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Justice & prisons

Along with two other government departments we are responsible for ensuring that justice is done in the UK. Justice means ensuring people who break the law are punished fairly and rehabilitated if possible, victims of crime are supported, and our communities and families are safer and happier as a result.

We’re reforming the justice system to make sure we achieve these goals, moving the focus away from the offender, and towards the needs of victims and witnesses. 

The justice system – meaning the process that starts with a crime being reported and ends with an offender being punished – is a complicated process.  This section outlines each major part of the system, explaining what happens when, and who the main agencies are that are involved.

What's new

How would you like to see your local area Cleaned Up?

Clean Up Week 2006 gives you the chance to vote for a project in your area to be cleaned up by offenders serving community sentences.

Vote for a Clean Up project now!


Explore this section:

  • Prison

    Some offenders will be sentenced to a term in prison - find out more about the prison system

  • Probation

    How we manage offenders who are given a community sentence or are recently released from prison

Are You a Practitioner

Is your work directly affected by Home Office policies? Take a look at our websites specially designed for practitioners.