Cutting crime: the case for justice reinvestment - Justice Committee Contents


189. Lord Carter's 2007 report identified changes in public attitudes and the political climate, including greater awareness of risk and greater political prominence of public protection as additional key drivers of the prison population. Rather than taking these as a given or regarding them as too difficult to tackle, many of our witnesses argued that these must be addressed if the system is to take the more rational approach required to enable it to become sustainable.

190. Paul Tidball, Chair of the Prison Governors Association, distinguished between what demand dictates and what is actually needed in determining the size of the prison population: "There are a number of drivers of demand which include the popular press, political rhetoric and to some extent the business lobby as private prisons now exist and there is a difference between the demand created in that way and what communities, victims and offenders themselves need".[303] The former Lord Chief Justice, Lord Phillips, gave a lecture entitled Who decides the sentence? in which he explained that sentencing can itself be influenced by these factors. He stated that rises in the use of custody and increases in the length of sentences: "may well be attributable in part to media pressure" and related this to the fact that it is "part of a sentencer's job to reflect, at least to a degree, the public's view as to the proper response to crime."[304] He also suggested that as a result of negative media coverage of individual bail and parole decisions, both courts and the Parole Board have become more risk averse in their decision-making. Malcolm Dean, founder of Guardian society, cited a study by the Chair of the Sentencing Advisory Panel, Professor Andrew Ashworth, which found that judges are influenced by political rhetoric.[305]

191. Andrew Bridges, Chief Inspector of Probation, argued that, if in principle public money could be spent in a different way, it is necessary to consider, and if appropriate tackle, each and every one of the factors that have led to the overall increase in prison numbers.[306] This is no easy task. Nacro suggested that barriers to adopting alternative policies arise from "risk aversion at almost every level of the criminal justice system".[307] This is evident in increases in recalls (up 5% on 2006) and reductions in releases on parole and Home Detention Curfew.[308]

192. Wider factors, such as the media, public opinion and political rhetoric, contribute to risk averse court, probation and parole decisions and hence play a role in unnecessary system expansion. If Ministers wish the system to become sustainable within existing resources, they must recognise the distorting effect which these pressures have on the pursuit of a rational strategy.

The 'politics' of criminal justice policy

193. 'Tough on crime. Tough on the causes of crime' was a central plank of 'New Labour's' approach to criminal justice from 1992 onwards, and was consolidated in the 1997 manifesto. It remains one of the most well-known policy statements of the 1997 Labour government reflecting the extent to which crime and justice policies in the UK had become highly politicised by the late 1980s.[309]

194. Professor Ian Loader characterised the effects of this politicisation as follows:

    […] it is often said that we have experienced for some 15 years now what has been described as a political arms race in the field of crime and punishment where the two main parties have decided to try and outdo and outthink, to be, among other things the party that protects victims, that is tough on offenders, that sends more people to prison, that passes more laws, that protects the public from criminals and so on and so forth.[310]

195. He then described the impact this may have on criminal justice policy making: "it has become very difficult to take political risks because the potential benefits seem small and remote and the potential political costs very immediate and potentially large."[311] David Faulkner agreed that this has made it difficult for Ministers and parties to argue for reductions in levels of imprisonment.[312]

196. Professor Nicola Lacey notes that the Government has been unable to resolve the tension between the exclusionary nature on the 'tough on crime' message - which focuses on the stigmatisation of offenders through, for example, high visibility vests for unpaid work, and the inclusionary aspect of the 'tough on the causes of crime' agenda - which aims to prevent offending and re-offending by promoting social inclusion.[313] The tension between these two messages was apparent in the coverage of the Justice Secretary's speech to the Royal Society of the Arts in which he stated he wished to reclaim the language of punishment and rehabilitation:

    Opaque language can be as much a barrier to public understanding and confidence as justice going on behind closed doors, and for the same reason - both undermine understanding. In particular I want to consider two words: both of which seem to have grown unfashionable, both of which need to be reclaimed. They are 'punishment' and 'reform'. They are straightforward words. Their meaning is clear. But their significance goes beyond semantics: punishment and reform is the very basis of the criminal justice system. No one in the system should hide behind jargon. We should not shy away from the fact that the sentences of the court are first and foremost for the punishment of those who have broken the law, broken society's rules. The Criminal Justice Act 2003 lists 'punishment of the offender' first. And the word appears in plenty of other statutes as well. And with reform. The word implies an obligation on behalf of the offender to make an effort to make amends. Yes, the criminal justice system needs to give people the chance to turn their lives around but these chances should be balanced by a responsibility on the offender to take them.[314]

