CJA news

CJA Members Meeting and Launch of the Incarceration Nations Network

On 29 November, the CJA hosted its latest Members Meeting featuring Dr. Baz Dreisinger in conversation with Afua Hirsch, launching the Incarceration Nations Network (INN). Dr. Dreisinger is a Professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York; Author of Incarceration Nations; Founder of John Jay’s Prison-to-College Pipeline programme and a Global Fulbright Scholar for her work promoting restorative justice and higher education in prisons internationally. A transcript of the conversation is available here. INN is a global network working to reduce mass incarceration, build safer communities and reduce recidivism. The network will enable organisations to collaborate and learn from each other’s innovative practice.  It offers a wide-reaching international platform to those directly impacted by the justice system to lead the movement for its reform. INN also aims to globally change the narrative about prisons and the people in them. We also heard from a panel chaired by Darren Coyne, Project Manager, The Care Leavers’ Association, featuring Mike Trace, CEO, The Forward Trust, Andy Jackson, Recovery Support Team Leader, The Forward Trust, Baljeet Sandhu, Author of 'The Value of Lived Experience in Social Change' and 'Lived Experience Leadership: Rebooting the DNA of Leadership' to discuss the launch of Change from Within.  There was a performance from Brenda Birungi, Founder of Unchained Poetry and Straightline Prison Radio host, who also participated in a panel chaired by Danny Shaw, BBC Home Affairs Correspondent and CJA Media Awards Judge, discussing ‘How can we change the narrative about criminal justice issues?’, featuring Jodie Jackson, Constructive Journalism Project & Author of ‘You are what you read’, Mat Ilic, Chief Development Officer at Catch22 & Former Special Adviser at No.10, Lib Peck, Director, London Violence Reduction Unit, Enver Solomon, CEO Just for Kids Law and former BBC journalist. ... var 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The CJA is recruiting!

This is an exciting opportunity for an experienced policy professional to join the CJA as Policy Officer. You will work closely with the CJA Director as part of a small team to develop and implement the CJA’s strategy – ‘Connecting for Change’ – to make the criminal justice system in England and Wales safe, smart, person-centred, restorative and trusted. Having a wide membership from across the CJS means there will be great variety to your work which will cover a range of crucial issues from policing to prison reform, race disparity to restorative justice. The Policy Officer is responsible for monitoring policy and political debates and developments on core criminal justice issues, which will give you the opportunity to develop expert knowledge in specific policy areas relevant to the CJA’s current strategy. The Policy Officer is expected to produce a wide range of high quality publications that make robust recommendations for policy and practice. You will also need to build and maintain good relationships with a wide range of stakeholders, from CJA members and people with lived experience, to politicians and civil servants, and represent the CJA at roundtables and meetings with key influencers. You will have at least three years relevant work experience and good knowledge of policy making and parliamentary processes, with experience of involvement in the successful influencing of government or other policymakers. You will need excellent written and verbal communication skills and a commitment to the vision, mission and strategic objectives of the CJA. We value having a diverse range of perspectives, expertise and insights on our team.  We are particularly keen to receive applications from black, Asian and minority ethic people and people with lived experience of the criminal justice system. The deadline for applications is midnight on 12 January 2020. If you’d like to have an informal conversation about the role, please email nina.champion@criminaljusticealliance.org.uk to arrange a time. We look forward very much to receiving your application. Policy Officer Recruitment Pack 1219 Policy Officer Application Form 1219 Recruitment Analysis Form 1219

CJA Awards 2019 – Winners Announced

We're delighted to announce the winners of the 2019 CJA Awards, kindly supported by the Hadley Trust: Outstanding Organisation of the Year: Circles UK Outstanding Organisation Runner Up: Peer Power Outstanding Individual of the Year: Barry Flanagan, Recycling Lives Outstanding Individual of the Year Runners Up: Shelley, WRAP, and Sofia Buncy, Khidmat Centres Muslim Women in Prison Project Outstanding Journalism of the Year: Adele Robinson, Sky News Outstanding Digital Media Champion: Bird Podcast Lifetime Achievement Award: Barry and Margaret Mizen MBE Details about the work of the winners, and all those shortlisted, can be found in the Awards brochure - What Good Looks Like.

