Evaluation of pre-sentence restorative justice
Restorative Solutions have published ICPR's report on the
evaluation of the pre-sentence restorative justice (RJ) pathfinder.
The evaluation, which was conducted over the period February 2014
to May 2015, found that pre-sentence RJ can provide significant
support to victims and help them to cope with and recover from
their experiences of victimisation. The main message from the
pathfinders is that victims do benefit from this intervention with
support from trained and skilled practitioners.
However, it needs to be recognised that the pathfinders were
launched at a time of considerable transformation across the
criminal justice system. Each pathfinder succeeded in introducing
new systems and processes, and these successes reflected, in part,
the great commitment of numerous volunteer practitioners who helped
victims to meet their offenders to repair the harm that had been
Pre-sentence RJ is at an early stage of development, and has the
potential to reduce re-offending behaviour and to generate savings
for government as its usage increases. More now needs to be done to
increase awareness of pre-sentence RJ, and to help to ensure its
availability across England and Wales.
Report on advocacy in youth proceedings
Today the Bar Standards Board and CILEx Regulation have
published ICPR's review of advocacy in youth proceedings. The
review considered the quality of advocacy in youth proceedings and
the core components of effective advocacy, with a view to informing
the Bar Standard Board's consideration of whether regulatory
interventions are required to improve standards of youth advocacy.
The research activities comprised a survey of 215 advocates;
interviews with 96 stakeholders, including advocates, young people,
youth court magistrates, and court-based YOT workers; and
observations in four youth courts and five Crown Courts across
England and Wales. The report concluded that the work of advocates
in youth proceedings cannot be viewed in isolation from its wider
legal, institutional and cultural context, and presents
recommendations aimed at promoting more effective advocacy. These
recommendations are focused on systems and structures of youth
proceedings which could support better advocacy; court-based
facilitators of advocacy; and training and learning opportunities
Read more - press release.
New publication on experiences of the Crown Court
Structured mayhem: Personal experiences of the Crown Court, by
Jessica Jacobson, Gillian Hunter and Amy Kirby, has been published
by the Criminal Justice Alliance. This is a digest of ICPR's
research into what it is like to attend Crown Court as a victim,
witness or defendant - published in full earlier this year as
Inside Crown (Policy Press).
'Structured mayhem' describes the elaborate, ritualised and - in
many respects - archaic nature of proceedings in the Crown Court.
It argues that these proceedings can be bewildering and alienating
for victims, witnesses and defendants alike. Court proceedings have
many elements of theatre, within which the legal professionals, and
particularly defence and prosecution part, play the starring roles.
In contrast, victims, witnesses and defendants tend to play only
'Structured mayhem' includes a series of recommendations for the
Ministry of Justice, HM Courts and Tribunals Service and other
agencies, which are aimed at improving the experience of court uses
and enhancing public confidence in the criminal justice system.
World Female Imprisonment List (third edition)
More than 700,000 women and girls are held in penal institutions
throughout the world, according to the third edition of the World
Female Imprisonment List, researched and compiled by Roy Walmsley
and published by the Institute for Criminal Policy Research. The
analysis indicates that female prison population levels have grown
much faster than male prison population levels since around the
year 2000, with the number of women and girls in prison increasing
by 50% in the past 15 years. The study provides information for
almost all countries in the world about the female prison
population, the percentage of the total prison population they
comprise and the rate per 100,000 of the national population. It
also includes information about trends in female imprisonment.
The World Female Imprisonment List shows that more than 200,000
imprisoned women and girls are in the USA (205,400) and more than
100,000 are in China (103,766 plus an unknown number in pre-trial
or administrative detention). The next highest totals are in the
Russian Federation (53,304), Thailand (44,751), Brazil (37,380),
Vietnam (20,553), India (18,188) and Mexico (13,400).
Current indications are that female prison population levels
have not only grown sharply in recent years; they have grown much
faster than male prison population levels. It is provisionally
estimated that the total world prison population has increased by
around 20% since 2000, compared to the approximately 50% increase
in the overall number of imprisoned women and girls. More
information will be available in the forthcoming eleventh edition
of the World Prison Population List.
Read more - press release.
Read more -
ICPR's latest book 'Inside Crown Court' is published
Research conducted by Jessica Jacobson, Gillian Hunter and Amy
Kirby at the Institute for Policy Research (ICPR) at Birkbeck,
University of London has found that appearing in the Crown Court -
as a victim, witness or defendant - is often frightening,
frustrating and upsetting for participants. The study provides a
vivid description of what it is like to attend Crown Court, be it
as a victim, defendant, witness, member of staff, judge or
barrister. It outlines the interplay between the various
participants and extent to which the court process is viewed as
legitimate by those involved in it. The book will be launched this
evening in the Royal Courts of Justice.