Monday, March 10, 2014

Streetcraft in the UK

I spent the bulk of the last week in England.  One highlight of the trip was participating in a conference entitled "Reducing Reoffending: Transforming Rehabilitation" held in Winchester, a small city in Hampshire about an hour's train ride outside of London.

The conference was organized by Simon Hayes, the Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner, and Rupert Younger, the High Sherriff of Hampshire.  Also participating was Steve Brine, the local MP for Winchester.

What I liked best about the conference is that it confirmed one of the central tenets underlying the work of our British partner organization, the Centre for Justice Innovation, which has argued that if you look beyond Whitehall and Westminster, there is a good deal of innovative practice going on at the local level in the United Kingdom that needs to be nurtured and tested and spread more effectively.  In Winchester, dozens of probation officials, police officers, corrections professionals, and non-profit types gathered to talk about innovative efforts to change the behavior of offenders.  It was, in many ways, an inspiring display.

In general, the Centre for Justice Innovation seems to be going from strength to strength these days, including this recent piece in the Huffington Post by Anton Shelupanov, which highlights Streetcraft, a new monograph that contains several dozen first-person interviews with local criminal justice innovators from England, Scotland and Wales.


   .