Quakers in Criminal Justice

Poverty and Power — Where is Our Responsibility?

The 2016 conference of Quakers in Criminal Justice took place at Hinsley Hall, Leeds, from 26 to 28 February 2016.

It was a packed programme with some very knowledgeable speakers: Stuart Prince, a Quaker and former Senior Police Officer spoke on Friday evening about “Integrity in Public Life and Beyond”, Professor David Whyte and John Battle (ex MP for Leeds South) looked at “Crimes of the Powerful” and “Poverty does not inevitably lead to Crime” respectively on Saturday morning, and a group of three Leeds residents told us on Sunday morning about “A Community takes Responsibility: the response of Leeds to possible rioting”. There were workshops on related topics.

As usual, free time was built into the programme for networking with Friends old and new, or taking a walk round Leeds; there was an area where Friends could “showcase” and share information about their particular contributions to the CJ system at times during the conference. There were also two interesting exhibitions on show — “The Light that Pushes Me: stories of African Peacebuilders” and also Koestler exhibition photographs of prisoner art work, and there was a social “get-together” on the Saturday evening.