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Problem-solving courts and Truss’s new tough on crime agenda

22 August 2016

Is another politically ambitious justice secretary preparing for a grandstand appearance at the next Tory party conference, wonders Jonathan Black

Last weekend the Guardian reported that one of the first moves by Justice Secretary Liz Truss is to rein in proposals to introduce 'problem-solving courts'. The brainchild of her predecessor, Michael Gove, it is said Truss feels that such a scheme would be seen as 'soft' on offenders who ought to be imprisoned.

The legal profession did not greet Gove's fact-finding tour of Texas with much enthusiasm. Some said it was an unnecessary use of ministerial funds to establish what we knew already, others proclaimed that it had been tried and tested in England and Wales without success, while there were also suggestions that th...

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