Criminal Court Sentencing: Thinking about Reform

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Middlesex University

Room C219-20, College Building

The Burroughs

London

NW4 4BT

United Kingdom

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School of Law Roundtable Seminar: ‘Criminal Court Sentencing: Thinking about Reform’

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School of Law Roundtable Seminar: ‘Criminal Court Sentencing: Thinking about Reform’

Thursday 27th February 2020 9.15am -1.00pm Boardroom, College Building C219-220 Middlesex University, The Burroughs, London, NW4 4BT

We are livestreaming the whole event from this web link:

https://www.pscp.tv/MDXlaw/follow

It will also be available after the event to play-back.

Speakers

Rory Stewart -( Previous Prisons Minister, London Mayoral Candidate)

Nick Hardwick –(Previous Chair of the Parole Board and Head of HM Inspectorate of Prisons, Professor of Criminal Justice, Royal Holloway University of London)

Nicola Padfield (University of Cambridge)

Dominic Goble and Mr. Quentin Goodman (Northamptonshire Bench Chairman Midlands Region, Operations manager, Northamptonshire Youth Offending Team)

Mr. Matt Cracknell (Associate Lecturer in Criminology, Middlesex University)

Mr. Junior Smart-(OBE) (Founder of SOS Project, St. Giles Trust)

Chair – Dr. Jenni Ward (Senior Lecturer in Criminology, Middlesex University)

There is much talk within criminal justice policy-making circles on the escalating problems in prisons with emphasis on the high levels of violence among inmates and on staff, the unacceptable prevalence of drugs, and the distressingly high rates of suicide and self-harm. Prisons like other criminal justice institutions - the courts, the probation service and the police - are contending with deep financial cuts to operating budgets adding to the now commonplace problems of prisons understaffing and overcrowding. There is an important area of discussion that remains less advanced when considering viable solutions to prison problems. This is looking closely at court sentencing and rethinking and reforming sentencing law so that fewer people are sentenced to custody who could be dealt with in alternate ways. For example, through ‘deferred prosecution’ and ‘diversion’ approaches and fewer people recalled to custody through technical and minor breach of license conditions. Some criminal justice experts and previous Justice Secretaries have voiced commitment to reducing the size of the prison population with a recent proposition to remove prison sentences of less than six months. Improving the availability of rehabilitative and more beneficial community-based programmes is preferred. For obvious political reasons criminal justice management over the last few years has lacked important oversight with little progress shifting from rhetoric to identifying and acting on actual solutions. It is through this round table seminar discussion we will contribute to meaningful social and criminal justice policy discussions that can arrive at new and real ideas for transformation in penal policy and sentencing law reform.

This seminar discussion aims to bring together an audience to converse candidly about criminal justice issues, to highlight detail in regard to sentencing law and policy that have direct and negative impacts on the size of the prison population and which can feasibly be altered to lower the persistently high prison population. Our speakers include those concerned with what is an enduring strain of ‘retributive justice’ in sentencing policy, the significant and radical changes to the probation service under the 2013 ‘Transforming Rehabilitation’ framework and the consequent way probation services are managed in London. The increase in Joint Enterprise sentencing and the benefits of ‘problem-solving justice’ approaches through youth sentence review panels are other topics of importance.

The event commences at 9.15am with coffee and pastries and opportunity for networking with presentations and discussion commencing at 9.45am. A buffet lunch will be provided.

The event is free to attend but must be booked in advance via Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/criminal-court-sentencing-thinking-about-reform-tickets-89239974165

Advance questions for panel discussion can be submitted via email to the roundtable convener Jenni Ward j.r.ward@mdx.ac.uk or Matt Cracknell m.cracknell@mdx.ac.uk

Date and Time

Location

Middlesex University

Room C219-20, College Building

The Burroughs

London

NW4 4BT

United Kingdom

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