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The Government's response to the Breaking the Cycle consultation ... Consultation

Breaking the Cycle: Government Response

The consultation

In December 2010, we launched a consultation (Green Paper) called 'Breaking the Cycle: Effective Punishment, Rehabilitation and Sentencing of Offenders.'

This asked people what they thought of our proposals to change the ways we punish, sentence and rehabilitate offenders.

The paper focused on the following aims:

  • making punishments demanding, robust and credible
  • improving how we reform offenders to keep the public safe, cut crime and prevent more people from becoming victims; and
  • making offenders pay back to victims and communities for the harm they have caused.

More than 1,200 people responded to the consultation and their ideas and suggestions have helped shape the Government's response.

The response is divided into four sections:


Strengthening punishments so they are both robust and demanding. Offenders will have no choice but to confront the consequences of their crimes. Read more


Making offenders pay back to victims and society for the harm they have caused - both directly and indirectly. Read more


Getting offenders off drugs and alcohol will be a priority, as will addressing mental health problems and getting offenders back into work. We will also pioneer payment by results schemes in offender management. Read more


Simpler sentencing and reducing unnecessary bureaucracy that can prevent professionals from acting quickly. To deliver these improvements, we need to see all parts of the justice system working together. Read more

Response document

You can read the full response document which sets out the Government's plans following the consultation.

The proposals it describes will require us to work with a range of partners to achieve the common aims of more effective punishment, more reparation, and, by breaking the cycle of crime, a safer public.

Download the full response document.

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