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Chapter

This chapter examines the powers of criminal courts to make a mental health-based disposal rather than relying on the options available within the criminal justice and penal system when faced with a mentally disordered person accused or convicted of a crime. It considers the practical shape of diversion policy, in terms of a series of decisions made by criminal courts, at the various stages of the criminal process, as to whether an accused or convicted person should remain within the criminal justice system or instead be diverted into the mental health system.

Chapter

This chapter evaluates the alternative means of responding to offenders and their crimes which have emerged in criminal justice and have been gaining wider recognition. Those who favour innovations of this kind tend to reject conventional assumptions and approaches, proposing new principles for the operation of the justice system. The chapter considers two distinct but similar challenges to conventional models of justice which have developed from this viewpoint: restorative justice and diversion. Restorative justice is based on the presumption that dealing with crime is a process rather than a single act or decision, that it involves collaboration between those with a stake in the offence, and that it emphasises healing as well as ‘putting things right’. Diversionary interventions, which can include community service, restitution, and education, as well as elements of restorative practice, provide an opportunity for the offender to avoid criminal charges or formal judicial processes, albeit sometimes by meeting certain conditional requirements.

Chapter

Lesley McAra

This chapter explores the founding principles, operational functioning and impact of the institutions which have evolved across the four nations in the United Kingdom to deal with children and young people who come into conflict with the law. It takes as its principal empirical focus the shifting patterns of control that have emerged over the past twenty years—a period characterized by a persistent disjuncture between normative claims about youth justice, evolving policy discourse, and the impact of youth justice practices on the lives of young people. The chapter concludes by arguing that, unless there is better alignment between these dimensions, justice for children and young people cannot and will never be delivered.

Chapter

This chapter examines the role of the police, both as agents of the criminal justice system and as agents of the mental health system. It discusses the policy of diversion; police encounters with mentally disordered persons; the diversion of mentally disordered criminal suspects into an investigative regime with greater safeguards than are ordinarily implemented; and the meaning of ‘absent without leave’.

Chapter

This chapter deals with youth crime and youth justice: offending behaviour committed by children and young people and their subsequent treatment in the justice system. It considers the argument for a bespoke understanding and response to youth and crime as distinct from offending behaviour committed by adults. The discussion begins by looking at how the concepts of ‘childhood’ and ‘youth’ have been theorised and socially constructed over time. The chapter then examines how youth crime and ‘delinquency’ have been explained in individualised, developmental, and agentic terms; how young people may grow into crime, with particular emphasis on the role of culture in deviance; and the link between radicalisation and youth crime. It also describes the dominant formal responses to youth crime before concluding with an overview of progressive, contemporary approaches to delivering youth justice/responding to youth crime, namely, diversion and positive youth justice.

Chapter

26. Alternatives to punishment  

Diversion and restorative justice

This chapter considers two alternatives to punishment: diversion and restorative justice. It begins by looking at approaches to the delivery of criminal justice which challenge conventional assumptions about crime and punishment. It then traces the origins and development of restorative ideas and practices and goes on to discuss the emergence and impact of diversion as an intervention strategy; the purpose of alternatives to punishment and offence resolution; the structure, organisation, and operation of alternatives to punishment; and the achievements of alternatives to punishment. It also cites examples of the implementation of alternatives to punishment before concluding with an assessment of the limitations of alternatives to punishment.

Chapter

6. Instead of punishment?  

Restorative justice, child welfare, and medical treatment

This chapter looks at three aspects of sentencing and punishment which—though very different—potentially offer alternatives to a focus on punishment. It first discusses an alternative rationale and approach for responding to those who commit offences, restorative justice and then discusses two sets of offenders where the court does not have to sentence strictly in line with just deserts. So it focuses on children and young people under 18 years of age and examines the policies developed to take into account the welfare of the child, such as diversion from prosecution and a modified approach to strict proportionality of penal responses. Next the chapter focuses on those offenders who are deemed to be mentally disordered and reviews those options available to the sentencing court which focus on treatment rather than punishment. Finally, the chapter provides reflective exercises for all three (potential) alternatives to punishment.

Chapter

This chapter discusses the following issues: the terminology of youth justice; the youth justice organisations; the meaning of parental responsibility; the principal aims of the youth justice system; the early diversion procedures to prevent further offending; the juvenile at the police station; the alternatives to prosecution; and the decision to charge.

Chapter

Martin Hannibal and Lisa Mountford

This chapter discusses the following issues: the terminology of youth justice; the youth justice organisations; the meaning of parental responsibility; the principal aims of the youth justice system; the early diversion procedures to prevent further offending; the juvenile at the police station; the alternatives to prosecution; and the decision to charge.

Chapter

This chapter examines whether the combination of laws, policies, and procedures of different prosecuting and enforcement agencies is fair and effective, and why an overwhelming proportion of defendants plead guilty. It discusses the respective roles of the police and Crown Prosecution Service in prosecution decision-making; how cases are constructed for prosecution; the criteria for prosecution decision-making; diversion from prosecution; review of prosecution decisions; the different treatment of ‘regulatory’ offences and ‘real’ crime; the roles of police, prosecutors, judges and defence lawyers in persuading defendants to plead guilty; the incentives, even for the innocent, to plead guilty; whether plea bargaining should be abolished.

Chapter

This chapter first explains the role of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the factors that are taken into account when deciding to charge a suspect or to divert him from prosecution. It then examines the important obligations which are placed upon the CPS both at common law and under statute to serve pre-trial disclosure of evidence upon the defendant and their importance to the right to a fair trial. Defence disclosure obligations are also considered.

Chapter

This chapter first explains the role of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the factors that are taken into account when deciding to charge a suspect or to divert him from prosecution. It then examines the important obligations which are placed upon the CPS both at common law and under statute to serve pre-trial disclosure of evidence upon the defendant and their importance to the right to a fair trial. Defence disclosure obligations are also considered.