197. According to Mr Scott the 'almost outright competition' between the parties, gives the impression that too much of the system is driven by political fancy rather than grounded in real concerns and the realities of what frontline criminal justice staff deal with.[315] He believed that the language used in explaining criminal justice policy plays a part in this: "part of the difficulty is that there is such a gulf between the language and the whole paraphernalia of criminal justice and local experience […] too often the rhetoric is just about punishment." This too was apparent in the Justice Secretary's speech on punishment and reform when he spoke of a desire to return to "being crystal clear about what the public expect the justice system to do on their behalf—to punish those who have broken the law."[316] Former Conservative MP Jonathan Aitken was critical of the very emotive language which politicians use when making reference to law and order and explained that, whilst he had been guilty of "rent-a-quote" reaction in his time as a Minister, he now viewed it as unhelpful.[317] Mr Dean was unable to see how the current Government's punitive political rhetoric had been beneficial: "at the end of this 15 years of high rhetoric the one thing you can say is that penal populism has not worked because two thirds of people wrongly believe that crime is still going up and they blame the Government; one third rightly believes that crime is going down but do not give any credit to the Government."[318]

198. According to Professor Loader, the Cabinet Office report Engaging Communities in Fighting Crime is a prime example of this. Commenting in the Guardian, he questioned the fundamental ethos underpinning the report: "[it] is an example of rhetoric that suggests total protection against crime can be a reasonable expectation". He argues that the finding in the report that, despite a series of "initiatives, rhetoric, crackdowns, policies, partnerships, laws, tsars, agencies and reports", the public continue to believe that crime is rising and that the Government is to blame. He suggested to us that the public have been given unrealistic expectations of what the criminal justice system can be expected to achieve: "New Labour has, it seems, been hoist by its own petard, become the victim of its own expectation-raising and criminal justice system-bashing rhetoric."[319] Professor Loader explained to us that as a result of the use of what he termed "decoy rhetoric" existing Government strategy is inherently unstable.[320]

199. Paul McKeever, chairman of the Police Federation, expressed similar views. He has been critical that the police have borne the brunt of the problems in the system and branded the belief that constant modernisation and reshaping of the police will solve crime more effectively as a "big lie".[321] Describing what he called the "Hokey Cokey" criminal justice system, he explains: "rather than addressing the real problem of ineffective sanctions, ineffective education programmes and ineffective rehabilitation the focus is on us, the police, to detect the same people more often and bring them before the courts again and again."

200. We do not contest that crime and responses to it are important political issues but we believe that the extreme politicisation of criminal justice policy is counter-productive, undermines rational policy-making, and conceals the consensus that does exist around the future direction for the criminal justice system. The Government has found itself in a problematic position on two counts. The need to be seen to be tougher than the opposition has contributed to the massive expansion of the system which has in turn caused the current lack of prison and probation capacity. At the same time it has undermined the pursuit of the Government's aspiration to be tough on the causes of crime and provide offenders with the real opportunities to reform.

Public opinion, politics and the media

201. According to Professor Loader the political climate is related to certain assumptions about the punitiveness of the public and the existence of media which "stands ready to highlight serious and violent crime, to expose the failings of the system, to make apparent the foolishness of judges, the folly of penal professionals […] and is therefore seen to offer a daily reminder that moving in this field is a high risk operation and the stakes are very high."[322]


202. Some witnesses questioned the relationship between perceived public opinion and policy-making on criminal justice. For example, Oxford academic David Faulkner suggested that perceptions of public demand have a strong influence on policy.[323] Sir Jeremy Beecham, Local Government Association, agreed that "Fear of fear of crime" drives the political agenda. [324] The International Centre for Prison Studies at King's College noted:

    The main reason that the government and its advisers shy away from a more radical approach to the use of prison relates to perceptions of public confidence. Lord Carter thought in his first report that tougher sentencing had brought it "closer in line with public opinion" and was concerned that the public continue to believe that sentencing is too lenient.[325]

