Policy Officer – Criminal Justice Alliance

We’re recruiting a Policy Officer. If you or anyone you know would like to join the Criminal Justice Alliance, the Recruitment Pack can be downloaded here. If you have experience working for a member programme – our membership is now 120, up from 70 organisations two years ago – that’s an added bonus. The Application Form can be downloaded here. The Recruitment Analysis Form can be downloaded here. Closing date Monday 10 July.

Restorative Justice Costings Briefing

The CJA published a briefing on the national cost of a legal entitlement to restorative justice for victims of crime. Taking into account that not all crimes are suitable for restorative justice and using the available polling and research on the demand for restorative justice, we estimate this cost to be £30.5 million annually. The full briefing is available here.

Youth Justice Board

Charlie Taylor has been appointed the new Chair of the Youth Justice Board. The Government is creating a new Youth Custody Service as a distinct arm of HM Prison and Probation Service, which will have operational responsibility for the day-to-day running of the youth estate. Responsibility and accountability for commissioning youth custody services will pass from the YJB to the Ministry of Justice.

Ian Bickers addresses CJA members

Transcript of Ian Bicker’s speech to CJA members about the changes made, successes achieved and lessons learned at HMP Wandsworth since it became a reform prison.

CJA Award Winners 2016

STORYBOOK DADS TOP 2016 CJA AWARDS

£4,000 prize for most inspiring organisation

BBC News wins accolade for Journalism of the Year

Storybook Dads, the charity enabling 15,000 children every year to hear stories read by their parents from prison, won the top award as Organisation of the Year at last night’s 2016 Criminal Justice Alliance Awards ceremony.

(more…)

Dame Glenys Stacey addresses CJA members

Summary of Dame Glenys Stacey’s speech to CJA members about her first six months at Chief Inspector of Probation, the role she sees for the Inspectorate and the current state of probation in England and Wales.

CJA Awards Shortlists 2016

The shortlisted nominees for the CJA Awards 2016 have been announced. Judges include Baroness Young of Hornsey, journalist Joshua Rozenberg, Director of Anawim Joy Doal and Mark Johnson, Chief Executive of User Voice.

Criminal Justice Alliance Awards 2016

£4,000, £2,000 & £1,000 prizes for inspiring organisations or individuals. 

New award for journalism promoting ‘better understanding’. 

The 2016 CJA Awards will give prizes of £4,000, £2,000 and £1,000 to three organisations or individuals who have contributed materially to improving outcomes across the criminal justice pathway, from policing to prisons and probation, in the last 12 months. The Awards, supported for the second year by the Hadley Trust, acknowledge a ‘marked contribution to effectiveness, fairness or new models of delivery’.

(more…)

Peter Dawson addresses CJA members

Transcript of Peter Dawson’s speech to CJA members about the Prison Reform Trust’s current priorities and his thoughts on the impact recent political decisions might have on penal reform and the prison estate.

David Lammy addresses CJA members

Transcript of David Lammy’s speech to CJA members about his independent Review of black, Asian and minority ethnic representation in the criminal justice system.

‘Structured mayhem’: Experiences of victims, witnesses and defendants in Crown Courts

Structured M
A CJA briefing on the sometimes harrowing experiences of victims, witnesses and defendants in a wide-ranging series of Crown Court cases. Structured Mayhem is a digest of a remarkable piece of research carried by the Institute for Criminal Policy Research. Featuring extensive interviews with court users it furnishes a stark reminder that, for all the progress made in recent years, our courts all too often still cause huge frustration and distress to victims and witnesses, and also defendants.

Justice Select Committee hears evidence from the CJA on Criminal Courts Charge

The Justice Committee held its first evidence session on its inquiry into courts and tribunals fees and charges on Tuesday 27 October. Our Director, Ben Summerskill, gave evidence alongside CJA members Phil Bowen, Director of the Centre for Justice Innovation, and Penelope Gibbs, Director of Transform Justice, as well as Frances Crook, Director of the Howard League for Penal Reform. Richard Monkhouse and Malcolm Richardson from the Magistrates’ Association also gave evidence.

A video of the session is available here.

 

President of the Supreme Court addresses CJA members

Lord Neuberger, President of the Supreme Court, addressed the members of the CJA at our offices with a speech entitled “Fairness in the Courts: The Best We Can Do” followed by a Q&A session. A transcript of both is available here.

An Agenda for the New Government

On the 10th March the Criminal Justice Alliance held a conference in Fitzwilliam College Cambridge entitled An Agenda for a New Government. It offered the opportunity to review what is effective and to recommend potential solutions for the new government to consider in order to achieve a fairer and more effective criminal justice system. This one day conference focused on developing ideas and messages for the new government looking in particular at desistance approaches, problem solving courts and Justice reinvestment. Speakers included:

  • Sir Alan Beith MP , Chair of the Justice Committee
  • Professor Sir Anthony Bottoms, University of Cambridge
  • Phil Bowen, Director, Centre for Justice Innovation
  • Penelope Gibbs, Director, Transform Justice
  • Nick Hardwick CBE, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons
  • Tapio Lappi-Seppälä, Director, National Research Institute of Legal Policy,  Helsink
  • Richard Monkhouse JP, Chair of the Magistrates Association
  • Nicola Padfield University of Cambridge
  • Professor Lawrence Sherman, University of Cambridge

 

Prison Fellowship: A Prisoner’s Journey

27 June – A conference exploring the support that the Church provides to prisoners at the various stages of their journey. Speakers include Penny Parker (Interim CEO, Prison Fellowship), Jonathan Aitken, Paul Cowley and Michael Spurr. Click here to book a place.

The Forgiveness Project: Annual Lecture

23 June – This year the main speaker is Karen Armstrong, giving a lecture “Forgiveness and Compassion: Is there a difference?” that focuses on why we must place compassion at the heart of public discourse on religion and morality. Further details here.

Safe Ground: Annual Symposium, Great Minds

10 June – This workshop will assess developments in alternatives to custody in the UK since 2000 and identify good national practice and areas for concern. For further details click here.

Prospects for a Desistance Agenda

The Criminal Justice Alliance has published a new paper, Prospects for a Desistance Agenda. Drawing on interviews with over twenty policymakers, and analysis of official publications, this report considers where desistance stands at present, the barriers that may limit its further progress and the opportunities and risks afforded by current developments. The findings suggest that desistance has made its way directly and indirectly into UK policy and practice and it would appear that its influence is growing. The research found that desistance theories’ greatest strength was seen to be their common sense appeal. Developing relationships between practitioners and offenders and involving offenders in the design of their rehabilitative plans seemed extremely logical. Freeing up discretion and reducing bureaucracy was also viewed as particularly attractive. However, the political focus on risk and public protection alongside the appetite for imprisonment may at times conflict with a desistance agenda. Robust evidence of the effectiveness of desistance-oriented practice would reassure policymakers, as would proven cost-effectiveness. The report recommends: promoting and utilising offender strengths, both through policy and practice; training staff to focus on developing appropriate relationships; and involving and supporting families in the desistance process. The report can be read in full here with an executive summary available here.