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News - 20 October 2012

Labour's shadow justice secretary commits to Restorative Justice

Labour's shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan told the recent Labour party conference that a new Labour government would oblige Courts to consider restorative justice solutions. It would also focus on mental health and women in prison.

According to Khan, 'Labour must adapt to today's tough landscape. Not over-promising, but deliverable policies matching our values of fairness and decency, rooted in evidence of what works, a sign of a true one nation party. And tough on crime – catching, punishing and reforming criminals, sending a clear unambiguous message about the wrongs of crime.'

Khan called for reforms that reduce current 'scandalous' re-offending rates. He placed emphasis on rehabilitiation, identification of mental issues among offenders and addressing the fact that 'there are far too many women in our prisons today. Labour will begin the work to look at introducing a Women's Justice Board, working with women offenders in our prisons and probation system' said Khan. 

He also emphasised his support for the extension of Restorative Justice in courts. 'Our battle to lower re-offending can be helped by the use of restorative justice. Used not as an alternative to punishment, but designed to complement it, with offenders taking responsibility for their crimes. Offering a level of reparation for the victim that punishment alone cannot always deliver can lead to greater confidence by victims and the public. A future Labour government will oblige courts to consider the option of restorative justice as part of any sentence handed down, he said.

For Mr Khan's speech in full click here

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