The E & W MoJ Action Plan notes that about £30 million has been made available for the 3 years up to March 2016, (so only £10 million each year) but no information about what comes next. In one local Neighbourhood Justice Panel (Lambeth, in south London) we still don’t know if we have funding for the financial year beginning in 6 weeks’ time.
There are several paragraphs beginning ‘Advise, support and provide …’, ‘Map and review current learning/research …’ and so on – it’s noticeable that they are all sentences with no subject! In other words, we don’t know whose job it will be to do these things. There’s nothing about setting up a unit within the MoJ for the purpose. The suspicion is, that with current staffing cuts everywhere it will be the job of some civil servant with about ten other tasks in his or her portfolio. That’s what happened to the city of Bristol’s attempt to become a restorative city.
It also says ‘’The MoJ will need to work with PCCs [41 of them], the National Offender Management Service, Community Rehabilitation Companies [21 of them], the National Probation Service [what’s left of it], prisons [about 130] and the youth custodial estate, the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales, youth offending teams [about 50], the police and voluntary, community and social enterprise sector organisations working with victims and offenders.’ As the American humorist Milt Gross said, ‘Is diss a system?’