The work of the Office for Criminal Justice Reform - Justice Committee Contents

Memorandum submitted by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform


  1.1  The Office for Criminal Justice Reform (OCJR) is the cross-departmental body that supports all criminal justice agencies in working together to provide an improved service to the public. It was established in 2004 and brought together existing functions for promoting joined up delivery of justice. It has 250 members of staff working across three directorates.

  1.2  OCJR supports reform of the Criminal Justice System (CJS) in England and Wales by taking an end-to-end view, which is not available to any single agency. Its tasks cover those areas the CJS departments agree should be undertaken by one team rather than separate teams in individual departments. It is hosted by the Ministry of Justice but is responsible to all three Departmental Criminal Justice Ministers on cross-system issues.

  1.3  Forty-two Local Criminal Justice Boards (LCJBs) lead reform at a local level, and the Home Office, Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and Attorney General's Office lead the reform process jointly at national level, through the National Criminal Justice Board (NCJB).

  1.4  OCJR supports the NCJB and LCJBs, leads delivery of the CJS Strategic Plan and PSA 24 (described below), drives reform and supports joined up working through the identification and delivery of change and improvement.


  2.1  OCJR's goal is to deliver the Government's vision that by 2011 the Criminal Justice System:

    —  is more effective in bringing offences to justice, especially serious offences;

    —  engages the public and inspires confidence;

    —  puts the needs of victims at its heart; and

    —  has simple and efficient processes.

  2.2  The Government's strategy for delivering its vision is set out in the CJS Strategic Plan 2008-11 published in November 2007.


  3.1  OCJR is responsible for co-ordinating delivery of the cross-CJS Public Service Agreement to deliver a more effective, transparent and responsive Criminal Justice System for victims and the public (PSA 24).

  3.2  The Government's vision for the CJS is delivered primarily through the frontline, operating in local areas and led by LCJBs. LCJBs are responsible for delivering the performance needed to achieve the Justice for all PSA 24 and increasingly for designing and delivering change.

Links to PSAs 23 and 25

  3.3  OCJR also contributes to and supports the Make Communities Safer PSA (PSA 23) which puts local needs at the heart of the CJS and commits the Government to reducing crime and re-offending and the Reduce the Harm caused by Alcohol and Drugs PSA (PSA 25). There is a great deal of read-across between PSAs 23, 24 and 25 and OCJR is represented on all of the PSA Programme Boards which all report jointly to the DA (Justice and Crime) Cabinet Committee which oversees this work.

  3.4  To oversee and steer our work on confidence, satisfaction and perceptions across PSAs 23, 24 and 25, a joint governance board led by the Chief Executive of OCJR and the Director General, Crime Reduction and Community Safety Group from the Home Office has been established. This is supported by dedicated research and communications groups with new joint performance management arrangements under development.

  3.5  A process is also being developed, which links in with emerging LCJB performance systems, to ensure that local areas posing a risk to multiple PSA 23/24/25 objectives are identified early and that co-ordinated action is taken to support them. This is called CoMPAsS (Co-ordination of Monthly PSA Analysis and Support).


  4.1  The NCJB is a minister-led board that includes representatives from all the Criminal Justice Agencies. A complete membership list is included at Annex A. The NCJB is responsible for supporting LCJBs to deliver the CJS vision and PSA 24, and does this by:

    —  removing barriers to joint working, focusing on particular concrete aspects of the CJS business process;

    —  strategic direction of resources to secure achievement of objectives;

    —  horizon scanning to identify longer term opportunities and threats; and

    —  learning and transferring the lessons from local areas and agencies which have successfully innovated and offer lessons for the rest of the system.

  The National Criminal Justice Board also has specific responsibility for:

    —  combating inequality and discrimination in the CJS; and

    —  communication across the CJS,

  4.2  The CJS Operational Board (OB) is the adviser and agent to the NCJB and is the interface between the NCJB and LCJBs. It is the guardian of trilateral working; and the high-level programme board responsible for delivery of the CJS reform programme,

  Its objectives are to:

    —  ensure a joined-up strategy for the CJS that is realistic and deliverable;

    —  manage and hold Criminal Justice organisations to account for performance against CJS targets and the delivery of the CJS Reform Programme; and

    —  manage the portfolio of programmes that constitute the overall CJS reform programme; and horizon scan for, manage, and take measures to mitigate the high level risks and constraints on cross-CJS operations.

