Our 2015 highlights

Date: 
Tuesday, 29 December, 2015

2015 has been a particularly busy and productive year for the Centre and there are too many highlights to mention them all but here's a few of our favourites:

January:

We published Empower, resist, transform: a collection of essays in which Helen Mills, Rebecca Roberts and Laurel Townhead describe the shortcomings of criminal justice approaches that often replicate and reinforce inequalities rather than tackle the root causes of harm and violence.

February:

Police corruption, racism and spying conference took place in conjunction with The Monitoring Group, Tottenham Rights and Imran Khan & Partners. We heard from a range of moving and inspiring speakers on police corruption, spying, racism and accountability. Watch the footage here

The Ethnic Penalty roundtable, explored the social context of the disproportionate and harmful punishment experienced by young black men.

March: 

We released The coalition years, our review of criminal justice developments across the United Kingdom since 2010. It highlights profound differences in approaches to policing, prisons and community supervision across the separate criminal justice jurisdictions of the UK. This was launched at our conference 'Criminal justice since 2010', chaired by the BBC's Mark Easton and speeches from a range of key political figures.

April:

We held an event in collaboration with the University of Liverpool where we discussed radical alternatives to prisonClick here to read more about it and watch opening presentations by Rebecca Roberts, Dr John Moore and Dr Deborah Drake.

May:

'People who are serious, insist on things': In May 2015, the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies and Women in Prison held the Justice Matters for Women: Time for Action! conference. Check out our website to find out more on who spoke and to view the video footage from the conference.

June:

UK Justice Policy Review 4. We released our annual report tracking year-on-year developments in criminal justice and social welfare across the UK. This volume includes the first UK-wide analysis of suicide, self-harm and assaults in prisons in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. 

The ongoing electronic monitoring scandal. Our Research and Policy Assistant, Matt Ford, did some digging around in Ministry of Justice spending data and found that G4S and Serco are still being paid millions for supplying electronic monitoring equipment, years after the overcharging scandal. 

July:

We launched our new project, One Small Thing. Recognising that the traumatic pasts of criminalised women affect their present, One Small Thing is working with staff in women's prisons and in the community, developing approaches grounded in understanding and fostering positive outcomes for all. 

Shock and law: We held a roundtable to discuss the implications of the growing use of Tasers in the UK.

We started work on an exciting new 'big data' project. The Justice Matrix aims to create a virtual world by combining criminal justice and social datasets to simulate the criminalisation process.

August:

Organising for change. Dr Sarah Lamble of Birkbeck, University of London, gave a presentation about how to balance short-term reform goals with long term change. 

September:

Black Lives Matter. The September issue of Criminal Justice Matters magazine focuses on racism, discrimination and criminal justice.

Community sentences fail to cut prisoner numbers. This report from our Research Associate, Catherine Heard, describes how community sentences work in the three UK criminal justice jurisdictions (England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) and why they have not cut prisoner numbers.

One Small Thing. We brought trauma-informed practice training to some 2,000 prison and community-based staff working with criminalised women across England and Scotland.

October:

Discussing alternatives to criminal justice. This document brings together a collection of comment articles from a range of authors on their ideas for building alternative policy and practice solutions to social problems.

November:

The Troubled Families Programme: the perfect social policy? Authored by Stephen Crossley, the report questions government claims that the programme has achieved an almost 100 per cent success rate.

Time for bold action to downsize criminal justice. In the face of ongoing discussions about criminal justice budgets and staffing, the Centre's Director, Richard Garside, criticised the unquestioning defence of police budgets, arguing that it makes it harder to address the many real social problems British society faces. 

December: 

We launched Breaking the silence, a series of short articles which provide a space for the voices and traumatic personal experiences of criminalised women to be heard.