Ministry of Justice
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Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill

Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill

MINISTRY OF JUSTICE News Release (088-07) issued by The Government News Network on 26 June 2007

Tougher offences to tackle crime and new measures to cut re-offending

Tougher offences to tackle crime and strong, new measures to cut re-offending were announced today by David Hanson MP, Minister of Justice and Baroness Scotland, Home Office Minister for Crime Reduction.

David Hanson said:

"Today's bill builds on the considerable reforms to the Criminal Justice System over the past ten years to rebalance the system in favour of the victim and the law-abiding majority. Much has already been achieved in protecting the public, reducing re-offending, promoting and improving access to justice and increasing public confidence in the justice system.

He continued:

"The public needs a justice system that serves them and today's bill is the next stage to reforming the criminal justice system so the public get the protection they deserve.

"We are introducing tougher offences to tackle crime, such as the measure that will allow NHS health bodies in England and Northern Ireland to tackle behaviour that causes a nuisance or disturbance on their premises and stronger, new measures to cut re-offending. We need to properly protect the public from serious and dangerous individuals and give the courts the tools to issue tough community sentences to rehabilitate offenders and reduce re-offending and in doing so make best use of prison and resources."

Home Office Minister Baroness Scotland said:

"The legislation we have announced today shows that the Government is delivering on many of the pledges announced by the Home Secretary last year to rebalance the criminal justice system, protect the public and rebuild confidence in our immigration system.

"Measures in this bill make good the Government's commitment to change the law to deny leave to remain to foreign nationals involved in terrorism or serious crime while new powers will be created to protect the public from violent offenders who present a high risk of harm."

The bill will:

* End automatic sentence discounts for offenders re-sentenced to an indeterminate sentence after initial sentencing decision ruled unduly lenient;

* Stop the plainly guilty having their convictions quashed because of procedural irregularities;

* Give powers for Courts to make dangerous offenders given a discretionary life sentence serve a higher proportion of their tariff before eligible for parole consideration;

* Create a presumption that trials in magistrates' courts will proceed in the absence of the accused;

* New offence of possession of extreme pornography;

* Extend of existing crack house closure powers to tackle premises at the centre of serious and persistent disorder or nuisance, regardless of tenure;

* Create a new offence of causing nuisance or disturbance on NHS premises;

* Violent Offender Orders, which will allow courts to impose post-sentence restrictions on those convicted of violent offences e.g. residence or movement restrictions;

* Removing the power to impose Suspended Sentence Orders for summary only offences;

* Providing for non-dangerous offenders who breach the terms of their licence to be recalled to prison for a fixed 28 day period;

* Creation of the Youth Rehabilitation Order - a generic community sentence for children and young offenders, simplifying the current sentencing framework;

* Creation of the Youth Conditional Caution for young offenders aged 16 and 17;

* Bringing compensation for the wrongly convicted into line with that for victims of crime;

* A new special immigration status for terrorists and serious criminals who cannot currently be removed from the UK for legal reasons.

Notes to Editors

1. The Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill was published 26 June 2007 and is available at: http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/legislation.htm

2. The CJS Review, Rebalancing the criminal justice system in favour of the law-abiding majority was published by the Home Office in July 2006
The review can be found at: http://www.cjsonline.gov.uk/downloads/application/pdf/CJS_Review.pdf

3. ''Penal Policy - a background paper' was published by the Ministry of Justice on 9 May 2007 and is available at: http://www.justice.gov.uk/penalpolicy.htm

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