At the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, we envisage a society less dominated by criminalisation and punishment, because we find better ways to prevent and address the problems we face.
Through our collaborations, local, national and international, we take practical steps to achieve this vision in the here and now.
We also acknowledge the significant barriers we face.
As the pace of social, economic and technological change is quickening, our approach to law and order is stuck in the past. After years of legislative hyperactivity, there is an abundance of law, and an absence of order. Too many communities are over-policed and under-protected.
All-too-often, unnecessary criminalisation compounds, rather than addresses, problems.
We are committed to working with others to mark out transformative solutions to the problems we face, and to address the harmful consequences of our over-reliance on policing, prosecution and punishment.
How we work
We bring people together to learn and to share knowledge, to discuss and to debate. We consider improved knowledge and understanding of crime and criminal justice an inherent good.
We collaborate with others to challenge injustices and develop practical solutions to the problems our society faces. This includes working with communities characterised by their shared concerns, shared geography, and shared professional interests.
We conduct research and analysis to inform our work and the work of others. We also work with researchers and analysts, to amplify their findings and bring them to new audiences.
As an educational charity, we see improved knowledge and understanding as an inherent good. We also see it as a foundation for effective action to achieve meaningful change.
- We explain the different parts of the criminal justice system, and the interconnections between them, including through online events, publications, our website and mailings, and media interventions.
- We are committed to deepening our existing collaborations and broadening the base of our collaborations with universities, academics, independent researchers, practitioners, and campaigners.
A fair, impartial and proportionate criminal justice system is important for an orderly society. But there is much about today’s justice system that is unfair. We highlight areas of criminal injustice.
- Policies and practices that fall disproportionately on particular groups and individuals, for example in relation to social class, sex, and race.
- Policies and practices that entrench personal and social problems, rather than help to resolve them.
We see transformative solutions to the problems our society faces as a real and present opportunity, not something to be consigned to an ill-defined future. We aim to:
- Stimulate thought and action on alternatives to our current overreliance on criminal justice interventions, including through the development of our After Prison programme.
- Deepen our existing collaborations, and broaden the base of our collaborations with groups working to effect positive change.
Building our capacity
We have never seen organisational growth, increased income, as an end in itself. But through expanding the reach of our work, we multiply the opportunities to make a difference. As we emerge from lockdown we will:
- Initiate a new, long-term investment in our building as a creative place where we and our partners can develop the solutions for the problems we face as a society. This will mean developing new funding and collaborative models to ensure sustained growth and investment.
- Develop a new, long-term plan to recruit talented people that reflect the diversity of the society we are part of, building on the foundation of our existing staff and volunteers.