Response To The Swift And Sure Justice White Paper

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Roma Hooper, Director of Make Justice Work said, “MJW broadly supports the principles behind the Swift and Sure Justice White Paper. However our chief concern is that speeding up the Courts service, must not lead to offenders receiving inadequate or inaccurate assessments. Get this wrong and offenders on community sentences will not access the services and support needed, such as drug, alcohol and mental health services, to tackle their criminal behaviour.

“It is also important that offenders start their community sentences as soon as possible, as too often they can be delayed by many weeks. This leaves many offenders at risk of returning to a criminal lifestyle soon after they leave Court. Magistrates and Judges must also have an enhanced understanding and awareness of community sentences, so they can make better informed decisions as to the suitability of this option for the majority of lower level offences.”