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Justice system to receive spending review funding

New funding announced

11 December 2020
Justice system to receive spending review funding

The government has announced that an extra £4.4bn will be invested in the justice system as part of its recent spending review. This will include £337m to reduce criminal court backlogs and support victims, £76m for family courts and tribunals, as well as £4bn to deliver an extra 18,000 prison places. This additional funding is intended to build on steps already in place to deal with the challenges caused by the pandemic.

The £337m extra funding will support the government’s crime agenda to deliver swift and effective justice to convict offenders, support victims, and protect the wider public. Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary Robert Buckland QC MP said that the funding ‘will help us speed up justice in our courts and continue to deliver modern prison places that keep  criminals off the streets and cut reoffending’.

£275m of the funding for the criminal justice system will manage the impact of 20,000 additional police officers and reduce backlogs exacerbated by the pandemic by increasing capacity in courts, particularly the crown court. This will be on top of existing spending on the courts, including £142m for modernising buildings and improving technology as well as £83m committed in September to make the estate Covid-secure, support remote hearings, recruit 1,600 additional staff and create new Nightingale courts.

The £4bn committed to delivering 18,000 additional prison places over the next four years includes plans to build four new prisons in the next six years, described by the Treasury as the largest prison-building programme in more than a century. £315m will be committed to maintenance and improving the condition of the existing prison estate.

£105m will be committed to improvement to courts, with an additional £43m going towards measures to reduce the transmission of Covid-19 in courts and prisons. The review also allocated £40m to support programmes for victims of crime, particularly victims of domestic abuse.

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