Centre for Justice Innovation
The Centre for Justice Innovation aims to improve the implementation, evaluation and dissemination of new ideas and new practices throughout the criminal justice system in the United Kingdom. The Centre supports and champions front-line innovators in their efforts to reduce crime, aid victims and improve community confidence in the justice system. The Centre for Justice Innovation’s priorities in 2012 include launching the Probation Innovation Network, a project designed to strengthen and spread innovative practice within the probation service in England and Wales, helping the Scottish government implement the Criminal Justice Change and Innovation Fund, and providing technical assistance to the North Liverpool Community Justice Centre.
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The Centre for Justice Innovation is a project of the New York-based non-profit the Center for Court Innovation and is supported by the Hadley Trust, the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, and the Monument Trust.
The Center for Court Innovation’s involvement in England and Wales dates back to 1999 when the Center worked with the founders of the Youth Justice Board to explore cutting-edge innovations in juvenile justice. Over the last decade, officials at the Center have hosted numerous visitors to New York City from the UK (including the Justice Minister, Home Secretary, Attorney General, and Lord Chief Justice), and helped government officials replicate one of the Center’s demonstration projects, the Red Hook Community Justice Center, in North Liverpool.
The Center has also contributed ideas and research to a number of non-governmental organizations in England, including the Barrow Cadbury Trust’s Transition to Adulthood project, the Howard League for Penal Reform’s Commission on English Prisons Today, the Institute for Public Policy Research’s investigation of community justice, and Policy Exchange’s review of problem-solving courts. Finally, staff members from the Center for Court Innovation have participated in numerous workshops, conferences, and roundtables in the UK, as well as contributing articles to the Guardian, New Statesman, British Journal of Community Justice and other periodicals.
Over the course of this engagement with England and Wales, reformers inside and outside of government have consistently remarked on the need for an independent justice reform organization in England and Wales. In 2008, this recommendation was the centerpiece of a report entitled “Escape from the Titanic: Why Britain’s Criminal Justice System Needs Systemic Innovation” issued by the Young Foundation.
In 2010, the Hadley Trust made a planning grant to the Center for Court Innovation and the Young Foundation that enabled a London-based planner, Aubrey Fox, to conduct a feasibility study for a Centre for Justice Innovation. Dozens of planning sessions and interviews with scholars, government officials, criminal justice think tanks, foundation officers, and practitioners led to the creation of the Centre for Justice Innovation in 2011. Click here to read about the Centre for Justice Innovation’s launch event.
In an effort to promote innovation, the Centre for Justice Innovation seeks to bring together criminal justice reformers in the UK to explore emerging trends in the field. The Centre also brings leading criminal justice experts from the US to the UK to discuss the latest research and developments in the field. For example, in recent months the Centre has helped to organize visits by Tom Tyler of Yale Law School, who presented on the topic of procedural justice, and Mark Kleiman of the UCLA School of Public Affairs, who highlighted innovative responses to substance-abusing defendants.
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