Lived experience leaders/participation

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All our justice: People with convictions and ‘participatory’ criminal justice

Gillian Buck, Paula Harriott, Kemi Ryan, Natasha Ryan, Philippa Tomczak

Despite experiencing strong cultural messages that they are outsiders to be contained and corrected (Becker, 1963/2008), criminalised people play varied roles in the development and delivery of criminal justice services and advocacy around the world (Buck, 2020; Prison Reform Trust, 2017). These roles include peer listeners and mentors (e.g. Seppings, 2016), involvement in service design and commissioning (Revolving Doors, 2016), establishing innovative programmes (e.g. User Voice) and creating service user ‘voice’ and policy lobbying formations (e.g. the Prisoner Policy Network, Revolving Doors Lived Experience forums). This work is often organised by voluntary organisations, from local to national scales. It has been driven by people with convictions themselves, and UK policy plans to i) blend volunteer and peer mentoring into criminal justice ‘rehabilitation’ services (Grayling, 2012; Gough, 2017), and ii) involve young people in the planning, delivery and evaluation of activities across youth justice (YJB participation strategy, 2016).



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