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Reform

May 31, 2018
The domestic violence protection order – evidence based policy or policy based evidence?

I am beginning to wonder why the government does any research on justice issues. They… Read more

May 8, 2018
More in hope than expectation? The government’s digital court reform programme

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the courts need to become more efficient. Saving… Read more

April 29, 2018
Everyone admits short prison sentences are ineffective, so why do the courts still use them?

Hallelujah! A government minister is openly saying that short prison sentences are a waste of… Read more

March 30, 2018
Police and court bail policy is a mess

On the face of it, the story broken by the BBC today is alarming –… Read more

March 2, 2018
Do charities believe in the principle of rehabilitation?

The reputation of aid charities has had a terrible battering recently. They are wounded and… Read more

March 2, 2018
Do charities believe in the principle of rehabilitation?

The reputation of aid charities has had a terrible battering recently. They are wounded and… Read more

February 17, 2018
Court closures – trying to get a quart into a pint pot?

How many courts do you need to close before the system grinds to a halt? … Read more

February 15, 2018
Court closures – trying to get a quart into a pint pot?

How many courts do you need to close before the system grinds to a halt? … Read more

January 1, 2018
Why is the courts service spending at least £30 million on management consultants?

I had heard through the grapevine that the courts service in England and Wales (HMCTS)… Read more

October 13, 2017
Crime reduction: are we barking up the wrong tree?

What has Richard Thaler’s Nobel prize got to do with the new Sentencing Council draft… Read more

September 15, 2017
The only way to reduce the prison population is to recognise that prison is a dead end

The clarion call to reduce the numbers in prison is being heard. Yesterday the Centre… Read more

August 31, 2017
Should judges be accountable for criminal justice budgets?

This week the blog is an extract from Rethinking Judicial Independence, a think piece we… Read more

August 6, 2017
Rethinking judicial independence – two blog posts

Today Transform Justice is sending two blog posts, one extracted from our new publication, the… Read more

July 2, 2017
If we don’t know the impact of any programme, we shouldn’t keep on running it

Learning from failure is good, but not if it takes over twenty years to do… Read more

June 1, 2017
Appeals are the lifeblood of a functioning criminal justice system, but we may need a transfusion

No system gets everything right, however well intentioned those involved. Our system of underfunded courts… Read more

May 19, 2017
Our criminal records system is broken and needs radical reform

Currently anyone who was convicted of shop-lifting twice when they were 12 has to declare… Read more

April 6, 2017
How to increase trust in the family justice system

Damned if they do, damned if they don’t. Judges (and social workers) in the family… Read more

March 26, 2017
Should the judiciary speak out more?

I don’t often agree wholeheartedly with the Lord Chancellor, but when it comes to who… Read more

March 15, 2017
The Prisons and Courts Bill – a Pandora’s Box? (2)

Transform Justice has published a briefing on the court reform aspects of the Prisons and Courts… Read more

February 24, 2017
The new prisons and courts bill – a Pandora’s Box?

The criminal courts charge was a policy fiasco – a charge to be applied to… Read more

December 20, 2016
Reform of youth justice – a lost opportunity?

Occasionally there is a golden opportunity for radical change and it is seized. Unfortunately, the… Read more

October 19, 2016
A magistracy in crisis?

The Justice Committee does not use the word crisis in its new report on the… Read more

October 8, 2016
Court reform: a view from the south

This post is really a homage to “One Wheel on my Wagon” from a criminal… Read more

October 2, 2016
What court process is really in the best interest of witnesses?

No-one denies that the experience of giving evidence in a criminal trial can be traumatic,… Read more

September 22, 2016
Our justice system – the finest in the world?

In this best of possible worlds, everything is for the best This panglossian view of… Read more

July 24, 2016
Are convictions in historic sex abuse cases reliable?

How can anyone judge who is telling the truth now in the case of alleged… Read more

July 16, 2016
A letter to the new Lord Chancellor

  Dear Liz, Welcome to your new role. You are faced with a number of… Read more

June 17, 2016
Drugs reform: an idea whose time has come?

Our prisons are awash with drugs, as the recent BBC film of Wandsworth prison revealed,… Read more

June 12, 2016
Should the number of magistrates be more than halved?

Shailesh Vara, the minister for courts, told the Justice Committee last Tuesday that the Ministry… Read more

June 2, 2016
Do tough sentences deter crime?

Nearly half the British population supports the death penalty and two thirds agree with the… Read more

May 26, 2016
What problems can problem-solving courts solve?

The government is making plans to re-launch problem-solving courts.  These are an American invention, with… Read more

May 14, 2016
Can we curb our addiction to the short prison sentence?

Prison is a dead end, whatever length of time you are there. The courts in… Read more

March 27, 2016
Why wholescale reform of the magistracy should come before increasing their ability to use prison

It is an anomaly in the Western world to have judges with no legal training… Read more

January 28, 2016
Can Gove change the prison debate single handed?

“It is because I am a Conservative that I believe in the rule of law… Read more

December 4, 2015
Devolution revolution – would it help reduce prison numbers?

England and Wales has one of the most centralised criminal justice systems and one of… Read more

November 27, 2015
An uncomfortable truth- the strong link between poverty and crime

No-one is saying that poor people commit more crime, or even that poverty causes crime…. Read more

November 13, 2015
Can we afford an extra 1140 recalls to prison?

Our prison population is too high and predicted to increase.  The main driver is sentence… Read more

November 13, 2015
Can we afford an extra 1140 recalls to prison?

