Justice reinvestment' - which sees resources currently spent on incarcerating offenders in prison redirected into community-based alternatives that tackle the causes of crime - is one way of more effectively rehabilitating offenders. This report demonstrates how a process of justice reinvestment could be made to work in England and Wales.

The report argues for a national policy in which offenders currently sentenced to six months or less (for crimes excluding robbery, violent or sexual crimes) are not sent to prison, but serve tough community sentences instead. To facilitate justice reinvestment, it recommends that local authorities should be given much greater responsibility for the management of low-level offenders and incentivised to keep them out of prison, but also out of trouble.

Developed on a case study conducted in the London borough of Lewisham, the report sets out the scale of the costs of imprisoning the local offender population and identifies the kind of budget that could be made available to a local area. It identifies, in practical terms, what such a local budget could be spent on and how it could be integrated with existing services on the ground, and outlines how, in practice, money could be made to flow around the system in order to make justice reinvestment work.

Note: second edition published in December 2011 - includes new appendix B 'Redesigning justice: local innovations'