  The CJS Operational Board also has specific responsibility to:

    —  channel and manage NCJB business to ensure the NCJB's time is used effectively to set strategic direction, to maintain an overview of issues and problems in a timely manner, to broker solutions to problems that are escalated there, and to own the CJS reform programme; and

    —  manage the relationship between the NCJB and LCJBs ensuring alignment between the CJS strategic vision, the CJS reform programme, and operational constraints on the front line.

  4.3  The OB is supported in its task by a number of cross CJS boards and working groups.

  4.4  A complete membership list of the OB is included at Annex B.


  5.1  Because OCJR's budget comes from the MoJ, parliamentary accountability is with the Permanent Secretary of that department. During 2008-09, OCJR had a total of £115 million near-cash, £16 million non-cash and £35 million capital to take forward its programme. A large proportion of its budget supports public services, notably victims and witnesses services through Victim Support and miscarriages of justice compensation. Other substantial elements include the costs of CJS IT services and reform projects principally funded from the Business Change Fund. The remaining budget covers LCJB funding and OCJR's domestic costs.


Efficiency and Effectiveness

  6.1  Our priorities will need to be delivered with increasingly constrained financial resources. OCJR is working with departments and agencies to ensure that resources are going to the right places for instance to make sure that we are tackling the most serious offences.

  6.2  The Cross CJS Alignment project is concerned with the issue of aligning the supply and demand for all CJS capacity and resources, police, prosecutors, courts, legal aid, prisons, probation, youth offending services and all CJS partners so that we can work effectively together to reduce crime and deliver justice. The work will ensure that the CJS has the information and practices in place to respond to change and achieve overall alignment. It will look at the management of supply and demand, as well as putting in place a framework of processes and tools to facilitate agreement across the CJS on the costs and impacts of new priority initiatives in the stages before proposals are announced.

Public Confidence in the fairness and effectiveness of the CJS

  6.3  Part of the PSA is to raise public confidence in the fairness and effectiveness of the CJS. This can only be achieved through better community engagement and OCJR will play an important supporting role to ensure that this happens. OCJR's efforts will help local services to identify communities' priorities, enlist their support and involve them in delivering shared objectives, and communicate more effectively how this is being done.

Race Disproportionality

  6.4  OCJR supports work to address race disproportionality in the CJS. An important element of this is the introduction of the Minimum Data Set (MDS) which aims to improve understanding of race disproportionality and reduce unjustified disproportionality by:

    —  making data available to LCJBs;

    —  improving LCJBs' use of data to identify, investigate, and analyse BME representation in the CJS; and

    —  assisting LCJBs' planning to address unfair disproportionality,

Victims and Witnesses

  6.5  OCJR coordinates the support that victims and witnesses receive from CJS agencies and from third sector organisations. We also work to give victims and witnesses a voice in the system—both in their individual case and at the heart of government. Our work to support victims and witnesses is brought together through the PSA target ambition to increase victim and witness satisfaction with the CJS. In partnership with national CJS agencies, we have developed eight trilateral priorities to improve in order to deliver this ambition:

    1. Information about case progress, and about how the CJS process works.

    2. Referral to appropriate support organisations.

    3. Support to attend court.

    4. Support at court and beyond.

    5. Identification and support for children and other vulnerable or intimidated victims and witnesses.

    6. An improved experience for victims and witnesses from minority groups.

    7. High quality of service provided by CJS staff.

    8. Listening to the views of victims, witnesses and communities.

  6.6  We fund a range of third sector organisations to provide practical and emotional support, and work with them to help build capacity and effectiveness. Key organisations that we fund are:

    — Victim Support (including the Witness Service which operates at court).

    — Support After Murder and Manslaughter.

    — BRAKE.

    — Through our Victims' Fund, a range of other voluntary sector organisations supporting victims of sexual violence, hate crime and homicide.

