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CJA Awards 2021

The CJA Awards 2021 are now closed for nominations. We’ll be announcing the shortlists in late October.

The CJA Awards celebrate the outstanding individuals and organisations helping to make the criminal justice system fairer and more effective, generously supported by the Barrow Cadbury Trust.

We also hold an annual Media Awards, which celebrate the journalists, documentary makers and digital media champions shining a spotlight on criminal justice, challenging misperceptions and improving public understanding. 

This year we have introduced two new categories in the CJA Awards to carry on the legacy of Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones, who were tragically killed in the attack at Fishmongers’ Hall in November 2019. 

The Saskia Jones Legacy Award

Saskia Jones was a committed advocate for victims. Saskia’s research focused on how victims of sexual violence are handled across the criminal justice system in practice and policy. Her decision to join the police force was driven by her passion to make a real change in this field.

The Saskia Jones Legacy Award is for a dedicated and passionate individual who has positively impacted the lives of victims in the last 12 months. 

Saskia Jones

The Jack Merritt Legacy Award

Jack Merritt was a champion for marginalised and discriminated against groups, who wrote his dissertation on the overrepresentation of young Black, Asian and minority ethnic men in the UK prison system and co-ordinated educational opportunities for people in prison.

The Jack Merritt Legacy Award is for a bold and inspiring individual who has improved outcomes and opportunities for Black, Asian and minority ethnic people in the criminal justice system.  

Jack Merritt


These are the categories and prizes for the awards. 

CJA Awards 

  • Outstanding National Organisation. The winner will receive £3,000, and the runner up with receive £1,000.  
  • Outstanding Local or Regional Organisation. The winner will receive £3,000, and the runner up will receive £1,000.  
  • Outstanding Individual. The winner will receive £1,000, and the runner up will receive £500. 
  • The Saskia Jones Legacy Award. The winner will receive £1,000, and the runner-up will receive £500. 
  • The Jack Merritt Legacy Award. The winner will receive £1,000, and the runner-up will receive £500.  

Media Awards

  • Outstanding Journalism.  
  • Outstanding Digital Media Champion.
  • Outstanding Documentary. 


The judges for this year’s CJA Awards are:

  • Brendan Ross. Brendan manages the St Giles Trust Peer Circles Project and won the Outstanding Individual award in 2020.
  • Abimbola Johnson. Abimbola is a barrister and was recently elected as chair of a new independent board to scrutinise racial disproportionality in policing.
  • Catherine Hinwood. Catherine is Deputy Director for Victim and Witness Policy at the Ministry of Justice.
  • Chief Inspector Jason Kew. Jason is the Lead for Drugs and Harm Reduction at the Thames Valley Violence Reduction Unit.

The judges for the Media Awards are:

  • Ria Chatterjee. Ria is a broadcast journalist for ITV News London and won runner-up in the Outstanding Journalism award 2020 for her reporting on violence.
  • Jacob Dunne. Jacob won the Outstanding Documentary award last year for The Punch, a BBC Radio 4 documentary he presented on his experiences of restorative justice.
  • Kate Stanley. Kate is Executive Director of Frameworks UK, a think tank that helps mission-driven organisations communicate about social issues for change.
  • Gavin McKenna. Gavin is the Founder of Reach Every Generation and won runner-up in the Outstanding Individual award last year. He has dealt extensively with the media over the years, and will be joined by a young person he supports to judge the awards.


The deadline for nominations is midday on 27 September 2021.  

The awards ceremony will be held virtually at the end of November. 


If you have any questions about the CJA Awards, please call Jamie Morrell, Communications and Engagement Officer, on 07902 114 967, or email  

Privacy Notice: All personal information obtained from nominations will be held securely and used solely for the purpose of contacting you about the Awards. Your information will not be shared with outside parties. See our privacy policy for more details.

Our previous awards

Why not check out the winners and shortlists of our previous awards?