• Research Briefing

    Criminal Justice and Courts Bill

    The Criminal Justice and Courts Bill would make a number of changes to the criminal justice system including sentencing; cautions; prisoners’ release and recall; and the detention of young offenders. It would also reform court proceedings and costs; establish a new system of strict liability in contempt proceedings; create new offences for juror misconduct; make changes to the conduct and funding of judicial review claims; and amend the law on extreme pornography.

  • Research Briefing

    Prisons: The role of the private sector

    Contracted (private sector) prisons have attracted controversy in the UK ever since the first – HMP Wolds – opened in 1992. Some argue that the involvement of the private sector has created a diverse market, driving up standards and promoting efficiencies, while others argue that imprisonment is a function which the state should not delegate and prisons should not be for profit. Debate continues apace.

  • Research Briefing

    Offender Rehabilitation Bill Committee Stage Report

    The Bill covers a range of issues but its most controversial aspect (at second reading and in Committee) is that it would pave the way for the contracting-out of offender rehabilitation services for low and medium-risk offenders to private and voluntary sector providers, leaving a national probation service to manage high-risk offenders. The Government had intended to make these changes through secondary legislation, but a non-Government amendment in the House of Lords brought the changes onto the face of the Bill. That new clause was removed in Committee.

  • Research Briefing

    Offender Rehabilitation Bill

    This Bill would extend the mandatory supervision of offenders released from custodial sentences to provide that all offenders would be subject to at least 12 months of supervision in the community. It would also introduce new requirements, including drug appointments and residence requirements, which could be applied to offenders subject to such post-release supervision and offenders subject to community and suspended sentence orders.

  • Research Briefing

    Introducing “Payment by Results” in Offender Rehabilitation and other reforms

    The Ministry of Justice plans to allow organisations from the voluntary and private sectors to provide rehabilitation services in the community for low and medium risk offenders. New providers would be paid according to the reductions in re-offending they achieve. It is also legislating through the Offender Rehabilitation Bill to introduce and extend statutory supervision periods for short-sentence offenders. The Ministry of Justice says these and other proposals set out in the Government’s Transforming Rehabilitation strategy document (published 9 May 2013) will help to reduce reoffending while continuing to protect the public.

  • Research Briefing

    Young Offenders: What Next

    The problem of youth crime, and how best to respond to it, has attracted political attention for decades. More than 30 years ago, for example, the 1979 Conservative party manifesto promised to make more use of attendance centres for “hooligans” and to give a “short, sharp shock” to young offenders.

  • Research Briefing

    Meeting the need of older prisoners

    In recent years, the population of older prisoners has increased dramatically. Concerns have been expressed that the National Offender Management Service is ill-equipped to deal with an ageing prison population.

  • Research Briefing

    Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill Committee Stage Report

    This is a report on the House of Commons committee stage of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill. It complements Research Paper 11/53. In the Bill’s remaining stages, it is likely that the areas that will prove most contentious will be the restrictions on legal aid, the introduction of new offences and possible Government amendments on squatting and self-defence and sentences of imprisonment for public protection.

  • Research Briefing

    Legal aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill Bill No 205 of 2010-12

    This Research Paper has been prepared for the second reading of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill. The Bill covers a diverse range of issues, including legal aid; litigation funding and costs; sentencing; bail, remand and release on licence; prisoners’ pay and employment; out of court disposals and knives.