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Justice reinvestment: can it deliver more for less?

Fox, Chris and Albertson, Kevin and Warburton, Frank (2011) Justice reinvestment: can it deliver more for less? The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, 50 (2). pp. 119-136. ISSN 1468-2311

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Abstract

Recent years have seen high levels of public spending on criminal justice but to relatively little effect. Prison numbers have risen sharply and public confidence in the criminal justice system remains relatively low. Although crime has fallen there is limited evidence to suggest that this is because of increased criminal justice activity. Justice reinvestment (JR) is a concept that has been widely touted as an approach that might help UK authorities deliver ‘more for less’ at a time when public sector spending is being cut. It has been used widely in the USA with seemingly promising results. Although elements of JR have been tried in the UK, a full-scale implementation has yet to be attempted. Such an attempt will have to give careful consideration to a variety of practical implementation challenges and methodological issues which range from the potential unification and devolution of criminal justice budgets, to the transferability of a predominantly USA-originating evidence base to the UK. This article identifies a number of such issues and attempts to set out an agenda for academic discourse on JR.

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