  6.7  We also have a national Victim Advisory Panel (VAP) and support Sara Payne in the new role of Victims' Champion.

Asset Recovery

  6.8  OCJR supports LCJBs in coordinating the work of the Police, Crown Prosecution Service and HMCourt Service to recover the proceeds of crime. For 2009-10, LCJBs have been asked to set their own targets for confiscation (one strand of asset recovery) based on robust analysis. Our priority is to get LCJBs to take greater ownership of this work and ensure that asset recovery becomes part of mainstream CJS business. In their delivery plans for 2009-10, LCJBs have been asked to explore ways of using asset recovery to reduce harm and improve public confidence.

  6.9  OCJR will be working with the Home Office and partners to agree the 2010-11 target for Asset Recovery.

Compliance and Enforcement

  6.10  OCJR is developing a robust measure of compliance and enforcement which will be piloted in three LCJBs during 2009-10. Subject to a successful pilot, it is intended that this measure will replace the current performance framework of enforcement targets covering: Fail to Appear Warrants, Community Penalties and Licence Recall. Evaluation of the pilot will inform decisions on national roll-out in 2010 or 2011.


  7.1  OCJR's role is moving away from delivering a large central programme of reform. Implementation of major IT systems is coming to completion and the emphasis will now be on building a framework that will help us realise the benefits of that reform. There will remain a need to take forward some centrally-driven change, to complete existing programmes, ensure benefits are being delivered and respond to new priorities. OCJR will remain engaged in understanding the workings of the CJS, maintain its focus on joining up and have the capability to take change forward.

Enabling Delivery by LCJBS

  7.2  A priority is to now assist LCJBs in building capability and to provide the support needed for them to deliver change. The Beacon Approach, initially piloted in 10 LCJBs is being mainstreamed to the remaining 32 as part of the Realising the Potential initiative. Basic LCJB funding is being supplemented to support the new skills needed. Tools such as CJ Know-How—a performance management and Knowledge sharing tool and the Waterfall Model—a visual tool showing the volumes of different disposals at each stage of the justice system, are now available and are continuing to be developed.

  7.3  OCJR support has been strengthened by creation of 10 local delivery teams aligned with Government Office regions thus better supporting engagement with local partners. A new LCJB model has been developed, with new terms of reference. The capacities that LCJBs need to develop have been identified—leadership, commitment, capability and partnership—and new ways of working are being introduced. The approach to targets has changed to LCJBs developing three-year delivery strategies and annual delivery plans for how they will contribute to the Justice for All PSA.

  7.4  In addition, OCJR is leading a project looking at local and regional delivery. The project will focus on considering how local partnerships, in particular Local Criminal Justice Boards (LCJBs), can be most effective and efficient in delivering crime and criminal justice objectives at local level: what does the landscape look like and how might it be improved in respect of: relationships with other partners; capacity; status and funding, and performance management. The project will explore a series of themes, which could include public confidence and reducing re-offending. Key stakeholders in MoJ and Home Office, such as the Local Delivery Directorate and the Strategic Partnerships Unit, have helped scope the project and will continue to be involved as the work progresses. The project is due to be complete by summer 2009.

The Change Landscape

  7.5  OCJR is developing a change landscape for the CJS which will drive reform during 2009-10 and to take forward the strategic vision of reducing crime and re-offending and of delivering justice, driven by the PSA framework. Each criminal justice organisation has identified significant opportunities for change and change projects that could be undertaken in 2009-10 or, in the case of some live projects, that will continue to be delivered in 2009-10. The change landscape brings together all these emerging and active change initiatives into a single document that will facilitate strategic decision-making in the CJS.


  8.1  Jonathan Slater is currently Chief Executive of OCJR. Sharon White will take over as Chief Executive on the 9 March.

The Change Directorate (Arwa'a Abdulla—Director of Change)

  8.2  The Change Directorate is responsible for working on behalf of Criminal Justice organisations, LCJBs and other partner agencies to promote and facilitate a more joined up approach to assessing, managing and delivering change.

  8.3  The Directorate provides facilitation, support, challenge and mentoring to promote best practice and deliver high quality business and technological change within OCJR. The Directorate also provides corporate services and commericial advice to the OCJR. It also supports internal change and provides secretariat functions for the NCJB, the CJS OB and the Business Change Board (BCB).

The Delivery and Communications Directorate (Catherine Lee—Director of Delivery and Communications)

  8.4  The Delivery and Communications Directorate is responsible for the delivery of Public Service Agreement 24—Justice For All. It provides support to LCJBs to drive local reform of the CJS, publishes statistics and provides the analysis and evidence base for criminal justice policy. It also leads on cross-CJS communication, providing advice and support to OCJR business units, communicating with staff, stakeholders and the public.

