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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 218526 Find in a Library
Title: Prospects for Progress in Penal Reform
Journal: Criminology & Criminal Justice  Volume:7  Issue:2  Dated:May 2007  Pages:135-152
Author(s): David Faulkner
Date Published: May 2007
Page Count: 18
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This article reviews the effects of the British Government's sentencing and penal reforms as of the fall of 2006 and offers recommendations for the way forward.
Abstract: The British Government presented the main features of its penal reform program in the Five-Year Strategy published in February 2006. Changes in sentencing were introduced by the Criminal Justice Act 2003, which focused on punishment related to crime severity, reparation for harms done by the crime, and rehabilitation. The author proposes that greater emphasis be given to resolving crimes through restorative, social, or administrative measures, without involving offenders in the formal criminal justice process. When formal processing and traditional punishment are viewed as necessary, sentences should reflect the severity of the actual harms done by the crime at issue. Improved management of offenders to prevent reoffending was reflected in the creation of the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) for the purpose of coordinating various agencies involved in offender supervision. Regarding corrections staff, improvements were made in recruitment, training, and leadership. Concepts of punishment under sentencing reform continue to be related to the infliction of pain, discomfort, and severe restrictions. This has linked punishment for serious crimes to varying periods of imprisonment, to the exclusion of sentences that allow the offender to live in the community. In order to gain public acceptance, community sentences have become more punitive by adding an increasing number of restrictive conditions that are strictly enforced. Consequently, NOMS and the Prison Probation Services are viewed as agencies of punishment as the focus has been on offender control in the interest of public safety. Rehabilitation efforts are trusted only if they have been proven effective in reducing crime and when offenders continue to be closely supervised. 6 notes and 39 references
Main Term(s): Corrections policies
Index Term(s): Community-based corrections (adult); Correctional reform; Corrections in foreign countries; Incarceration; Punishment; Rehabilitation; Restitution; Sentencing reform
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