New report: Change from Within

We're delighted to launch our new report 'Change from Within' at today’s CJA Members Meeting. The report highlights the urgent need for the sector to provide greater opportunities for people with lived experience to move into paid employment, leadership and influencing positions in the sector. It makes a range of recommendations for government departments, commissioners, public bodies, employers, the Charity Commission, criminal justice funders, universities and the inspectorates. We're very grateful to our lived experience expert group for their guidance, the employees and employers who provided their insights and to George whose passion and hard work contributed significantly to this report while on a ROTL placement at the CJA.
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In the news

Conservative Manifesto

The Conservative Party published its manifesto and manifesto costings for the 2019 General Election this afternoon. This is a summary of their proposed criminal justice policies: Policing: Recruit 20,000 new police officers Back the increased use of stop and search as long as it is fair and proportionate Put the Police Covenant into law Equip officers with additional powers and tools including tasers and body cameras Introduce a new court order to make it easier for officers to stop and search those convicted of knife crime Ensure anyone charged with knife possession will appear before magistrates within days Strengthen the accountability of elected Police and Crime Commissioners and expand their role Use additional police resources to tackle rural crime Prisons: Create a prisoner education service focused on work-based training and skills Improve employment opportunities for ex-offenders, including a job coach in each prison Improve prison security to protect staff, stop drug smuggling and reduce violence Add 10,000 more prison places, with £2.75 billion already committed to refurbishing and creating modern prisons Maintain the ban on prisoners voting from prison Parole: Conduct a root-and-branch review of the parole system Give victims the right to attend hearings Establish a Royal Commission on the criminal justice process Sentencing: Introduce tougher sentencing for serious offenders End automatic halfway release from prison for serious crimes For people convicted of murder of a child, there will be life imprisonment without parole Pass the Police Protection Bill Consult on doubling the maximum sentence for assaulting workers in emergency services such as police officers, firefighters and paramedics Double the maximum prison term to 14 years for individuals convicted of the most serious examples of tax fraud Introduce tougher sentences for animal cruelty Vulnerable children: Review the care system to make sure that all care placements and settings are providing children and young adults with the support they need Improve the Troubled Families programme and champion Family Hubs to serve vulnerable families with intensive, integrated support Young people and children: Invest £500 million in youth services for young people If they endanger others, we will put them in new alternative provision schools Trial Secure Schools for young people who offend Introduce new laws requiring schools, police, councils and health authorities to work together through Violence Reduction Units to prevent serious crime Drugs: Tackle drug-related crime and take a new approach to treatment Foreign nationals: Prevent more foreign national offenders entering our country Cut the number of foreign nationals in prison and increase penalties to stop them returning Prevent serious criminals from entering the country Probation/community: Expand electronic tagging for offenders serving time outside prison, including the use of sobriety tags for those whose offending is fuelled by alcohol Toughen community sentences, for example by tightening curfews and making people with convictions do more hours of community payback to clean up parks and streets Modern crime prevention: Embrace new technologies and crack down on online crimes Create a new national cyber crime force Empower the police to safely use new technologies like biometrics and artificial intelligence, along with the use of DNA, within a strict legal framework Create a National Crime Laboratory Strengthen the National Crime Agency so to tackle fraud, county lines gangs, child sexual abuse, illicit finance, modern slavery and people trafficking Victims of crime: Pass and implement a Victims’ Law that guarantees victims’ rights and the level of support they can expect Violence against women and girls: Support all victims of domestic abuse and pass the Domestic Abuse Bill Increase support for refuges and community support for victims of rape and sexual abuse Pilot integrated domestic abuse courts that address criminal and family matters in parallel Homelessness: End rough sleeping by the end of the next Parliament Expand pilots and programmes such as the Rough Sleeping Initiative and Housing First Work to bring together local services to meet the health and housing needs of people sleeping on the streets Renew the Affordable Homes Programme Fully enforce the Homelessness Reduction Act

