The footprint criminal justice occupies in our society has grown and continues to do so. We can see this simply by looking at the expansion of police, courts, prisons and probation and the number of people subjected to criminal justice sanctions. For example, the UK prison population has doubled over the last two decades to 94,000 and all the indications are that prison numbers will remain persistently high.
Criminal justice has cast its shadow over other institutions to include housing, employment, education where conditionality and punishment operate on criminal justice principles and feed into the formal penal system.
At the final event of our Reform Sector Strategies project in May 2012 a group of people came together and voiced their interest and commitment to confront penal excess.
This is an appeal to those who want to build a broad based coalition to confront penal excess in the UK focused on the long term goal of radically reducing the overall size and scope of criminal justice.
While we share a concern about poor conditions within the criminal justice system, this is not about improving community sentences or finding better rehabilitation and treatment programmes within criminal justice.
There is a significant layer of organisations and individuals who recognise that the path to a safer society lies outside of criminal justice. We want to work with others to deliver campaigns and projects that demonstrate true and long lasting alternatives to criminal justice. This isn’t about ignoring violence, theft and other harms – we need to develop policies for a safer society that do not resort to criminal justice.
This is about seeking out and promoting ideas and programmes that:
- Expose the realities and failures of criminal justice.
- Oppose and resist any expansion of criminal justice.
- Promote a radical reduction in the size of criminal justice
- Develop policies for a safer society that do not resort to criminal justice.
If you want to join us in building campaigns and activities please come to the event and also post your ideas, comments and messages of support below.
CCJS will be hosting a meeting on Thursday 13 September at 1.30pm to get this started.
If you are interested in making a contribution and helping us to build a coalition of individuals and organisations then please come along. The meeting will take place at 2 Langley Lane, Vauxhall, London, SW8 1GB.
You can register to attend by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org