This month marks one year since I joined the CJA as Director. I have enjoyed meeting so many of our members. I’m proud of what we have achieved over the last year in developing a new vision, mission and strategy for the CJA ‘Connecting for Change’. Our new strategy began in April. To keep members up to date with progress, I am going to provide a verbal and written update at each members’ meeting.
Effective Scrutiny and Accountability:
- Following our Stop & Scrutinisereport, the College of Policing are revising the Authorised Professional Practice on scrutiny of stop and search.
- MOPAC (London), Cheshire and Humberside are using the report to review their community scrutiny processes.
- We wrote to the Home Secretary about our concerns with the new pilot making it easier to authorise suspicion-less s.60 searches. The Minister of Policing confirmed they would consult with the CJA on the impact of the pilot and next steps.
- We convened two expert meetings to co-ordinate a response to 6-month review stage of the pilot.
- I gave evidence to the APPG on Knife Crime on stop & search and to the Justice Select Committee on progress since the Lammy Review.
Restorative practices and supporting BAME victims:
- We published and disseminated a report on Restorative Justice which was endorsed by the Victims Commissioner and PCC Lead for Victims.
- We held a roundtable event with members in partnership with the MoJ Race Disparity Team discussing the needs of BAME victims.
Fit for purpose and diverse workforce:
- Our volunteer on release on temporary licence from prison has been exploring the experiences of people with lived experience working in the criminal justice system. A briefing with recommendations will be published later this year.
- We held a roundtable event at the MoJ bringing together people working to increase the racial diversity of the workforce from across the criminal justice pathway.
Engaging members to draw together expertise:
- We held a roundtable hosted by Lord Ramsbotham, discussing probation reforms. A briefing note has been circulated to policy makers and key stakeholders.
- We hosted a policy forum at the Ministry of Justice on the topic of post-release accommodation with the new Head of Accommodation for HMPPS.
- We look forward to opening the 2019 CJA awards shortly, which will be presented at an evening reception on 29 November, combined with our members meeting and UK launch of the global ‘Incarceration Nations Network’ in the afternoon.
Influence policy makers, commissioners and the public to achieve our vision
- We convened an expert group of members to begin co-producing a PCC manifesto in advance of the PCC elections in May 2020 with Centre for Justice Innovation.
- I presented a paper on women and remand at the Advisory Board for Female Offenders and organised a meeting of CJA members on the issue of the overuse of custodial remand.
- We convened an expert group of journalists and CJA members to refresh and develop of annual CJA outstanding Journalism Award, to better promote constructive, solution focused and ethical reporting of criminal justice issues.
- We responded to consultations including the Home Affairs Select Committee on 20 years since the MacPherson report, the Labour Party consultation on their future justice policy and the Home Office consultation on a public-health duty. In line with the CJA response the government u-turned on plans for an individual duty.
Build the capacity of small organisations and people with lived experience to influence change
- We have established a CJA lived experience expert group and I continue to support and advise the HMPPS Service User Advisory Group. We have also held regional meetings in Bristol and Birmingham.
- We had our first board meeting with six new trustees who bring a mix of professional and lived experience to help guide the work of the CJA.
- We approved 12 new members: Advance, Another Night of Sisterhood, Belong, Census Life, the Corbett Foundation, the Howard League for Penal Reform, the Independent Custody Visiting Association (associate member), Neighbourhood Watch Network, Remedi, Restorative Thinking, The Traveller Movement and Victim Support.
I hope you have a wonderful summer!
Very best wishes,
Nina Champion, Director