The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) will invest more than £90 million to make our streets safer, improve community sentences and support victims of rape and domestic abuse after the Chancellor announced new funding in yesterday’s Budget.
Nearly £70 million will go towards toughening community sentences – including the use of new technology such as alcohol monitoring sobriety tags and GPS location tracking.
A further £15 million will help improve the support available for rape victims – such as the recruitment of more Independent Sexual Violence Advisers who help guide victims through the justice system. £5 million will help fund a pilot of new integrated domestic abuse courts which consider family and criminal matters in parallel – providing more consistent support for victims.
This new investment builds on the progress made at last year’s Spending Round, where the government prioritised cutting crime by providing funding to hire 20,000 new police officers, begin the delivery of 10,000 new prison places and to reform the probation system.
Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary Robert Buckland QC MP said:
This extra funding will be vital in delivering our promise to better protect the public and restore faith in the justice system.
From using new tagging technology to monitor offenders’ movements and alcohol intake to boosting support for victims – this government is driving improvements at every stage of the justice system.
Some of the funding for community sentences will also go towards supporting the government’s commitment to breaking the cycle of female offending by diverting women from prison into specialised support services.
In addition, £3 million will go towards launching a Royal Commission into the Criminal Justice System to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the criminal justice process.
The total funding for MOJ in the 2020 Budget totals £247.5 million, which includes £156 million for maintenance work in the prison estate and was announced last year.
Notes to editors
- Legislation has been introduced to allow the introduction of alcohol monitoring sobriety tags and will come into force later this year.
- The tags perform around-the-clock monitoring of alcohol in an offender’s perspiration. If they drink – breaching their alcohol abstinence order – they can be returned to court for further sanctions.
- A successful two-year pilot across London (MOPAC) showed over 90% compliance rate with the tags – with offenders themselves saying they had a positive impact on their lives, wellbeing and offending behaviour.
- GPS location monitoring was rolled out last year and allows real-time monitoring of exclusion zones which help to protect victims and monitor offender’s attendance at work or rehab programmes
The funding commitments in the Budget for MOJ include:
- £156 million for maintenance work in the prison estate (previously announced in 2019)
- £68.5 million to strengthen community sentences including by rolling out alcohol monitoring tags
- £15 million to improve support available for victims of rape and their experience of the criminal justice system
- £5 million to pilot integrated domestic abuse courts in England and Wales. These courts will provide better and more consistent support for victims in their experience of the justice system.
- £3 million to launch a Royal Commission into the Criminal Justice System to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the criminal justice process.
The Ministry of Justice also received a large increase to their 20/21 budget at the Spending Round. The 4.9% real terms increase included:
- funding to begin the delivery of the governments £2.5 billionn commitment to create 10,000 new prison places
- £100 million to increase security in prisons through the introduction of airport style security scanners
- additional funding to support the ongoing reform of the probation system which will help reduce reoffending
- March 12, 2020 at 5:24 pm by Editor (displayed above)
- March 12, 2020 at 5:24 pm by Editor