Skip to main content

Getting lived experienced leaders on board

ELEVATE CJS is the CJA’s twelve-month leadership programme that aims to promote the redistribution of power to people with lived experience of the criminal justice system. As part of this programme, in partnership with Getting on Board, we offer shadow board placements to each participant to showcase the benefits of board membership as another route to leadership.

We are thrilled to announce our partnership with six exceptional organisations in the criminal justice sector who share our vision and commitment to change. These forward-thinking boards have generously opened their doors to allow ELEVATE CJS participants to observe their board meetings, giving them invaluable insights into the senior level decision making process.

Our shadow board initiative has already seen two successful board meetings take place, hosted by Transform Justice, a national charity campaigning for a fairer, more humane, more open and effective justice system, and Geese Theatre Company, the UK’s leading theatre company working in criminal justice. We are also working with Belong, Footprints, Clean Break and Women in Prison in the coming weeks. We are profoundly grateful to these organisations for their support and partnership in working towards a fairer and more effective criminal justice system, and we look forward to future collaboration.

Penelope Gibbs, Director of Transform Justice, shared her thoughts on the experience:

“We were delighted to have Matt and Lashan join our trustee strategy day from the ELEVATE CJS programme. We came away with new insights and avenues to improve our work based on their suggestions, and we’re grateful that they were so willing to get involved.”

This partnership has already yielded concrete results, showcasing how diverse perspectives enrich discussions and decision-making processes.

Kiri Jolliffe, who shadowed Geese Theatre Company’s board meeting, shared her remarkable journey:

“At first, I was slightly anxious, unsure of what to expect, and feeling unprepared to follow the meeting’s agenda. However, Andy and Kobina (the chair of the board) were absolutely amazing in easing my worries. Prior to the board meeting, I met with Andy and learned more about Geese and what the company offers to those within its service. I then had a phone call with Kobina to understand what to expect, and he patiently answered any questions I had.

With this invaluable experience, I witnessed firsthand how difficult issues are addressed through constructive conversations and effective decision-making. I am deeply grateful for this opportunity and look forward to maintaining contact with Geese Theatre Company in the future.”

Kiri’s journey exemplifies the transformative power of firsthand experiences and mentorship.  Through direct involvement, Kiri not only gained a deeper understanding of the organisation but also witnessed the constructive navigation of complex issues and effective decision-making in action.

Thank you to all the participating organisations, and to Getting on Board for making this happen. If you are interested in diversifying your board, you can collaborate with them to do so, find out more here.

Lashan matt transform justice