They are intentionally imposing and robust buildings, fortresses made of thick brick and steel, designed never to be breached. They are also an expression of the criminal law, which is generally perceived to be the eternal and absolute moral code governing social life.
One of our trustees, Professor Jo Phoenix of The Open University, speaking yesterday on talkRADIO.
Jo was talking about the unacceptable threats of violence and death faced by Kathleen Stock, a professor of philosophy at the University of Sussex. Professor Stock has been advised by the police to teach classes online, install CCTV outside her home, and to stay away from the university campus.
This particular article by Jane Dominey is about the networks of relationships (between people and between organisations) that underpin probation supervision. Drawing on evidence from a study researching these interactions, it develops two models of supervision (‘thin’ and ‘thick’) by taking themes that shape supervision and charting the interplay between them.
Let’s take a piece of legislation that defines homelessness as a crime. It is still on the statute book almost 200 years after it was created. Yet the Vagrancy Act, which dates back to 1824, makes it a crime merely to sleep rough or beg in England and Wales.
The presentation drew on work that I and my colleague, Roger Grimshaw, have been undertaking, to provide an up-to-date overview of the UK justice systems. The report of this work is due for publication a bit later this year.
One, mundane but important, conclusion I shared yesterday was that there is no single way of doing justice in the UK.
Our hope is to provide ongoing commentary on criminal justice events, research and news from a range of experts across both CCJS and the wider criminal justice community.
We're excited to announce that on 6 October, we'll be joined by Katrina Ffrench from Unjust and Gemma Buckland from Do it Justice Ltd, both leading figures in the world of criminal justice.
Katrina and Gemma will join our Director, Richard Garside to discuss current issues, including:
Professor Rosa Freedman of the University of Reading and Professor Jo Phoenix of The Open University talked about their experience of deplatforming at the University of Essex in the months leading up to the first COVID lockdown. The problems of deplatforming are, however, wider than these particular events, and extend also beyond universities.
When a former Supreme Court Justice denounces a sentence as a ‘stain’ on our justice system, you might think that there would be accelerated review and action at a high level of the state.
The subject content concerned the historic design and contemporary usage of the modern day courthouse, but more particularly I found myself gripped by a fascinating chapter entitled, 'Docks and locks in criminal courts.'
We developed the map as part of our After Prison programme, a programme grounded in the simple proposition that there is always a better use for a piece of land than as a place for a prison.
Our experience tells us that standing for improved knowledge and understanding is not always without controversy.
For instance, when, more than a decade ago, we established the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs with David Nutt, we were clear that drugs policy was unlikely to be effective if it was not informed by the best scientific evidence. This standpoint, unremarkable in itself, was controversial because of the politics of drugs, then and now.
That is why, as part of our post-lockdown work, we want to open up our building and its facilities to a range of collaborators who share our values and work in the fields of crime and criminal justice.
Following our initial call for suggestions last month, we are now in discussion with one potential partner about a series of events in our meeting room in September. We have also had discussions with another partner about hosting meetings aimed at parliamentarians and policy makers.