Our prison population is too high and predicted to increase.  The main driver is sentence… Read more

October 22, 2015
How can the Ministry of Justice get out of a massive financial hole?

It was reported in the Times today that Michael Gove is considering imposing a “levy”… Read more

October 16, 2015
How to reform the criminal courts charge?

It seems clear that the government will reform the criminal court charge but its not… Read more

September 24, 2015
Why has the criminal courts charge inspired a barrage of criticism?

The Justice Committee wants to know what we think about the criminal courts charge and… Read more

September 17, 2015
What do victims want from the Crown Prosecution Service?

Political parties have vied to produce policies on how to look after victims and witnesses… Read more

September 11, 2015
Is the court system collapsing

One of the problems with our justice system is that it is theoretically open, but… Read more

September 11, 2015
Is the court system collapsing?

One of the problems with our justice system is that it is theoretically open, but… Read more

August 26, 2015
How did the criminal court charge get through parliament?

There are now many protests about the criminal courts charge – protests that have increased… Read more

August 26, 2015
Magistrates: crisis what crisis?

No-one wants to publicise bad news. New figures on the number of magistrates show serious… Read more

June 26, 2015
Is better IT the answer to courtroom chaos?

It was an interesting week for court reform.  The Lord Chancellor pronounced himself shocked by… Read more

May 15, 2015
Unintended consequences of court reform?

Its a cliche to say that government works in silos, but true nonetheless.  And those… Read more

April 9, 2015
We need to put restorative justice centre stage if its ever going to work

There is huge goodwill towards restorative justice, but unfortunately goodwill has not really got it… Read more

March 25, 2015
The power of a financial incentive in reducing imprisonment

The Lord Chancellor has given CRCs a financial incentive to reduce offending under a payment… Read more

February 13, 2015
Judges feel they are subject to too much change and insufficient reward

A fascinating study has been published based on a survey of paid judges at every… Read more

February 1, 2015
can we change the debate on criminal justice?

“Committing a crime is always a choice. That’s why the primary, proper response to crime… Read more

January 28, 2015
Radical ideas from Leveson – the impact of prisoner transport on criminal courts

The new Leveson report on efficiency in criminal proceedings contains a number of radical ideas.  One… Read more

December 6, 2014
Right on crime – is it only possible for conservatives to do penal reform?

Danny Kruger presented a great programme for BBC Radio 4 on “Right on Crime”, the… Read more

December 2, 2014
Its all in the implementation

I’m a big picture person and took my eye off the ball after the government… Read more

November 2, 2014
How to restore local justice

Few think-tanks devote much time to the diminution of local justice.  But Politeia has just… Read more

October 5, 2014
Are courts in chaos?

Two recent articles have given a glimpse of the impact of austerity on magistrates’ courts…. Read more

September 29, 2014
I’m truly impressed by Ireland’s reform of penal policy

I wouldn’t have known about Ireland’s fantastic new penal policy without twitter – @lukecareypact tweeted… Read more

September 12, 2014
What to learn from the success of the Family Drug and Alcohol Court?

Why has one type of specialist court succeeded in England and Wales while others have… Read more

August 31, 2014
Magistrate numbers: terminal decline?

Magistrate numbers are at their lowest level since I’m not sure when.  Judiciary figures for… Read more

June 24, 2014
Why is it so difficult to embed problem-solving courts in England and Wales?

My experience in USA has made me ask why it is so difficult to embed… Read more

June 21, 2014
Bitten by the specialist court bug?

I think I’ve been bitten by the specialist court bug and need to pinch myself… Read more

June 8, 2014
Reduction in child custody- a US success story

Its easy to get gloomy about mass incarceration in USA.  The numbers are so huge… Read more

June 6, 2014
How single-minded should those campaigning against the death penalty be?

Sometimes campaigners can stab each other in the back unwittingly.  In England and Wales, there… Read more

June 4, 2014
Are US judges interested in penal reform?

Marc Mauer of the Sentencing Project offered a sobering statistic.  If the prison population of the… Read more

May 30, 2014
Interpreters – a duff contract?

When I was a magistrate,  interpreters were frequent used to aid defendant, witness or both…. Read more

April 26, 2014
a piecemeal approach to the fall out from cutting legal aid?

The number of people involved in court or tribunal cases who don’t have a lawyer… Read more

February 3, 2014
Justice reinvestment – the holy grail for criminal justice reform?

The most effective means of reducing offending lie outside the remit of the justice system.  … Read more

November 28, 2013
When is a pilot not a pilot?

Post riots, the Ministry of Justice announced that they were going to pilot more flexible… Read more

November 23, 2013
Who shot JR?

Can justice reinvestment be successful in a very centralised political system?  That was the question… Read more

September 30, 2013
A seemingly dry document?

A lot of the documents coming out of the Ministry of Justice and the Judicial… Read more

September 26, 2013
A new dawn for Labour justice policy?

Sadiq Khan, Shadow Justice Minister, addressed the Labour Party Conference this week.  The speech didn’t… Read more

September 11, 2013
Better courts: do they need structural change?

Courts in England and Wales get a bad press, being seen as inefficient, old fashioned… Read more

July 26, 2013
No privatisation of the courts…or is there?

In late May the Times revealed that the government was planning to privatise courts administration…. Read more

July 12, 2013
Is post-code sentencing inevitable?

There will always be some differences between courts in their sentencing.  An Inner London court… Read more