Our Ministry of Justice (MOJ) needs a rebrand to focus on what’s important. 

You’ve probably never heard of: Burbn, Confinity, Backrub, Odeo, Relentless, Auctionweb or Brad’s Drinks.

However most of you know the brands they became: Instagram, Paypal, Google, Twitter, Amazon, eBay and Pepsi-Cola.

Yes Google’s first name was “Backrub”. Would we still talk about “backrubbing it” if Google had not become the search engine’s name? Potentially “Relentless” would have made Jeff Bezos equally as wealthy, I guess we’ll never know. 

Organisation names are important. They give a first impression of an organisation and help communicate the business strategy. The best names sum up the company in a single word. “Paypal”, a friend that helps me pay for things, makes sense. Weight Watchers recent rebrand to WW was not as well received, because customers no longer identified with the brand. “Am off to double-u double-u” doesn’t have the same ring to it. 

When we named our social enterprise, MAKE TIME COUNT TODAY, we were working with people on probation. We wanted their time with probation to count. We wanted that to start immediately. Hence our name. 

It is with this in mind, I propose a rebrand for the Ministry of Justice.

Why don’t I like the “Ministry of Justice”? Basically I don’t think it sums up its priorities adequately. 

When you think “Justice” what images pop into your head? Courts? Judges, silly wigs, the gavel coming down? Same here. 

So please welcome… the new Ministry for Victim Justice and Rehabilitation (M-Vee-Jar).

Part 1. Ministry for Victim Justice… Victims to the fore! 

Justice should be for the victim’s benefit. According to survey from the Victims’ Commissioner:

  • Only 43% of victims would report a crime again – less than half!
  • 50% would attend court again, down from 67% in 2020
  • Less than 10% felt they were supported by the courts.

Based on the numbers above, we’re failing the victims of crime. We are putting people off reporting crimes in the future. 

Hence my suggestion to add “Victims” to the department’s name, putting them at the forefront of every decision.  

Governments love targets, so the target for the new department is to:

Increase victim satisfaction to over 75%. 

Part 2 …and Rehabilitation. Make stopping further crime the priority.

Why? Because when victims are asked what they most want from the justice process, they say that nobody else should experience what they went through. Victims want criminals to be rehabilitated.

90% of crimes are committed by people with at least one conviction. If a first time crime is a personal failure, subsequent crimes are systematic failures. 

Our attention isn’t focussed on rehabilitation. And this is reflected in where we spend our money:

  • Prison budget: £5.6bn
  • Rehabilitation budget: ??

It’s actually hard to work out how much we spend on rehabilitation. Try Backrubbing, sorry Googling, “UK budget for rehabilitation of criminals”. The first result is the prisons budget. So perhaps we spend billions on rehabilitation, but I doubt it.

When we talk about a “sentence”, the outcomes of the Justice process, the definition* is:

“The punishment for a crime ordered by a trial court after conviction in a criminal procedure. A sentence may consist of imprisonment, a fine, or other sanctions”.

Unfortunately the court order is never that “I sentence you to become a plumber so you may earn a decent living and stop stealing”.

We know the standard treadmill of police > court > prison doesn’t work. 60% of released prisoners with short term offences will reoffend. Like some diets, they work for a while but old habits return. Only a rehabilitated individual with new connections in life can be successfully diverted away from crime. 

Key success factor for the new department…?

Reduce the reoffending rate to under 10%. 

So there you have it, the newly formed Ministry for Victim Justice and Rehabilitation. 

The new government department fully committed to improving victim outcomes and ensuring rates of reoffending are reduced.

*Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sentence_(law)

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