Last year, the Ministry of Justice announced its ‘Smarter Approach to Sentencing’ White Paper, to which JUSTICE responded with recommendations relating to remand and bail in the Youth Justice System, based on the findings of its recently launched Working Party report, ‘Tackling Racial Injustice: Children and the Youth Justice System’.
This month, the Government brought forward the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. As well as setting out the measures detailed in the White Paper, it includes several other proposals, including provisions for the creation of Serious Violence Reduction Orders (SVROs), which JUSTICE advised against in its consultation response to the Home Office in November last year.
JUSTICE is deeply concerned by several measures in the Bill, not least the disproportionate impact it could have on Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic communities, its proposals to increase tariffs for a number of offences, the restrictions on the right to protest, the creation of SVROs, and the discriminatory effect that the new restrictions on unauthorised encampments could have on Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities. JUSTICE has expressed its concerns with the Bill alongside numerous other NGOS in two open letters. We intend to publish a briefing on the Bill in due course.