Roma answers questions on ‘Community or Custody’ – Huffington Post

 In Press

Roma Hooper, founder and director of Make Justice Work has been talking to the Huffington Post about the riots

This time last month the shocking outburst of criminal disorder in British cities had just seemed to have peaked. In the aftermath, attention turned to how the criminal justice system was going to respond to the riots. Some of the sentences handed down, in the frenetic effort to deal with over a thousand cases, were deeply controversial – causing concern in surprising places, even among those normally considered ‘hardliners’. However, if the reaction to the riots sparks a more thorough and thoughtful national conversation about sentencing in this country, then we may get closer to grasping the nettle and fixing what Justice Secretary Ken Clarke has called a “broken penal system”.

What should probably most disturb us is that the majority of adults charged during the riots had already been convicted and, supposedly, rehabilitated and released by the criminal justice system. That they, and we, had been so obviously failed should cause us to ask the question of whether we are taking the right approach to these sorts of repeat offenders

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