Digging up the Grassroots: The Impact of Marketisation and Managerialism on Local Justice 1997-2013

Published 11/12/2013
Type Article
Author(s) Phil Bowen, Dr Jane Donoghue
Corresponding Authors Phil Bowen, Director of the Centre for Justice Innovation Dr Jane Donoghue, Reader in Law, Lancaster University

Since 1997, successive governments have undertaken fundamental reforms to the criminal justice system in England and Wales. Many of the policy reforms enacted during this period have had principles of managerialism and marketisation of criminal justice services at their core, which have at times appeared counter-intuitive to parallel objectives which emphasise ‘localism’ and efforts to promote community justice. This article identifies the core concepts of local and community justice and examines their inter-relationship and (ir)reconcilability with competing trends of managerialism and marketisation since the election of the Labour Government in 1997. The prospects for local and community justice since the election of the Coalition government in 2010 are considered. The article concludes by arguing that the justice marketisation trend, of which Transforming Rehabilitation (MoJ, 2013b) is a prime example, is the continuation of a specific operating model, of which advocates of local justice should undoubtedly be skeptical.