This is the final report of the All Party Parliamentary Local Government Group’s inquiry into justice in communities.
The panel of inquiry was chaired by Labour’s Clive Betts MP, with the Conservative and Lib Dem Home Office frontbenchers David Burrowes MP and David Howarth MP, along with Baroness Stern, a world expert in criminal justice, and Baroness Henig, President of the Association of Police Authorities. In a series of evidence-taking sessions the panel heard from experts, including Jonathan Aitken, Rt Hon Charles Clarke MP, Louise Casey, Lord Ramsbotham and Derbyshire Chief Constable Mick Creedon.
The inquiry was supported by and the report was authored by the LGiU.
The key recommendations of the report include:
- Creation of a new system of primary justice: shifting control of prisons and key supporting services away from Whitehall to a local level.
- Creation of a local ‘safety and justice’ budget to fund, amongst other things: local prisons and neighbourhood policing. This pot would be used to commission local services, either from existing providers or by setting up new local services. A local budget could include approximately 35% of the prison budget, the administration budget for magistrates courts, local policing and probation.
- Designing a system underpinned by the principle that offenders should be helped to get work and up-skill with business and voluntary sectors, taking a much greater role in helping to open up employment opportunities for ex-offenders.
- Using aspects of social networking to give victims, witnesses and members of the public opportunities to access information and express opinion online about specific cases in the public domain.