Impact of the pandemic on the criminal justice system

Date of publication
19 January 2021
Participating inspectorates
HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate
HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services
HM Inspectorate of Prisons
HM Inspectorate of Probation
Criminal Justice Joint Inspection
Inspection type
Joint inspection

This report provides a cross-system view of how the criminal justice system reacted in the immediate aftermath of the first national Covid-19 lockdown (23 March to 10 May 2020), and of how the system has managed since.

The cumulative impact on the system of the sweeping changes wrought by Covid-19 necessity is both clear and profound – and has still to be fully felt.

All four criminal justice inspectorates have carried out inspections of their respective agencies’ responses to Covid-19. This report sets out findings from these inspections as well as cross-cutting themes, and highlights the successes, challenges and problems that the system has faced and still faces.

The report highlights risks and innovative practice, and focuses in detail on the greatest risk facing the criminal justice system as it continues to respond to and recover from the pandemic.

Report: Impact of the pandemic on the Criminal Justice System (PDF, 318 kB)

Cymraeg: Effaith y pandemig ar y System Cyfiawnder Troseddol (PDF, 390 kB)

Press Release: Impact of the pandemic on the Criminal Justice System Press Release (Document, 46 kB)