203. Nacro commented that public opinion on crime is "an area of sensitivity which should not be discounted in estimating political will to change the emphasis of the criminal justice process."[326] This was strikingly apparent in our evidence from representatives from the Cabinet Office, Ministry of Justice and the Home Office. Louise Casey, author of the Cabinet Office report told us that the Government couldn't afford to ignore the fact that two-thirds of the public do not feel the criminal justice system is on their side and respects the rights of perpetrators more than the rights of the victims (see chart x).[327] Then Justice Minister Rt Hon David Hanson MP spoke of the importance of getting the 'tough on crime' message over to the public: "we have to face our electorate and they have to have confidence that it is a real punishment, but that it is also an effective punishment"[328] According to Alan Campbell MP, Home Office Minister, this belief means that the Government cannot have debate and discussion on a new direction for criminal justice policy unless they take the public with them. [329]


204. Professor Ian Loader suggested that whilst political rhetoric gives the impression that the electorate is principally punitive and supportive of the current direction of penal policy, research indicates that public sentiment may be more ambivalent than is generally assumed.[330] Studies on public priorities for the criminal justice system are frequently contradictory, with responses differing depending upon the way in which questions are framed. Nevertheless there is a growing body of research which suggests that public confidence is less of a barrier to changing policy than these Government spokespeople and other politicians think. Research for the 2001 Halliday report found that when asked unprompted what the purpose of sentencing should be, very few people spontaneously refer to punishment or incapacitation.[331] The most common response is that it should aim to stop re-offending, reduce crime or create a safer community and the next most frequently mentioned elements were deterrence and rehabilitation. The International Centre for Prison Studies cited a more recent MORI poll which also found that the public is more concerned about preventing crime than punishing perpetrators:

    What he [Lord Carter] and the government ignore is the fact that asked a simple question, a majority will always tell pollsters that sentencing is too soft, whatever the objective sentencing levels are. This is largely because the public systematically underestimate the severity of sentencing. When respondents are properly informed about sentencing levels, and given detailed information about cases, a different picture emerges. Work undertaken for Rethinking Crime and Punishment has shown that when given options, the public do not rank prison highly as a way of dealing with crime. Most think that offenders come out of prison worse than they go in, only two percent would choose to spend a notional £10 million on prison places. Over half think residential drug treatment and tougher community punishments are the way forward. This suggests that public punitiveness is largely a myth and public confidence need not stand in the way of a bolder strategy of replacing imprisonment with more constructive alternatives.[332] [333]

205. Judge Michael Marcus, who we met in Oregon, USA, agreed, explaining that there is actually "enormously underestimated public consensus that reducing recidivism is the major purpose of criminal law and sentences". He further argued that the focus of the system on punishment or 'just deserts': "has been an enormously destructive, but effective, excuse for not making any responsible effort to meet these public expectations".[334]

206. In defending the Government's assertion that punishment must come before rehabilitation, Alan Campbell, then Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office cited a 2007 Ministry of Justice survey which asked victims of non-violent crime what they wanted to see in a sentence—number one was punishment, two was payback and three was rehabilitation.[335] The prevailing public desire for punishment is also a strong message running through Louise Casey's Cabinet Office review:

    The public place punishment—a clear set of consequences that are faced by those who choose to break the law (from financial penalties, through loss of personal time working in the community, to complete loss of liberty in time served in prison)—at the heart of the Criminal Justice System. They are more than ready to support preventative and rehabilitative interventions with criminals if they believe these come on top of, rather than instead of, punishment.[336]

207. Indeed, in her evidence to our inquiry she justified the placement of punishment through imprisonment before rehabilitation:

    […] the public want to know that people face consequences for committing crime and, if you do not get that clear and make that clear, then actually their appetite for rehabilitation and all of that stuff gets lower.[337]

She further explained:

    […] we have to get the deal with the public much, much better around respecting their view, which is: break the law, face a consequence. If some of that is punishment in prison, so be it. If that does not rehabilitate them up to a point, the public still want them sent away.[338]

