Criminal Proceedings

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 5th April 2022.

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Photo of Tom Hunt Tom Hunt Conservative, Ipswich

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department has taken to monitor older people’s experience of the criminal justice system.

Photo of Kit Malthouse Kit Malthouse The Minister of State, Home Department, The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice, Minister of State (Ministry of Justice and Home Office)

We recognise that some older people can need additional support to access services.

Vulnerable victims, including some older victims, may face specific barriers to engaging victim support services or the criminal justice system. The Victims’ Code sets out a clear framework of 12 key overarching entitlements that set out what all victims can expect from all criminal justice agencies. Vulnerable victims are eligible for enhanced support under the Code, such as being offered a referral to a specialist support service, being contacted sooner after key decisions and having access to special measures when giving evidence.

We have also recently consulted on a Victims’ Bill, which will build on the foundations provided by the Victims’ Code to substantially improve victims’ experiences of the criminal justice system. The consultation committed to placing the Code in legislation, and explored options in relation to using victims’ experiences to drive improvements, and making clearer and sharper lines of accountability if victims do not receive their entitlements from criminal justice agencies.

We also recognise that older individuals in the criminal justice system can face barriers to accessing services which can rehabilitate them. We are developing an ageing prison population strategy currently, with the aim of ensuring older prisoners are rehabilitated successfully, reducing reoffending and better protecting the public.

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