CGI and the Police Foundation: Taking prevention seriously – The case for a crime and harm prevention system.
Criminal justice researchers often use the phrase “revolving prison door” to refer to the fact that many ex-offenders end up right back in prison. So, how can agencies work better together to stop this ‘revolving prison door’ scenario’? What initiatives have we seen implemented to, for example, prevent gang and youth violence? How are tech companies working together with other agencies to prevent repeat offenders from re-entering the prison system? When ex-offenders leave the prison system, what does this support look like? To add to this, how are agencies working together to drive down reoffending rates? These are just some of many questions we are keen to answer.
CGI has long supported the approach of prevention being key to easing some of the burden across the Criminal Justice System. So much so that we have been partnering with the Police Foundation to establish the Strategic Review of Policing in England and Wales, which explores what type of police service is required to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century and by direct implication the knock on burden to the Justice system.
The latest report from the review, published this month, explores what it would take to shift the police’s approach to crime and wider harms through preventative measures. This also plays into how our police service can respond to modern day challenges, but also what role society as a whole (including non-policing public agencies, the private sector and local communities) should play in promoting public safety and security. The case for prevention makes intuitive sense. It is better to stop a bad thing happening in the first place than to deal with the effects afterwards. Preventative measures can reduce harm at the individual and population levels that are more beneficial than later interventions and helps to achieve wider economic and social benefits. However, there is little focus on prevention due to a number of interconnected reasons such as, political short termism, fragmented policymaking and possible lack of ‘cashable savings’, among many other reasons.
The report looks at the rationale behind shifting to prevention in relation to crime and other threats to public safety and applies a framework to some case studies to see what this approach might look like, and what this could mean for the role of policing and the resulting impact on the Justice system.