Policies in this section only affect England and Wales unless specified.
The justice system in the UK needs to be based off a system of reforming prisoners and helping them to move away from crime. The focus here is on reducing the number of people reoffending. We also seek to reduce the disadvantages people may face due to their background.
Focus on reforming prisoners. We support a justice system would be much like the Norwegian model which has shown that rehabilitation of prisoners can result in only a very small number of prisoners reoffending. This would hopefully reduce the amount of money that needs to be spent on the prison service overall. Just like the Norwegian system, we would offer education for inmates to help them find work once they have left prison and to help them not to fall into a cycle of reoffending. To reduce prison culture, we also support copying the idea of larger prisons with houses containing multiple rooms rather than cells. These would have separate toilets and showers.
Expanded restorative justice programs. This is where, if the victims agree to it, victims and criminals can discuss the crime that has taken place. This gives the criminal a chance to understand the impact their crime had on the person and the community. The offender then gives back to the community through programs such as community service.
Before prison sentences are handed out, people must be given a full mental health check. In order to ensure our prison services are effective we need to implement full checks when prisoners entre prison rather than the current system of rushed tests, so we know what help needs to be given to prisoners. This would take place before any judgment is made so it can be considered if a sentence is delivered.
If you’ve served a full sentence for a minor crime, it shouldn’t be on your record. This will help prisoners to get back into work after smaller crimes and will hopefully stop them from reoffending due to poverty.
We don’t support the use of the death penalty for any crime. It does not allow for real compensation for those proven innocent, it may end up with the state killing innocent people due to the fact there is never total certainty in almost any case and it does not deter people from committing crimes. While this will lead to some prisoners spending their lives in prison, it will also provide more time to investigate more into cases and for any new information to come to light. We will also campaign for the death penalty to be abolished worldwide as well as within international organisations.
Set the minimum age at which someone can be charged for a crime to 13. Currently the minimum age someone can be tried for a crime is 10 years of age which we feel is too low. The age must be appropriate to when an individual can tell right from wrong. This level is extremely low compared to other countries around the world, so we feel that it needs to be increased to an age where children are more likely to understand their actions.
When someone is tried for a crime, they should remain anonymous. When someone is tried or going to be tried for a crime, they should not have their identity released to the public or through the press unless it is necessary in order to find them. This comes from a belief that justice should be down to the UK’s justice system rather than vigilante justice so releasing someone’s details and image means that is at risk. Along with this it is very difficult to have a fair trial if the story is widely known about as jurors may be convinced before the trial.
Increase legal aid funds. This would involve reversing the cuts in legal aid that have taken place since 2010. This would be alongside reinstating help for cases involving family law and other areas that are no longer covered by legal aid. This would help to reduce some of the inequalities that currently exist in the UK’s court system.
All police must wear body cameras. This would require police officers who are dealing with cases to record their actions. It would allow for a full record of police actions, can help to defend against any accusations of misconduct and makes it easier to review cases afterwards.
All prisons should be publicly run. We do not believe prisons or prison services should be run for profit. We feel a profit-based approach is the wrong motive for prisons to have and that operating under public ownership is a better model. Dangerous individuals should also not be placed under the guard of private companies.
Fines will be proportionate to income. Rather than simply receiving a flat fine the amount charged will depend on the person’s earnings. It’s a system already used in Finland, Sweden and Denmark successfully. This would be used as the method for fining for, Fixed Penalty Notices, for speeding offences and any other fines issues by the police. Under this system those who are poorer will pay less as a fixed fine would likely be a huge dent in their personal finances whilst those who have more money will have a fine that actually make some impact on their finances.
A justice watchdog. The justice watchdog would receive and then investigate complaints against the police or the judiciary by members of the public. It would be able to either refer issues for criminal prosecution or to recommend members of the police or judiciary step down.
Exempt offenders who are pregnant from prison. Offenders who are pregnant should be exempt from prisons with different routes for serious and non-serious offenders. For those convicted of a minor offence this would involve a suspended sentence rather than prison time, something we would support rolling out for smaller offences more generally. For more serious crimes we would instead support a secure environment rather than prison. This would only be usable one time per prison sentence.
Use community service more for minor crimes. Rather than relying on prison community service is where people do jobs for the community. This would be used alongside restorative justice to ensure perpetrators know the effect of their crime.
- Whole UK.
A drug legalisation and decriminalisation program. We would reduce the penalties placed on drug use and treat it as a health issue. This would involve legalisation of softer drugs and decriminalising harder drugs. Legalisation will remove any penalties on the supply or consumption of drugs whilst decriminalisation is where those caught taking drugs will receive a minor penalty or referral to a treatment centre. We also want to re-evaluate the A, B and C classifications for drugs. Finally, we would pardon all of those who have previous offences that are now legal or decriminalised under drug laws. This would change the approach addiction to hard drugs would be treated as a health concern and softer drugs would be treated as recreational. The program would hopefully tackle gangs supplying drugs, ensure drugs do not contain other harmful substances, increase the number of drugs such as cannabis that are grown domestically and any increased tax revenue could be spent on the NHS.