Yet punishment does not appear at all in the summary of key research messages from the review. This stated that 58% of the public thought that better parenting would do most to reduce crime.[339] When we questioned Ms Casey further on whether her above comments meant that people should be put in prison regardless of whether it is the best way to rehabilitate offenders, she clarified that "people need to face the consequences on a range that is proportionate to the offence" and suggested that this can also include a fine, community pay-back or restorative justice.[340] She remained emphatic however that punishment is the paramount concern of the public. Rt Hon David Hanson MP reiterated: "we need to have an element of punishment and a visible element of punishment in order to be able to have the debate with the public and the world at large about reform and rehabilitation"[341]

208. Lord Dubs questioned why British society is apparently in need of more manifest demonstrations of punishment than other societies and concluded it is a political problem.[342] On the other hand, Professor Christian Pfeiffer, Criminological Research Institue of Lower Saxony, provided strong arguments for tackling the wider factors which contribute to harsher attitudes towards punishment, including the composition of the judiciary and the prevalence of family violence.[343]

209. Nacro believed that fear of crime may be based on incorrect perceptions of both the level and nature of crime.[344] This view was supported by Professor Loader who cited research evidence based on British Crime Survey data which found that one-fifth of respondents had a high fear of crime despite having a low risk of becoming a victim. Over half (54%) of those surveyed were neither worried about crime nor at high risk of becoming a victim. This indicates that 'irrational fear' of crime is not widespread in the population so Government efforts to reassure the public that crime rates are falling and that the system is effective are somewhat misplaced.[345] Chart 6 shows that there has been a fall in the level of worry about crime.


210. Several of our witnesses and some respondents to the e-consultation sought to explain the gap between public perception and the reality that crime is falling and that sentences are tougher, and generally agreed that public perception of criminal justice is in part shaped by the media. There were some notable exceptions to this view, in particular from Home Office and Ministry of Justice Ministers perhaps reflecting a concern that the extent of media influence on the population may be exaggerated. Alan Campbell MP believed that the media reflects a public view which really exists, whereas Rt Hon David Hanson MP suggested that the media can both lead and reflect public opinion.[346]

211. On the other hand, David Scott, then Chair of the Probation Chief's Association believed there is a culture of the media too easily criticising what is not working rather than looking at successes in criminal justice at a local level.[347] The Magistrates' Association agreed:

    The media has a very strong influence, and every time they talk of someone "walking free" the downgrading of every form of community penalty is reinforced. This is infinitely worse when they are commenting on a suspended sentence! It would be immensely helpful if more informative and supportive press comments were made about the range of penalties available that are non-custodial.[348]

The former Lord Chief Justice, Lord Phillips, supported this view when he addressed the Prisoners' Education Trust: "The public is given the impression that judges are soft on crime, that crime is increasing and that sentences are not sufficiently severe to reflect the crime. All of these are misconceptions."[349] Some examples of the media portrayal of sentencing policy are presented in the box below.

212. Professor Christian Pfeiffer concluded that public misunderstanding of crime rates is influenced by increased media reporting of crime and crime related television shows.[350] Reports about crime in the UK media disproportionately focus on serious and violent crime. Research conclusions vary as to the exact proportions of crime reporting but a 1995 study found that murder and death accounted for 53% of all crime stories on Sky news, 42% on ITN and 38% on BBC1.[351] According to Professor Pfeiffer, pictures of crime stimulate an emotional response and develop fear.[352] His research also indicates that the more people think that crime is rising the more they ask for harsher punishments.[353] Thus the media portrayal of crime can also fuel the public's mistrust of crime rates and increase their appetite for punishment.

213. Mr Dean justified the critical position taken by the media, explaining that its hostility on crime issues relates to a general feeling that it has a responsibility to hold governments to account.[354] Mr Scott agreed that levelling blame at the media represented a diversion from taking wider responsibility, suggesting that criminal justice services must take some responsibility for forging better links with media at national and local level.[355] Several witnesses, including Lord Dubs and the New Economics Foundation referred to an apparent absence of political leadership in challenging media perspectives on crime with equally powerful voices.[356] Concern over an apparent lack of political will was similarly reflected in comments to the e-consultation. One respondent explained "First you have to stop national politicians grovelling to the Daily Mail tendency […] Then you have to wean them off launching constantly changing 'eye catching initiatives' with different names and targets every year".[357] Another remarked "I would like to see more attention paid by government ministers to the views of the professionals in the field who are, it seems to me, often ignored in favour of more punitive measures seen to be needed to satisfy 'public opinion'".[358]

