Jane Hutt AM, Deputy Minister and Chief Whip
Todays’ publication of the Wales Governance Centre’s report, Sentencing and Immediate Custody in Wales: A Fact file, is timely. The findings will assist us in establishing a clearer picture of sentencing and custody in Wales which will influence our future work around offending. The report highlights the differences in sentencing between Wales and England and the importance of having Wales-specific data so we can understand better the operation of justice policy and practice.
Whilst justice remains a non-devolved function, work is underway with a range of partners to make sure we collectively provide the best possible solutions for offenders in Wales. The ‘Framework to support positive change for those at risk of offending in Wales’, developed by Welsh Government and Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) in Wales, published in April 2018, seeks to improve services for those at risk of re-entering, or those who are already in the criminal justice system; to promote continued collaboration to reduce the number of offenders and re-offenders; and to keep communities safe.
Working with the Youth Justice Board Cymru and HMPPS, we are developing proposals for how a distinct and different justice system would operate specifically for female and youth offenders in Wales. Early intervention and prevention are key - considering how we can divert people away from crime in the first place in a holistic and rehabilitative way is essential to Wales future outlook.
I would like to thank Dr Robert Jones and the Wales Governance Centre for their work and commitment to this important piece of research and for his ongoing engagement with the Welsh Government.