Another Successful Year for the Neighbourhood Justice Team

ASC Neighbourhood Justice Team (NJT) in Bristol has been shortlisted for the Howard League for Penal Reform Community Programme Award for a second year.

The NJT is a volunteer led project assisting Policing teams and partner agencies to deliver RJ to the community. The NJT addresses the victim’s needs and the prevention of re offending in the delivery of face-to-face RJ conferences and RJ interventions. The objective of the programme is to deliver a holistic service to both victim and offender in which they and the community can invest the highest personal confidence.

The Howard League for Penal Reform award is for the country’s most successful community programmes. The competition was launched in November 2005 as part of the Howard League’s aim of increasing public and government support for community sentences. These annual awards celebrate best practice in community sentencing and champion the cutting edge of the criminal justice system, with work in the community that challenges and changes people for the better. By finding outstanding community programmes that work with individuals who have committed crime, it is hoped that the Community Programmes Awards will celebrate success and promote positive practice in the delivery of community sentences.

The NJT aims to emphasise the proactive, community and relationship building side of RJ. The building, maintaining and repairing of relationships is at the heart of the volunteer’s work.  By facilitating RJ conferences the volunteers meet victims’ needs, including reparation, compensation and often an apology. Offenders address rehabilitation and are discouraged from re-offending.

The NJT addresses relationships that have been damaged or broken by crime and aid repair. The project explores ways in which restorative approaches can be employed to engage local people in contributing to the ways in which offending and offensive behaviour is handled and provides people from local communities with the tools they need to be involved in dealing with crime and anti-social behaviour problems that they face.

Helen Rosenthal, ASC Neighbourhood Justice Coordinator comments “The NJT has developed extensively over the last year assisting the Police and other organisations from the wider community. The team has expanded and the volunteer facilitators have continued to show enthusiasm and dedication to the use of RJ in Bristol. The team is thrilled to have been shortlisted for this prestigious award.”

Jo Quinton, joint coordinator of the team comments “ It is well deserved  recognition of all the hard work our volunteers have contribution.”

The awards ceremony to be held on 15 July with an audience of policy makers and practitioners the Howard League for Penal Reform’s national conference at the Kings Fund, London.

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