Time for ‘bold action’ by new government to reduce cycle of reoffending, says Revolving Doors

The charity Revolving Doors hopes the historic victory by the Labour Party will be the catalyst for the incoming government to seize a mandate for fundamental change in the criminal justice system.

Jul 5, 2024
By Paul Jacques
Pavan Dhaliwal, chief executive, Revolving Doors

Chief executive officer Pavan Dhaliwal says the “time for bold action is now” to reduce the cycle of reoffending and turn lives around.

“As the new government takes the helm, we face an urgent need to break the cycle of crime driven by poverty, trauma, housing insecurity, and unmet health needs,” she said.

“Our ‘Beyond the Cycle’ roadmap offers clear, actionable steps to transform our criminal justice system.

“By replacing short-term prison sentences with effective community-based solutions, enhancing diversion programmes, and addressing root causes, we can reduce reoffending and build safer communities.”

Ms Dhaliwal admitted this “isn’t an easy task”, but with political will, the new Labour Government can make it happen. “The cost of inaction is too high – both financially and socially,” she said.

“We are urging the Government to take this moment to implement real, lasting change. By focusing on comprehensive support and rehabilitation, we can turn lives around and create a justice system that truly works for everyone. The time for bold action is now.”

She added: “For over 30 years, we have worked to end the revolving door of crisis and crime, and campaigned for a reformed justice system that addresses the unmet health and social needs that drive repeat offending.

“Our roadmap published today prioritises diversion, pathways into support and tangible ways that can help both staffing issues and engagement levels, namely the use of peer support.”

Ms Dhaliwal said “progress has certainly not been linear”, adding: “Whilst success stories can be found across the system and, most of all, amongst our lived experience members, the justice system today is in disarray.

“There needs to be recognition that people in the revolving door are often both perpetrators and victims: navigating their way through broken systems, which further entrench the causal factors to their offending.

“This includes dealing with unprecedented delays in court and bouncing in and out of prison on ineffective short-term sentences, often unsupported by an overwhelmed, understaffed probation service whilst the root causes of offending go unaddressed.”

Ms Dhaliwal said over the coming weeks, months and years, they will continue to push for the “systemic rethink and reset” needed to break the cycle of crisis and crime.

“We know what works,” she said. “With our members, we have co-produced this roadmap for the incoming government, aligned to Labour’s manifesto priorities and missions and laying out tangible, achievable goals to tackle the cycle of crisis and crime.

“Real systems change takes longer than one term of government, but we still believe meaningful change is possible from day one.”

This document is not a wish-list; it is a practical approach to ending the revolving door, said Ms Dhaliwal, “taking us beyond the cycle of repeat offending towards a system that works for everyone”.

“The historic victory by the Labour Party has delivered one of the largest majorities in recent British political history,” she said. “It is Revolving Doors’ hope that this will be the catalyst for the incoming Government to seize a mandate for fundamental change.”

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