The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has launched a new strategy to protect “the rights of suspects and defendants” and to ensure “the right person is prosecuted for the right offence”.

Defendants Strategy

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CPS Defendants: Fairness for All Strategy 2025

The CPS says it wants to contribute towards a “fair and just system”. To meet this goal, the organisation has launched a new strategy called ‘CPS Defendants: Fairness for All Strategy 2025’. The strategy address three key areas where suspects and defendants may face challenges when involved in the criminal justice system. They are:

  • Mental health
  • Youth justice
  • Proportionality of decision making

Mental health

A 2021 inspection found there was poor support for people with mental health conditions within the criminal justice system. The new strategy aims to identify where a suspect or defendant has a mental health condition. A code will then be added to the individual’s file on the CPS Case Management System to allow for closer mental health monitoring. A defendant’s needs will be continually reviewed to make sure the right support is in place. The CPS and the National Police Chiefs Council will also pilot a neurodevelopmental checklist for suspects.

Youth justice

A previous Serious Youth Crime review found issues with the way in which young people are prosecuted. Under the new strategy, the language used in court will be made more child friendly. Prosecutors will also be trained in how to deal with complex youth casework or standard cases involving children. Going forward, the CPS will work closely with the Ministry of Justice to suggest ways in which the system can be improved to help child suspects and defendants.

Proportionality of decision making

Just over a quarter of the UK prison population is from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds. The CPS has commissioned a “substantial independent academic review of disproportionality in the outcomes of our decision-making to look at both national and local trends”. It will use the findings of this review to make changes across the justice system where needed.

Fairness for all

The CPS states it is committed to fairness for all parties – as are we as criminal defence solicitors. We represent the interests of suspects and defendants accused of crime. We promise to uphold your rights and protect your position for as long as you are involved in the criminal justice system.

If you are looking for a lawyer, contact us now for a free, confidential discussion. We are members of the Legal Aid scheme.

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