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Justice Reinvestment in an "Age of Austerity": Developments in the United Kingdom

Wong, K and Fox, C and Albertson, K (2014) Justice Reinvestment in an "Age of Austerity": Developments in the United Kingdom. Victims and Offenders, 9 (1). pp. 76-99. ISSN 1556-4886

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Abstract

In the UK, national and local governments are struggling to cope with the economic crisis which ensued in 2008. The effects of that crisis are still being felt in the United Kingdom, with significant reductions in public sector expenditure leading to budget cuts in the criminal justice system and public services more generally. In June 2013, the UK Chancellor projected further expenditure cuts from 2015 onward. Justice reinvestment (JR) has been proposed by UK policy makers and campaign groups as one way of responding to these economic problems. Proponents argue that, at a modest level, it has the potential to deliver efficiency gains in how the criminal justice system is operated. On a more ambitious scale, JR may fundamentally transform the way in which criminal justice services are delivered. Drawing on evidence from JR experiments in the United Kingdom-including Payment by Results (PbR) pilots in England and Wales-this paper examines the nature and extent to which models of JR can be implemented in an "age of austerity" against the backdrop of the wider application of PbR commissioning for criminal justice and related services. © 2014 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

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