Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Mersey Beaten

Here is the final death warrant for the North Liverpool Community Justice Centre, born of a bright idea from the Downing Street sofa, blessed with a charismatic judge, and supplied with ample funds and a barrowload of political goodwill.  Now the funds and the goodwill have gone, and the experiment is limping to its close. The enthusiasts who sold the idea to the government of the day are now silent, and have probably moved on to other projects and other jobs. I take no satisfaction in any of this,  but I would really like a ten minute chat with one or two of the evangelicals who told us that this was the future of summary justice.


  1. This idea wa based on the Red Hook Justice Centre in Brooklyn, New York which launched in June 2000. The NY court is still going strong after 13 years, so why did the UK version fail. Purely because the UK court was under used.

    To quote Professor George Mair, of Liverpool Hope University, 'I think it's very unfortunate that one of the most exciting initiatives in community justice has been closed down with little evidence to back up such a decision.'

    Being someone outside the justice system, the closure appears to be the work of someone (or group) that didn't like the idea and engineered the closure by limiting the work sent to the court.

  2. Despite the many utterances of wanting to rehabilitate people the reality is no effort is really put into it. Restorative justice actually does work and is far cheaper than banging people up for the minor stuff. I accept in this heathen land we do lock far more people up than we should do but that is no reason to keep on doing it.

    Perssonally I think if the resources had been put in a lot of benefit would have bee nseen but as it is it is finished. What a shame.

  3. Why do I think of vigilantes when I see the phrase "community justice"?


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