Government to cost restorative justice after Huppert's call

June 23, 2010 2:19 PM

Julian HuppertGovernment officials are to work out the financial benefits of their restorative justice programme after a call from Cambridge MP Julian Huppert.

Crispin Blunt, Under-Secretary of State for Justice, said that the work would be carried out after Julian raised the issue in a written Parliamentary Question.

Julian also wants to know what effect restorative justice - where offenders face up to their actions in the presence of victims - has on the rate of reoffending.

Mr Blunt said: "The evidence base for restorative justice approaches is complex and to date, there has been no comprehensive cost benefit analysis of restorative justice approaches. I have asked officials to undertake this work."

Julian referred to the benefits of restorative justice in his Maiden Speech and said how Cambridge criminologist, Professor Larry Sherman has shown how it was more effective at reducing future crime, cost less and was preferred by victims.

After Mr Blunt's response, he said: "Our prisons are overcrowded and the cost to the taxpayer is immense," said Julian. "It is clear that for many crimes, jail sentences lead to reoffending. Criminals receive little education and support making it extremely difficult for them to re-enter society and in many cases, they return to a life of crime.

"I will be interested in the findings of this analysis not only in the benefits in financial terms but also in the effect the programme has had on re-offending rates."

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