214. The Government's acquiescence in the belief in the need for a 'tough' criminal justice message is clearly evident at times—an ICM survey whose results indicated the complex and context dependent nature of public attitudes to crime, and which found relatively strong support for community sentences, was sent out in a Ministry of Justice press release under the heading 'Victims of crime want punishment'.[359] Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Victim Support, commented on the same press release: "If the criminal justice system is to truly serve victims, we need to prioritise effective rehabilitation rather than using victims to justify harsh punishments that don't actually stop reoffending."[360] According to Professor Loader, the Government's stance fans the flames of the media to some extent. He suggested that the media might be less likely to play the crime card "were they persuaded that a government knew what it was trying to do with the penal policy and had a strong and confident story to tell about why certain things go on in prison [which] might not be amenable to certain newspapers but in terms of rehabilitation and assistance and cutting re-offending just happen to be good ideas."[361] HM Council of Circuit Judges shares this view with respect to sentencing:

    […] irresponsible journalism in certain sections of the press has resulted in misinterpretation or simple mis-statement both as to sentence and sentencing remarks. The position is not helped when senior political figures appear to publicly accept as correct reports that are clearly wrong. Unless both these concerns are addressed there will continue to be room for public misapprehension whatever step is taken to improve clarity [in sentencing].[362]

215. A good deal of media comment assumes that sentencing is below the level that the public expect, whereas the evidence suggests that the public—when asked to make a judgment—set out expectations that are close to the levels that are actually being set by the courts. This suggests that there is not a generally 'punitive attitude' on the part of the public in England and Wales but that public debate takes place in a generally heightened and punitive atmosphere compared with the rest of Europe. Over the decades this has led to a 'bidding war' with politicians egged on by the media on the basis of what the public is believed to want.

216. There is a substantial body of research on public opinion on crime which paints a complex picture. On the one hand the public believe that punishment is the most important function of a sentence, and on the other they recognise that rehabilitative interventions are more effective at reducing crime. The public is also clear that punishment need not imply imprisonment, and when they are given sentencing scenarios, they tend to sentence at a similar level to that of sentencers. The Government's view of public opinion seems to be based on a selective reading of this research evidence. This is also true of representatives of some opposition parties. Parlaiment must listen to the public's rational perception of what changes are needed and act now to change the direction of the system, replacing expensive custody with community-based sentences and earlier intervention that will reduce re-offending.

217. Government efforts to increase public confidence do not consider the wider influences on public opinion or seek directly to challenge the media and the public when they are misinformed. We welcome recent attempts to challenge public perceptions of crime and punishment, for example through case study websites and roadshows, but we consider that something more fundamental is required to challenge the perception that the criminal justice system is not sufficiently tough.

218. The Government should lead a public debate on the aims of criminal justice policy, and seek to influence, as well as to be influenced by, the public response. In so doing the Government should assert that there are ways of reducing crime, other than expanding the use of imprisonment, which would better protect communities.

Building a political consensus

219. One important element in any solution to the seemingly inexorable rise in prison numbers is the reduction of the heat in political debate and to introduce some more light in this area with the aim of building a party political consensus on the ideal direction of policy. Several of our witnesses commented on the prospects of achieving such a consensus.[363] Professor Loader suggested that the tendency of politicians to continue to try and 'out-tough' each other in this area may be abating.[364] Furthermore, Malcolm Dean, founding editor of Society Guardian, said that the power of the media may also be waning, describing it as a "seriously wounded stag".[365] He also cited research which illustrated that prior to the 1970s, law and order was not a party political issue and it was not until the 1990s that the 'tough' rhetoric—in effect a 'criminal justice arms race'—began in earnest accompanied by the start of marked increases in the prison population.[366]

220. At the outset of the inquiry, Nacro told us that there was little political consensus over a need for an alternative policy. However, there are signs that the political landscape has changed more recently. Both the (current) Liberal Democrat and (former) Conservative spokesmen on justice, David Howarth MP and Nick Herbert MP respectively, thought that such a consensus would be possible if the direction of policy centred on reducing re-offending i.e. preventing re-victimisation. David Howarth said: "There can be disagreement about how, but if there is less disagreement about what we are doing then we can move ahead […] it is producing enough of a consensus that the debate becomes more rational at a national level".[367] Lord Dubs and Jonathan Aitken also agreed that a consensus could be formed around the benefits of taking an alternative approach.[368]

