In September around 50 people gathered at a meeting in London to consider the opportunities for building a broad based movement to tackle penal excess and build socially just alternatives in the UK. Academics, practitioners, students, grass roots organisations, critical lawyers, trade unionists and people who have had direct contact with the justice system offered their commitment to work collaboratively to take this forward.
Going into 2013 we need to have a clearer sense of where we are going and how we are going to get there. Who are we? What are we for? What are we going to call ourselves? What are we going to do – and how are we going to do it? These are all big questions and I’m looking forward to being part of the discussion on this. You can read my initial thoughts in the comments I gave at the meeting in September.
There is plenty to tackle here in terms of building a credible and bold new voice in the debate and articulating the reasons why we need to radically downsize criminal justice and seek out genuine alternatives.
Of those who attended the meeting, around 20 people came forward to form a steering group and the first meeting will take place in late November. The aim of the meeting is to draft a working statement of purpose and short and medium term goals.
In preparation for the meeting we need YOU to send through your ideas and thoughts. Here are a few headings as a guide:
What’s in a name?
Should this be badged as a campaign or a coalition or a network or something completely different?
We need inspiration for a name –CAPE (campaign against penal excess), ‘Downsizing criminal justice’ and then EsCAPE has also been touted…. Please have a think and post your ideas either on this blog or by emailing us.
Can you describe three (or more) principles or goals for the coalition?
Here are some links to an eclectic mix of organisations and campaigns from the UK and abroad – the goals of whom you may agree or disagree with, but will helpfully get the ideas flowing….
- Critical Resistance
- End Violence Against Women
- Centre for Social Justice
- Campaign against the arms trade
So, please send through your ideas…. However brief (or long)……
- Name: Your ideas on a name.
- Principles: 3 or more key principles or goals
- Examples: Are there campaigns that you have admired – tell us about them.
You can post your ideas on the comment section of this blog or email directly here – firstname.lastname@example.org.