There were 112 responses to the consultation. The most common category of respondent was local authorities (22%). Also common were responses from individuals (20%).
Three options were described in the consultation paper: an “enhanced Community Justice Authority (CJA) model” (Option A); a “local authority model” (Option B); and a “single service model” (Option C). The analysis found that where clear preferences could be identified, a very small number of respondents expressed a preference for Option A; a much larger number for Option B; and a small number for Option C. A number of respondents also provided alternative options.
Option B was identified most frequently as more likely to meet the key characteristics of a successful community justice system in all but 3 of the 15 characteristics highlighted in the consultation paper. In these 3 cases (a strong, united voice; an overview of the system as a whole; and ability to follow national and international innovation), Option C was identified most frequently.
A range of concerns with Option A were identified, including: problems with CJAs; bureaucracy, complexity and duplication; disconnection; weaknesses in performance management and accountability; resource implications; and a negative impact on practice and outcomes. Some positive aspects of Option A were also highlighted, including: strengthening the current model; and the positive role of CJAs to date.
A range of positive aspects of Option B were identified. Those highlighted most frequently related to: links to Community Planning Partnerships (CPPs); partnership working; meeting local needs; aspects of service effectiveness; and leadership, direction and accountability. The most common concerns expressed about Option B related to the impact of the option on the overall pattern of provision and consistency of service delivery.