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The CJA is recruiting a new Chair

The CJA is looking for a Chair to lead the Board of Trustees and the charity into its next exciting chapter and further grow its impact.

The CJA is a network of over 160 organisations working across the criminal justice system from prevention to policing, prisons to probation and beyond. Our members include charities, professional associations, think tanks and research bodies. We work to influence policy and practice for a fairer and more effective criminal justice system.

The Board is currently made up of nine people with varied professional and personal experience of the criminal justice system and expertise in advocacy, charity governance, communications, equality and diversity, finance, fundraising, lived experience leadership and research. Our current Chair is due to step down from the Board after six years of service, and four years as Chair.

‘I have enjoyed every moment. Our 160 members speak with the expertise of more than 13,000 people, and the broadest imaginable set of experiences. Our aim is to strengthen the voices of these experts in pursuit of our overarching objective of building a fairer and more effective criminal justice system.’

-John Drew, Chair

 The Chair is responsible for leading the Board of Trustees, ensuring that it fulfils its responsibilities for the governance of the organisation. The Chair’s role is also to work in partnership with the Director, helping them to  achieve the aims of the organisation and to optimise the relationship between the Board and staff. As a micro-charity, we are looking for a ‘hands-on’ Chair who can work closely with the Director to help realise the charity’s ambitions to grow its impact and ensure a sustainable financial future.

Person Specification


  • A strong and visible passion for creating a fair and effective criminal justice system.
  • Demonstrable commitment to prioritising equality, diversity and inclusion in all aspects of work.
  • Track record of putting lived experience at the heart of decision-making.
  • A broad understanding of policy influencing and systems-change.
  • Tact and diplomacy, with the ability to listen and engage effectively.
  • Ability to foster a collaborative and inclusive team environment.
  • Experience of chairing meetings or events.
  • An understanding of charity governance.
  • Ability to commit time to conduct the role well, including travel to meetings and attending occasional events out of hours.


  • Experience of operating at a senior or strategic leadership level.
  • Experience of charity governance, working with or as part of a Board of Trustees.
  • An understanding of financial management and / or charity finance issues.
  • Experience of working with, or as part of, an alliance or network to influence collaboratively.

The role is unpaid, but we can cover reasonable expenses and provide access to relevant training. Applicants are asked to send a CV (maximum two sides of A4) and covering letter (of no more than 500 words) outlining why they’re interested in the role and what they could bring to our Board. They’re also asked to provide details of two referees.

The closing date for applications is 12 July. Interviews will be held in the week commencing 27 July. These are likely to take place via Zoom.

Please send your applications to Director Nina Champion at If you’d like to have an informal conversation about the role, please call Nina on 07803 011358 or email her, and she will put you in touch with the Trustee overseeing the Chair recruitment, C.J. Burge.

John, our retiring chair, who will be playing no part in the selection process, would also be happy to discuss the role with you. John can be contacted on 07946 854605 or at

For more information and the full job description and person specification, please read our Chair recruitment pack.