A Ministerial visit to Manchester Magistrates’ Court marked the latest stage in strengthening the devolved justice agreement between local government in Greater Manchester and the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), focused on improving justice outcomes and experiences for offenders, victims, witnesses and the communities and neighbourhoods in which they live.
Beverley Hughes, Greater Manchester’s Deputy Mayor for Police and Crime, alongside court colleagues, welcomed Minister Edward Argar to the Manchester Magistrates’ Court Witness Suite on Friday 31 May where together they formally recognised the city-region’s partnership with the MoJ, underpinned by a refreshed and reinvigorated Justice Devolution Memorandum of Understanding. They spent some time talking to people who had been through the justice system to understand where improvements can continue to be made.
In a further sign of partnership working, the MoJ is supporting the city-region’s own justice and rehabilitation priorities. The new MoU, building upon the Greater Manchester Devolution Deal agreed in March 2016, prioritises four key areas of justice partnership and reform:
- Youth Justice Transformation: An integrated offer for Greater Manchester’s young people
- Smarter Justice: Taking a problem solving approach and using family centred principles
- Reforming Adult Offender Management: From conviction, to custody to resettlement and rehabilitation
- Improving the Victim Journey: Streamlining the system to improve the quality of services and the experience
The Deputy Mayor said: “The commitments within this MoU are central to our mission of unifying public services for the benefit of the people of Greater Manchester. It is a testament to the partnership that has been forged with the Ministry of Justice that there is a joint ambition to improve outcomes and experiences across all aspects of our justice system, and to embed criminal justice services in our place-based approach across Greater Manchester.
“The original Justice Devolution Memorandum of Understanding was signed in the summer of 2016 and much has changed since that time. I remain very clear that the joint designing and commissioning of our justice services provides real opportunities for government and Greater Manchester to continue to work closely together to ensure that justice and community services are more effectively integrated – the better aligned our services become, the better the outcomes for the public who come into contact with them.”
Justice Minister Edward Argar said: “Strengthening our devolved justice agreement with Greater Manchester will help transform the way the criminal justice and offender management systems interact with local partners in the region.
“This will allow Greater Manchester to play a more active role in rehabilitating offenders, supporting victims and ultimately reducing the impact of crime.”
Alongside formally signing the newly-drafted MoU, the Minister and Deputy Mayor met victims and witnesses who have recent experience of the city-region’s justice system.
View the Justice Devolution Memorandum of Understanding online here.
Article Published: 31/05/2019 15:33 PM