221. Rt Hon David Hanson MP, Justice Minster, indicated that such a consensus already existed:

    There is an element, and there always will be, of competitiveness between all the parties about being tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime and those issues, but I think underneath it all there is still an element of agreement, having had 18-19 months in this post, where I can say genuinely that on some issues on rehabilitation I share some very similar views to some of the Members of the Opposition Front Bench [… ][and] on the Front Bench of the Liberal Democrats [...] There are common themes that we need to tackle, literacy, numeracy, drugs, employment, and we need to do that not just for people in prison, but we also need to identify issues before people come into the system in an effective way.[369]

There appears to be most potential for consensus around two issues: first "what works" (evidence-based practice) in order to reduce crime and re-offending; and secondly, the most effective use of limited resources to achieve this. We heard that strong political leadership, which is more informed and less party political, is required to take the criminal justice debate forward.[370] Lord Dubs shared this view:

    The argument should be that we want our country to be safer, we want people who have been in custody when they come out to be less likely to re-offend and we want people to be diverted from prison because they would be less likely to re-offend […] I am under no illusion that it is very difficult and that it might not work but the reward is so important that it is worth having a go.[371]

Jonathan Aitken agreed:

    […] you can convince the public and particularly the local community public that if you are really interested in what works, what prevents crime, what makes communities safer, yes, you can win that argument and one of the reasons you can win that argument is that everyone knows that the present prison system is failing very badly in the area of repeat offending.[372]

222. As we have said, according to Professor Loader, the media might also be less likely to play the crime card if they were persuaded that the Government knew what it is trying to do and that it had a confident story to tell.[373] Lord Dubs and Mr Aitken further suggested that these discussions may work to better effect, with both the media and the public, if they take place at a local level.[374] Mr Aitken said that the political debate about law and order will undoubtedly get more contentious and less consensual in the run-up to an election during which all kinds of things may be said which was likely to amount to an "auction on policies which involve toughness".[375]

223. Law and order arguments need better data. They rarely, if ever, consider wider social and economic costs of a large prison population[376] nor the real contribution of the criminal justice process to reducing crime or improving public security. Professor Cynthia McDougall argued that if policy decision-making was based on evidence coming out of independent research the public might see it as a sensible use of taxpayers' money.[377] Judge Marcus, Oregon USA, asserted that ideological differences in the politics of criminal justice policy can be overcome by focusing on the use of resources and moving the argument away from notions of punitive credibility:

    […] there is much room for bridging ideological divides by agreeing that severity vs. leniency is not at stake—that what matters is the rational and efficient distribution of existing resources so as to accomplish most efficiently crime reduction and whatever other public purposes are to be pursued with sentencing. There is, as stated, enormously underestimated public consensus that reducing recidivism is the major purpose of criminal law and sentences, that rehabilitation can serve these goals for some, and that incapacitation is necessary for others. The public, for example, is easily persuaded to divert drug users to treatment in lieu of prison, itself a relatively easy but limited remedy to misuse of prison. [378]

224. In basing arguments for reform on the best use of taxpayers' money, the political argument could be shifted away from notions about which party is 'harder' or 'softer' on crime and criminals to questions about the most effective use of scarce resources to reduce offending and re-offending. It is time for an objective consideration of what is in the best interests of society.

225. The existence of consensus can enable more measured responses, which are not necessarily criminal justice based, to be taken to high profile cases. For example, following a school shooting in Finland in November 2007 the Council of State commissioned a report from the Investigation Commission on measures to reduce the probability of similar events from occurring in the future. Rather than recommending longer sentences for gun crime, the Commission concluded that measures to improve student care, including the prevention of bullying, and access to mental health services were required.[379]

303   Q 425 Back

304   Lord Phillips, Who decides the sentence, Prisoners' Education Trust Annual Lecture, 14 October 2008, Back

305   Q 487 Back

306   Ev 213 Back

307   Ev 231 Back

308   Ministry of Justice, Offender Management Caseload Statistics 2007, October 2008. The latest statistics show a further increase in recalls but an increase in releases on Home Detention Curfew. See Offender Management Caseload Statistics 2008, July 2009. Back

