Quakers in Criminal Justice

Welcome to Quakers in Criminal Justice

Quakers in Criminal Justice (QICJ) is an informal network of Quakers, based in the United Kingdom, who have an interest in the criminal justice system. It offers mutual support for Quakers working in various branches of the system and helps to inform them (and thereby their Meetings) about current penal issues. It is also a focal point for Friends with an interest in criminal justice.

QICJ is both a Quaker Recognised Body and a Registered Charity. View our constitution (PDF).

Members include Quaker prison chaplains, active and former criminal justice professionals, serving and former prisoners, academics and prison visitors. The involvements of QICJ membership are wide-ranging (PDF), from restorative practices in courts, communities and schools, to establishing charities working with victims or supplying education in custody.

QICJ holds an annual conference, at which topics of current interest are discussed. This provides an opportunity to share problems and views with others working in various fields in the criminal justice system, who have to make similar difficult decisions and who share a Quaker approach.

A newsletter is published three times a year, for which articles are welcomed by the editor, and there is also a membership list, which helps members contact each other for support, advice or information, if required.

For a wider view of Quaker involvement in the justice field, click on Quakers in Britain above.

Justice Updates

Updates on criminal justice matters for September 2022:

The Prison Reform Trust's Bromley Briefings provide a comprehensive data set. Pages 8–10 highlight Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups, who are disproportionally incarcerated. But this applies most of all to the Gypsy/Roma/Traveller community. An update follows on older people in prison and IPP prisoners (Imprisonment for Public Protection). We await the Justice Committee’s wide-ranging inquiry into IPP due this month and shall respond. Here is the entire PRT briefing.

Meanwhile staff shortages continue to undermine police, probation and especially, prison services. Recruitment targets are announced but there is no publicity about the high numbers leaving these services.

STOP PRESS – Check out the following course at Woodbrooke: Quakers Considering Penal Abolition. Monthly via Zoom, from October 18, cost £54.

Previous updates:

The Independent Commission into the Experience of Victims and Long-term Prisoners by former Bishop of Liverpool has now reported. See item in QUAKE with comment by Tim Newell, followed by a link to the report itself. This is an important initiative with which we should familiarise ourselves – the executive summary is a good way of doing so.

The state of prisons as exemplified by HMP Nottingham, in Guardian Long Read, followed by thought-provoking article by Mike Nellis prompted by this coverage: Thinking About Prison Abolition.

Compare prison systems in the UK with 46 other countries through the Council of Europe's SPACE I Report, also Prisons of the World by Andrew Coyle, review by Tim Newell in The Friend 7th of April.
Youth Justice services are performing better, according to this briefing, which flags up the use of ‘diversion’.

Read the first Statement from the Justice Interim Group Time to end Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP), along with collated IPP experiences.

The Human Rights Act needs to be protected, article in Jewish Voice.

Probation Quarterly. Articles include: recognising maternal trauma in probation supervision; whether changes to the perception, treatment and approaches to work with women and girls affected by the criminal justice system have occurred, to what extent and to what effect.

Our registered charity number is 1189077