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Latest criminal justice statistics – Aug 2018


The most recent (16 August 2018) Criminal Justice Statistics Quarterly bulletin (covering April 2017 – March 2018) again confirms the same key trends over recent years — the lowest number of people since modern records began (1970) were dealt with by the courts, but the proportion of people imprisoned for indictable offences rose again and that average length of sentence increased too:


Fewer criminals

The number of individuals formally dealt with by the CJS fell by 7% in the latest year. The number of individuals prosecuted at all courts fell by around 5% despite a 11% increase in overall recorded crime (to 5.5 million offences), believed to be associated with improved recording among police forces and victims’ greater willingness to report crimes. The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW), estimated 10.6 million incidents of crime in the latest year (including fraud and computer misuse), a non-statistically significant reduction of 4% compared with the previous year.


Out of court disposals going out of fashion

The use of out of court disposals (OOCDs) decreased by 38,500 (14%) in the year ending March 2018, with 236,600 individuals issued an OOCD. This decreasing trend can be seen across all OOCD types and continues the steady decline in the use of OOCDs over the last ten years. The use of Community Resolutions has also been decreasing since 2016. The decrease in the number of OOCDs followed a number of policy changes relating to police practice and OOCD availability.

There was a big fall in the number of Penalty Notices for Disorder — down 27% from 2017 while the total number of cautions also plummeted, down 20% from the previous year. Community resolutions were down 7%.


More custody…

While fewer offenders are being diverted from court, more are being sent straight to custody. Since the year ending March 2017, the overall number of offenders sentenced at all courts has fallen by 50,800 (4%) to 1.19 million.

The most common sentence given continues to be a fine, accounting for 75% of all offenders sentenced, increasing by 10 percentage points since 2011. In the year ending March 2018, a greater proportion of offenders (32%) received immediate custody for indictable offences than any other sentence outcome, up by 2 percentage points since 2017. The only offence group to see an increase in the number of people sentenced in the latest year was possession of weapons, where 4,500 (up from 4,100) individuals were sentenced. The custody rate for the offence group also increased 2 percentage points to 36%.

Since 2008, the proportion of offenders receiving a community sentence for indictable offences has declined by 13 percentage points to 20%, and the proportion of offenders receiving a suspended sentence for indictable offences increased by 8 percentage points to 17%.


…for longer

Average custodial sentence length (ACSL) increased to 20.2 months for indictable offences and was 17.1 months overall. ACSL has steadily increased since March 2008, when it was 12.4 months overall (now 17.1 months) and 15.1 months for indictable offences (now 20.2 months).

Blog posts in the Criminal Justice category are kindly sponsored by Get the Data which provides Social Impact Analytics to enable organisations to demonstrate their impact on society. GtD has no editorial influence on the contents of this site.

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Week in Justice 11th March 2018

Week in Justice 11 March 2018

The main event in criminal justice this week was the first policy speech by new Justice Secretary David Gauke at the RSA on Tuesday. You can see the full text of the speech and different responses below.

In other news, Probation Inspectors found London CRC much improved, albeit still performing at an “unacceptable” level.

The Home Office published its Domestic Abuse Bill which suggests tagging perpetrators early in the justice process, even before they are convicted to protect victims.

‘By Russell Webster’ under Week in Justice .



David Gauke spoke at the RSA on Tuesday



Gang members to be sent to high security prisons



Rob Allen analyses David Gauke’s speech



We need more emphasis on treatment

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The Rehabilitation Revolution – Take 2

Movie production clapper board over wooden background

The Rehabilitation Revolution – Take 2

A clue to government policy?

Yesterday (14 September 2017) the Centre for Social Justice (the Think Tank created by Iain Duncan Smith in 2004) launched a new, and possibly very significant, report:

What happened to the rehabilitation revolution? with two straplines:

  • How sentencers can revive it
  • How it can be helped by a hung Parliament

The report may be significant because the CSJ is, obviously, very close to the conservative party and may reflect discussions going on in the Ministry of Justice.

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