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Local Justice

Author: Clare Hyde MBE

In this policy paper, published jointly with the University of Birmingham, Clare Hyde argues that the current criminal justice system is failing communities by drawing resources into damaging and inefficient systems rather than enabling communities, families and individuals to become safer and stronger.

Four strategies are proposed for reversing this damaging cycle of public investment in ongoing failure:

1. Start with a focus on women, children and families

The current system is particularly damaging to women and to their families. Building stategies around families and using a gendered approach may be the key to tackling crime for the whole community.

2. Create a new financial system

Give local areas an incentive to invest in their own communities and let lower rates of crime and imprisonment lead to increased levels of local investment.

3. Change the way funding is used locally

Abandon the unhelpful division of funding into different service pots and create ways in which funding can be focused on communities, families and individuals.

4. Use personalisation as the key to unlock family problems

Build on the high quality work of community organisations like the WomenCentre and Catch 22.

Criminal justice and social justice are not the same. But unless we attend to the deep injustices perpetuated by our society, injustices which are often reinforced by the current welfare system, we will continue to fail those who are most often the victims of crime and fail to tackle the underlying causes of crime.


The publisher is The Centre for Welfare Reform.

Local Justice © Clare Hyde 2011. 

All Rights Reserved. No part of this paper may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher except for the quotation of brief passages in reviews.

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