Barrow Cadbury Trust is one of 15 criminal justice agency signatories to the letter below which has been sent to party leaders in advance of the General Election. The other signatories are: Article 39; Centre for Crime and Justice Studies; Clinks; Criminal Justice Alliance; Howard League for Penal Reform; Justice; Liberty; Nacro; Prison Governors’ Association; Prison Reform Trust; Revolving Doors Agency; Transform Justice; Transition to Adulthood Alliance; and Women in Prison. The letter reads:
“Now that a general election has been called, we call on all party leaders to temper their language in regard to law and order so that sensitive issues of intense public concern are not exploited but are used to contribute to a reasoned and constructive public debate.
We call on party leaders to base policies and announcements on the evidence. The evidence on desistance is clear: it must include a sense of hope and confidence in a better future; positive and collaborative relationships based on respect; social networks; testing new identities like being a student, an employee or parent; and recognition of what people can contribute to their community.
Academic evidence published by the Ministry of Justice shows what does not work. This includes using language that confirms a criminal identity, trying to ‘scare’ someone out of crime and focusing on the damaging consequences and telling people that you have given up on them.
We all want to reduce crime and prevent victims, and we want policies and practices that promote a safer society. As organisations with expertise in criminal justice and social justice we ask that you provide a positive model for your party and the country.”