The criminal justice system is one of the largest public services in the country. It is made up of police, the courts, prisons, probation and the Crown Prosecution Service.
There are a number of ways in which people can get involved in the justice system at a local level, from volunteering to attending local meetings.
Find out about the types of volunteering opportunities you can get involved in. You could check to see if your local court is recruiting magistrates, or you might consider helping offenders change their behaviour.
You can go to your local police beat meeting and ask questions about how your police force is tackling crime. Find out about crime in your area and when the next meeting is being held.
Confused by sentencing? You be the Judge is an online tool that let's you sit in the judge's chair, to help demystify sentencing decisions.
Anyone over 14 can watch a criminal trial taking place. You can just drop in, although large groups should contact the magistrates' court, Crown Court or combined court in advance. To do this, find your local court.
School students in years 8 and 9 can take part in a competition against other schools, taking on the role of lawyers, witnesses, magistrates and court staff.
Community payback is unpaid work for offenders. If you know of a piece of work that needs doing in your community, why not nominate a project for offenders to do?
If you are part of a minority group, judges can come and talk to you about the justice system. These judges are called Diversity and Community Relations Judges. Find out more about what they do and how to organise a visit on the Judiciary site.
You can get a magistrate to visit your school, college, workplace or community group to explain their role in the justice system and how sentencing works. Visit the Magistrates' Association website to organise a presentation.
Probation officers and magistrates can come to your community group, school or college to talk about community sentences (tagging or unpaid work for example), and how they differ from prison sentences. To organise a visit, contact your local Probation Trust.
Some prisons give tours of the prison building. Others have visitors centres where you can get information about local services. Contact your local prison to find out what it offers.
Many local councils hold regular community meetings where people can discuss local criminal justice issue. Check your local council site to find out about opportunities near you.
Keep up to date with developments in sentencing and rehabilitation plus more opportunities to have your say.
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