Labour Manifesto

The Labour Party published its manifesto and manifesto costings for the 2019 General Election this afternoon. This is a summary of their proposed criminal justice policies: Justice: Champion a joined-up approach, fostering close working relationships between criminal justice agencies with education authorities, health services and others Policing: Enforce the laws protecting police and other emergency workers from violent assault Re-establish neighbourhood policing and recruit more frontline officers Work with Police and Crime Commissioners to reform police funding and share new resources fairly Work with police forces to invest in a modern workforce to tackle the rise in violent crime and cybercrime Retain local democratic accountability for police forces Work to eliminate institutional biases against BAME communities Ensure better police training on domestic abuse and offences arising from coercive control and historical abuses Youth Justice: Rebuild youth services and guarantee young people’s access to youth workers Invest in a youth justice system where schools, local authorities, health authorities and youth services work together to divert young people from pathways towards crime Prisons: Restore total prison officer numbers to 2010 levels Phase out lone working in prisons Bring PFI prisons back in-house Tackle the prison maintenance backlog and develop a long-term estate strategy Alternatives to prison: Set new standards for community sentences Consider the evidence for effective alternatives and rehabilitation of prolific offenders Introduce a presumption against prison sentences of six months or less for non-violent and non-sexual offences Expand problem-solving courts Probation: Reunify probation and guarantee a publicly run, locally accountable probation service Women in the CJS: Plug the funding gap in the Female Offender Strategy Invest in proven alternatives to custody, including women’s centres Legal aid: Restore all early legal aid advice, including for housing, social security, family and immigration cases Recruit hundreds of new community lawyers Promote public legal education and build an expanded network of law centres Ensure legal aid for inquests into deaths in state custody and the preparation of judicial review cases Courts: Halt court closures and cuts to staff Undertake a review of the courts reform programme Facilitate a more representative judiciary while upholding its independence Review funding for the Crown Prosecution Service Equalities and Diversity: Tackle the disproportionate levels of BAME children in custody Review the youth custody estate Strengthen youth courts Build on the Lammy Review Violence against women and girls: Set new standards for tackling domestic and sexual abuse and violence Appoint a Commissioner for Violence against Women and Girls Establish an independent review into low rape prosecution rates Establish a National Refuge Fund Ensure financial stability for rape crisis centres Reintroduce a Domestic Abuse Bill Improve the safety of the family court system for domestic violence victims and prohibit their cross-examination by their abuser Make misogyny and violence against women and girls hate crimes Homelessness: End rough sleeping within five years Introduce a national plan driven by a prime minister-led taskforce Expand and upgrade hostels Make available 8,000 additional homes for people with a history of rough sleeping Repeal the Vagrancy Act and amend antisocial behaviour legislation to stop the law being used against people because they are homeless Drugs policy: Establish a Royal Commission to develop a public health approach to substance misuse, focusing on harm reduction rather than criminalisation Victims: Introduce minimum legal standards of service for all victims of crime Modern crime prevention: Create a co-ordinating minister for cybersecurity and conduct regular reviews of cyber-readiness Review the structures and roles of the National Crime Agency, to strengthen the response to all types of economic crime, including cybercrime and fraud Create a new national strategy on cybercrime and fraud

