Our report shows how failures in the criminal justice system have a negative impact on lives and lead to injustice. It also recommends improvements for the government to address.
Figures from the Office of National Statistics show that almost one in seven people will be a victim of crime in a 12-month period. Many more, such as family members and friends, will be affected indirectly.
To make sure these people have a positive experience of the criminal justice system and feel like they've been treated fairly, it's essential that the system is efficient, orderly and just.
However, due to many years of underinvestment, our criminal justice system is no longer up to the task. As well as widespread administrative problems, there are problems such as:
- increasing court closures
- barriers to accessing legal aid
- a growing shortage of duty solicitors
- instances of crucial evidence not being available until the last minute
Our recommendations to the government include:
- an independent analysis of what funding is required to keep the system running long-term
- increasing the means test in line with inflation
- increasing criminal legal aid fees
- a central register of all release under investigation cases
We also called for a criminal legal aid task force bringing together the entire sector – solicitors, barristers, prosecutors and the judiciary – to help improve the system for all.