The Strategic Policy and Resources Directorate (Helen Judge—Director of Strategic Policy & Resources)

  8.5  The Strategic Policy and Resources Directorate leads development of the strategic direction for all criminal justice agencies to deliver the criminal justice vision. In addition it develops and implements trilateral Criminal Justice policy including procedures and evidence in criminal trials and victims and witnesses. It also deals with applications for compensation following miscarriages of justice and with the Royal Prerogative of Mercy.

February 2009

Annex A


Jacqui Smith (Joint Chair)Home Secretary

Jack Straw MP (Joint Chair)
Secretary of State for Justice

The Rt Hon Baroness Scotland QC (Deputy Chair)
Attorney General

Yvette Cooper MP
Representative: David Lamberti
Chief Secretary, HM Treasury

Vera Baird MP
Solicitor General

David Hanson MP
Minister of State, MoJ

Alan Campbell MP
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Police and Security, HO

Shahid Malik MP
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, MoJ

Lord Bach
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, MoJ

Arwa'a Abdulla
Acting Director, Change Directorate, OCJR

Carolyn Regan
Chief Executive, Legal Services Commission

Catherine Lee
Director, Delivery and Communications, OCJR

Chris Mayer
Chief Operating Officer, HM Courts Service

Deborah Grice
Acting Director of Offender, Law and Sentencing Policy, NOMS

Frances Done
Chairman, Youth Justice Board

Helen Edwards
Director General of the Criminal Justice Group

Helen Judge
Acting Director, Strategic Policy and Resources, OCJR

Jeremy Marlow
PMDU Cabinet Office

Jonathan Slater
Sharon White w/e 9 March 2009
Chief Executive, OCJR

Keir Starmer QC

Ken Jones
Representative at all meetings: Tim Godwin
President, ACPO

Lorraine Rogerson
Director of Policy and Administration, Office of the Attorney General

Lord Justice Leveson
Senior Presiding Judge

Lord Justice Thomas
Vice-President of Queen's Bench Division and Deputy Head of Criminal Justice

Matt Cavanagh
No 10 Policy Unit

Peter Lewis
Chief Executive, CPS

Peter Neyroud
Chief Executive, NPIA

Peter Thompson
Association of Police Authorities

Phil Wheatley
Director General NOMS

Sir David Normington
Permanent Secretary, HO

Sir Suma Chakrabarti
Permanent Secretary, MoJ

Stephen Rimmer (w/e 2 March 2009)
Representative: Stephen Kershaw
Director General, CRCSG
(SK—Director of Police Reform and Resources)

Tim Godwin
Acting Deputy Commissioner, Metropolitan Police

Catherine Drew from the Economic & Domestic Secretariat at the Cabinet Office attends as an observer.
Economic & Domestic Secretariat, Cabinet Office

Annex B


Board member
1.  Jonathan Slater—chairCEO, OCJR

2.  Shaun McNally
Chair, Enforcement Delivery Board

3.  Mike Kennedy or (alternate Peter Lewis)
Chief Operating Officer, CPS

4.  Debbie Edwards
Senior Policy Adviser, HM Treasury

5.  Lorraine Rogerson
Director of Policy and Administration, AGO

6.  Stephen Kershaw
Director, Police and Resources, Home Office

7.  Stephen Webb
Acting Director, Policing Policy & Operations, Home Office

8.  Jeremy Marlow

9.  Catherine Lee

10.  Arwa'a Abdulla

11.  Helen Judge

Agency heads
13.  Tim GodwinAssistant Commissioner, Metropolitan Police
London CJB and ACPO rep

14.  John Drew
Chief Exec, YJB

15.  Carolyn Regan
Chief Executive, Legal Services Commission

16.  Peter Neyroud
Chief Executive, NPIA

17.  Phil Wheatley
External Members
18.  Jonathan LindleyRegional Director, Government Office for the East Midlands

19.  Chris Sims
Chief Constable Staffordshire Police

20.  Member of the Judiciary (tbc)
(Advisory capacity only)

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Prepared 17 June 2009