Quakers in Criminal Justice

August 2009 Newsletter


It is not often that an editor can take satisfaction in being proved wrong – but by the time our last Newsletter reached you, my Editorial was already out of date. Jack Straw had given in to the clamour of representations and admitted that to build titan prisons would be a mistake. Instead, we are to have a larger number of new prisons, each housing only 1500 inmates. (“Only”!!). A very small step in the right direction, but perhaps we should give thanks that it has been taken at all.

Friends up and down the country will have been considering “A Framework for Action” – a kind of Quaker Five-year Plan to take us through to 2014. “Crime, Community & Justice” is named in the plan as one of our central concerns. So as a support group, QICJ should have a secure future and a useful contribution to make. But I say “should have” as it is surprising how many Friends, deeply committed to work in criminal justice, do not feel it worthwhile to belong to us.

Spread the word, Friends: we need more members, to strengthen our witness within the Society, and in society at large. I am delighted to receive items for the Newsletter, and the deadline for contributions to the next issue will be the end of October.

Adrian Smith
Newsletter editor

Also in this edition