Liberal Democrat Manifesto

The Liberal Democrats published their manifesto and manifesto costings for the 2019 General Election this afternoon. This is a summary of their proposed criminal justice policies: Policing: Fully fund an immediate two per cent pay-rise for police officers Resource the National Crime Agency to combat serious and organised crime, and tackle modern slavery and human trafficking Create a new Online Crime Agency to tackle illegal content and activity online, such as personal fraud, revenge porn and threats and incitement to violence on social media End the disproportionate use of Stop and Search Replace Police and Crime Commissioners with accountable Police Boards made up of local councillors Immediately halt the use of facial recognition surveillance by the police Serious Violence: Adopt a public health approach to serious violence Support community policing and youth services to work together with other services Invest £1 billion in community policing Provide a £500m ring-fenced youth services fund to local authorities Embed Trauma-informed Youth Intervention Specialists in all Major Trauma Centres Prisons and Probation: Recruit 2,000 more prison officers Improve the provision of training, education and work opportunities Introduce a presumption against short prison sentences End prison sentences for the possession of drugs for personal use Increase the use of community sentences and restorative justice where appropriate Improve and properly fund the supervision of offenders in the community Increase coordination between the prison service, probation service providers, the voluntary and private sectors and local authorities Ensure all prison-leavers have a suitably timed release and are supported with: suitable accommodation a bank account employment or training Ensure all prison-leavers are registered with a local GP Equalities and Diversity: Reduce the overrepresentation of people from BAME backgrounds throughout the criminal justice system Uniformly record and publish data on ethnicity across the criminal justice system Introduce a principle of ‘explain or reform’: if the criminal justice system cannot explain disparities between ethnic groups, then it must be reformed to address them Ensure the police, prison service and judiciary all adopt ambitious targets for improving the diversity of their workforce and require regular reports on progress to parliament. Develop a free unconscious bias training toolkit and make the provision of unconscious bias training to all members of staff a condition of the receipt of public funds Develop a government-wide plan to tackle BAME inequalities Establish a national fund for projects that work in schools to raise the aspirations of ethnic minority children and young people Women in the CJS: Establish a Women’s Justice Board Provide specialist training for all staff in contact with women in the criminal justice system Violence against women and girls: Ratify and bring into law the Istanbul Convention Legislate for a statutory definition of domestic abuse that includes its effects on children Expand the number of refuges and rape crisis centres to meet demand Ensure sustainable grant-funding for specialist independent support services Give local authorities the duty and funding to provide accommodation and support for survivors of abuse Establish a national rape crisis helpline Ensure access to special measures for survivors in all courts Prevent direct cross-examination in court of survivors by their abusers Mental Health: Improve mental health support and treatment within the criminal justice system Ensure continuity of mental health care and addiction treatment in prison and the community End the use of police cells for people facing a mental health crisis Make mental health services 24-hour Place mental health liaison teams in all hospitals Introduce a target of one hour for handover of people suffering from mental health crisis from police to mental health services Support the police to achieve adequate levels of training in mental health response Drugs Policy: Move drugs policy to the Department of Health and Social Care Invest in more addiction services and support for drug users Divert people arrested for possession of drugs for personal use into treatment and impose civil penalties rather than imprisonment Introduce a legal, regulated market for cannabis Homelessness: Publish a cross-Whitehall plan to end all forms of homelessness Introduce a ‘somewhere safe to stay’ legal duty to ensure anyone at risk of sleeping rough is provided with emergency accommodation and a needs assessment Sufficiently finance local authorities to deliver the Homelessness Reduction Act and provide accommodation for survivors of domestic abuse De-criminalise rough sleeping by scrapping the Vagrancy Act Criminal Records: Reform criminal record disclosure rules so that people do not have to declare irrelevant old and minor convictions Remove questions about criminal convictions from initial application forms for all public-sector jobs Hate Crime: Make all hate crimes aggravated offences Giving law enforcement resources and training to identify and prevent hate crimes Wales: Devolve powers over youth justice, probation services, prisons and policing

PM announced justice policy changes

In a string of announcements from No 10, the government revealed proposals to create an additional 10,000 prison places through a £2.5b prison building programme, to increase prison security with a £100m investment in new technology including x-ray scanners and metal detectors, and to award £85m to the Crown Prosecution Service to assist with caseload. Boris Johnson also ordered a review of the sentencing of 'dangerous and prolific offenders', which will consider changes in legislation including removing automatic release at the half-way point of a custodial sentence. This review comes despite a long-term trend of increasing sentence lengths for serious crimes and the lack of evidence that increasing sentence length reduces reoffending.
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