Justice Reinvestment – A New Approach to Crime and Justice

Vivien Stern, Rob Allen
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The work on Restorative Prisons led directly to a detailed examination of the concept which came to be known as Justice Reinvestment. This is a term which was coined in the United States of America to describe efforts to use funds currently being spent on imprisoning offenders more productively in those areas from which the offenders come through local community based initiatives. This approach to criminal justice gives local rather than central government the power to decide how money should be best spent to produce safer local communities.  

Working in partnership with Gateshead Council in North East England ICPS co-ordinated the collection of data about the geographical concentrations of known offenders in the Gateshead local authority area and mapped correlations with a range of indices of social deprivation. This work generated a number of practice and policy proposals for a more localised approach to criminal justice for consideration by relevant stake holders. These included neighbourhood justice centres, devolved probation services and multi agency teams to bring together locally all services to assist in the social re-integration of offenders. Presentations on the findings and lessons were made to the UK Home Office and the Local Government Association.

A major conference was held in Gateshead in June 2007 attended by over 100 stakeholders from the region. The Conference saw the launch of Justice Reinvestment - A New Approach to Crime and Justice, a collection of essays edited by Rob Allen and Vivien Stern. 

House of Commons Justice Committee Inquiry

In its 2009-10 session the House of Commons Justice Committee undertook an inquiry into Justice Reinvestment. ICPS submitted written evidence which was referenced throughout the Committee's report, and Rob Allen, who was then Director of ICPS, acted as as a special adviser to the Committee on all aspects of the inquiry.

The Committe's report Cutting crime: the case for justice reinvestment was published in January 2010 and can be accessed below.


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