309   Lacey, N. The Prisoners' Dilemma: Political economy and punishment in contemporary democracies, Cambridge, 2008 Back

310   Q 484 Back

311   Ibid. Back

312   Ev 152 Back

313   Lacey, N. The Prisoners' Dilemma: Political economy and punishment in contemporary democracies, Cambridge, 2008 Back

314   Rt Hon Jack Straw MP speech to Royal Society of Arts, 27 October 2008 Back

315   Q 446 Back

316   Rt Hon Jack Straw MP speech to Royal Society of Arts, 27 October 2008 Back

317   Q 533 Back

318   Q 487 Back

319   "The great victim of this get-tough hyperactivity is Labour", Comment is Free, The Guardian, 19 June 2008 Back

320   Q 484 Back

321   "Police leader slams 'hokey cokey' criminal justice system", Daily Telegraph, 14 May 2009 Back

322   Q 484 Back

323   Ev 152 Back

324   Q 20 Back

325   Ev 170 Back

326   Ev 231 Back

327   Q 235 Back

328   Q 569 Back

329   Q 577 Back

330   Q 484 Back

331   Ev 187. See Halliday, J. Making Punishments Work: Report of a Review of the Sentencing Framework for England and Wales, Home Office 2001 Back

332   Ev 170 [International Centre for Prison Studies] Back

333   The poll for Rethinking Crime and Punishment found that five times more people favour better parenting (57%) than more offenders in prison "11%) as the best way to reduce crime, MORI, 2004 Back

334   Ev 187 Back

335   Q 577 Back

336   Cabinet Office, Engaging communities in fighting crime: A review by Louise Casey, June 2008, p 5 Back

337   Q 251 Back

338   Q 253 Back

339   Op cit., p 7 Back

340   Qq 256-257 Back

341   Q 574 Back

342   Q 515 Back

343   Q 604; The Ministry of Justice has established an advisory panel, chaired by Baroness Neuberger, to identify barriers to a more diverse judiciary. See Ministry of Justice news release, Moving faster to a more diverse judiciary, 28 April 2009 Back

344   Ev 233 Back

345   Q 484 Back

346   Q 579 Back

347   Q 432 Back

348   Ev 184 Back

349   Lord Phillips, Who decides the sentence, Prisoners' Education Trust Annual Lecture, 14 October 2008, Back

350   Q 602 Back

351   Cumberbatch et al. 1995, p 25 cited in Reiner, R. "Media-made criminality: the representation of crime in the mass media", Oxford Handbook of Criminology 4th ed, Oxford University Press, 2007, p 309  Back

352   Q 616 Back

353   Q 602 Back

354   Q 488 Back

355   Q 432 Back

356   Q 530 [Lord Dubs]; Ev 245 [NEF] Back

357   Lulu, see Annex 4 Back

358   Jan1937, see Annex 4 Back

359   Victims of crime want punishment, Ministry of Justice press release, 16 November 2007. The survey found that 81% of victims would prefer an offender to receive an effective sentence than a harsh one, and that 63% of victims disagreed that prison is always the best way to punish someone. Back

360   Victims of crime want punishment, Ministry of Justice press release, 16 November 2007 Back

361   Q 494 Back

362   Her Majesty's Council of Circuit Judges, Response to Making Sentencing Clearer consultation, December 2006, p 5 Back

363   See Ev 285 [Restorative Justice Consortium] Back

364   Q 484 Back

365   Q 486 Back

366   Q 487  Back

367   Q 497 Back

368   Q 531  Back

369   Q 575 Back

370   Q 245 Back

371   Q 533 Back

372   Q 533 Back

373   Q 494 Back

374   Q 525, 529 [Mr Aitken, Lord Dubs]. See also Q 602 [Professor Pfeiffer] and Q 506 [David Howarth MP] who both gave us examples from their own experience which indicate that it is possible to win an election without campaigning on the crime issue. Back

375   Q 531 Back

376   An example is the financial impact on prisoners' families, the removal of one salary, or the only salary, has been found to have a lasting effect on a families financial security. See Smith et al, Poverty and disadvantage among prisoners' families, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2007. Back

377   Q 120 Back

378   Ev 187 Back

379   Finnish Ministry of Justice, Jokela School Shooting on 7 November 2007: Report of the Investigation Commission, English translation, Back

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2010
Prepared 14 January 2010