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Wrapping up 2022

Dear Member,

Looking back at photographs from our events this year filled with hugs, laughter and passion, I am reminded that 2022 was the year we came together in person again. Despite all the challenges we face in the sector, and sometimes we feel we are taking one step forward and two steps back, these photos show there is reason for hope.Our new five-year strategy we launched in April has an ambitious aim to reimagine, redesign and rebuild the criminal justice system. But we can’t do that alone. The key to success will be collaboration, co-production and connection. Thank you to all our members who have contributed to our efforts to drive systemic change through sharing your expertise and ideas through our member meetings, events and expert groups.

We have driven forward efforts to influence the upcoming Victims Bill, exposed racism in women’s prisons, secured improvements to the monitoring of people in police custody and worked to improve outcomes for people leaving prison. We have launched a new lived experience leadership programme ELEVATE CJS, celebrated sector success at our Annual Awards and helped change the narrative by working with journalists and Frameworks UK.

Early next year, we will launch a toolkit to empower members to use the Public Sector Equality Duty to challenge discriminatory policies, publish a report on improving workforce diversity and start the first cohort of ELEVATE CJS to promote the redistribution of power to people with lived experience of the criminal justice system. We’re also excited to welcome new academic members and host our inaugural research symposium with the University of Westminster and start an exciting project to promote constructive criminal justice reporting with journalism students building on our ‘Behind Closed Doors‘ report.

Next year will also see the outcome of our super-complaint, but we have already seen improvements to the scrutiny of stop & search and are working with the Home Office officials to inform the development of this work. Our Director gave evidence to The Labour Party on ‘safer communities’ and has been asked to sit on the independent advisory panel for an ‘end to end review’ of the criminal justice system in 2023 to help inform future manifesto commitments.

To support our work, we’re delighted to be growing our team and will be recruiting new trustees next year.  We’re also pleased to welcome new members to the CJA including most recently; Action Vision Zero, Your Consultancy Group CIC, Recre8now, Justice and Care, Beam and Att10tive Social Enterprise.

We are hugely grateful to our funders who have supported us to grow our team and impact. And lastly a big thanks to our wonderful staff and trustees, whose lived, learned and professional expertise has shaped our direction, and enabled us to break new ground making progress towards achieving systemic change this year.

The CJA team wishes you a happy and healthy holiday and we look forward to working with you again in the New Year.

Nina Champion, Director