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Howard League blog · 30 May 2022

Howard League Community Awards 2022

Dr Ben Bradford, Trustee of the Howard LeagueEncouraging desistence from crime through diversion and other interventions – that keep people out of the criminal justice system – is more humane, fairer and more effective than the alternatives of custody, fines and imprisonment.

This idea underpins the work of the Howard League. It is also the focus of grassroots projects up and down the country, which work in a huge variety of ways to keep people out of the system and provide them with positive opportunities to make changes to their lives.

It is a huge privilege to have been asked to chair the Howard League Community Awards 2022, taking over from my fellow Howard League trustee, Gerry Marshall, whom the charity would like to thank for chairing the judging panel for many years.

Over the years the Awards have shone a light on some of the fantastic work done by third sector and community groups, as well as criminal justice agencies such as the police, to divert people away from offending, provide rehabilitation, support victims, and reduce crime.

Almost by definition, this work is often with the most marginalised and excluded in society, who are often poorly served, if at all, by current structure and processes.

To give just one example, the Muslim Women in Prison team won the Criminal Justice Champion Award in 2020 not only for the work they do on desistence but for their wider effort to provide visibility and recognition to a previously hidden population. I am delighted that a new category, Racial Disparities in Youth Justice, has been added to the awards this year.

On a personal level, I find all the work done by the nominees for the Awards hugely inspiring. Indeed, I am somewhat in awe of the commitment, ingenuity and enterprise on display, as well, of course of the results so many of the programmes and initiatives produce.

So my message to everyone working in this area is: please consider putting your work forward to the Awards, so it can be recognised, celebrated, and shared with a national audience. The Awards are a great opportunity to tell your story and maybe, just maybe, gain some extra funding!

Dr Ben Bradford

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