scale down people’s contact with the criminal justice system.
This paper outlines the key lessons that must guide the implementation of this reform - to use this opportunity to de-escalate the contact individuals have with the criminal justice system and to give victims better information and reparation.
- Piloting problem-solving courts
The Government pledged in the Sentencing White Paper to pilot five new problem-solving courts. We believe this commitment has the potential to overcome high re-offending rates by repeat and prolific offenders.
This briefing is a guide to piloting problem-solving courts, to provide the pilots the best chance of success and sustainability.
- Deferred sentencing
‘A Smarter Approach to Sentencing’ commits to encouraging the use of deferred sentences to divert vulnerable individuals who have committed an offence into services, and away from further involvement in the criminal justice system.
Taking inspiration from a number of different jurisdictions, this briefing outlines the ways that deferred sentences can be used in England and Wales to address low-level offenders stuck in a revolving door of crime.
- Probation professionalisation
The Sentencing White Paper signals a clear intention to empower probation in a post-privatisation world.
This briefing argues that a vital step on this journey is professionalising probation properly, and creating an independent and external regulator to uphold standards and effective practice in England and Wales.
- Electronic monitoring
The Government's new sentencing proposals provide important opportunities to make better use of electronic monitoring in England and Wales.
This paper sets out how to create a fresh, smarter approach to electronic monitoring, that is more responsive to the lives of those who are supervised and keeps communities safer.
- Smarter community sentences
Effective community sentences are a vital part of a justice system in which crime is proportionately punished.
The Sentencing White Paper is a real opportunity for the Government to reform community sentencing, and move away from the clichés of the past about tough or soft justice. This briefings outlines the steps of how this can be achieved.