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News Archives: Index

October 7, 2010: Probation Set For Industrial Action

October 5, 2010: Turning Prisoners Into Taxpayers

October 4, 2010: Murder Changes Now In Force

September 20, 2010: Probation Programmes Face Cuts

August 24, 2010: Victorian Poor Law Records Online

August 10, 2010: Justice Job Cuts

July 28, 2010: Prison Violence Growing

July 22, 2010: Police Numbers: Latest Figures

July 22, 2010: New Jurisdiction Rules

July 16, 2010: CCJS On Prison And Probation Spending Under Labour

July 15, 2010: Latest Statistics On Violent And Sexual Crime

July 15, 2010: Latest National Crime Figures

July 15, 2010: New Chief Prisons Inspector

July 14, 2010: Hard Times Ahead For Prisons: Anne Owers

July 14, 2010: Prison Does Not Work: Ken Clarke

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform: Sentencing and Rehabilitation

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform Priorities

July 12, 2010: What Price Public Protection, Asks Probation Chief Inspector

July 12, 2010: NOMS has failed, says Napo

July 10, 2010: IPCC To Investigate Death of Raoul Moat

July 9, 2010: Women In Prison: New Report

July 9, 2009: Unjust Deserts: Imprisonment for Public Protection

July 8, 2010: Police Search Powers Change

July 7, 2010: Make 'Legal High' Illegal, Says ACMD

July 2, 2010: Failing Children In Prison

July 2, 2010: Police Buried Under a Blizzard of Guidance: HMIC

July 1, 2010: Freedom To Change The Law?

June 30, 2010: A New Outlook On Penal Reform?

June 30, 2010: Revolving Door Of Offending Must Stop, Says Clarke

June 30, 2010: Ken Clarke: Speech on Criminal Justice Reform

June 29, 2010: No More Police Targets

June 26, 2010: Family Intervention Projects Questioned

June 25, 2010: Cutting Criminal Justice

June 24, 2010: Napo on Sex Offenders Report

June 23, 2010: Closing Courts: The Cuts Begin

June 23, 2010: Strategy To Tackle Gangs

June 15, 2010: Courts and Mentally Disordered Offenders

June 8, 2010: Working With Muslims in Prison

June 1, 2010: Your Chance To Nominate a QC

November 20, 2009: Justice Secretary's Probation Visit

Justice Secretary Jack Straw saw for himself the positive results of an intensive community sentence pilot run by the probation service to cut reoffending and support safer communities in Derbyshire today.

The pilot has been running since 2008 and targets offenders who need more intensive punishments, supervision and rehabilitation for up to seven days a week. From the start of the order offenders sentenced to intensive community sentences receive intensive, structured activities such as drug programmes, Community Payback, supervision and curfew every day.

The pilot is testing what levels of punishment and support are most effective for tackling reoffending among a difficult group of persistent offenders.

Jack Straw, who met staff and offenders at the pilot, commented:

‘Prison is the right place for the most serious and violent offenders but there are currently people in prison who would be better rehabilitated in the community. Putting offenders through tough innovative community sentences may be more effective in reducing reoffending than a short spell in prison and can deliver better value for the taxpayer.'

‘Working with offenders who are close to being sent to custody is one of the hardest challenges for the Probation Service. We want to ensure magistrates have tough sentences at their disposal for difficult offenders and I can see today from the work that Derbyshire Probation are doing that we are delivering effective community sentences that benefit local people.'

‘The intensive community sentences make a positive contribution to cutting crime in Derby. I am pleased that the Ministry of Justice is supporting the development of locally-based, innovative community sentence packages that are responsive to local needs.’

The Chief Officer of Derbyshire Probation, Denise White said:

‘Derbyshire Probation is proud to be the first area to pilot this intensive order. Our experience is showing that this approach can reduce reoffending amongst those who have extensive previous convictions and a history of involvement with various parts of the criminal justice system.'

‘A number of offenders undertaking the intensive order have met with Mr Straw today. However, some who have successfully completed the sentence were not able to do so. The reason is that they have gained full-time employment. This is a major achievement and testament to the hard work of the offenders themselves, and of Derbyshire Probation staff, mentors and partner agencies who have contributed to their success.’

The projects emphasise the need for offenders to be immediately and intensively supervised, given demanding and structured activities and left in no doubt about the consequences of non-compliance. Additional funding of £13.9 million announced in 2008 has gone towards the three-year programme with pilots in seven areas around England and Wales. The testing of intensive community sentences and the provision of more rigorous non-custodial regimes were recommended as part of the response to the Carter Review published in 2007.

Projects are also running in West Yorkshire, South Wales, Dyfed Powys, Humberside, Merseyside and Manchester.