People’s reactions to communications about criminal justice are guided by a set of strong beliefs about why people commit crime and how to reduce crime. These beliefs affect everyone, are deep seated, strong, and sometimes contradictory. We are unlikely to fundamentally change people’s beliefs, but we can change their appetite for progressive reforms by triggering some beliefs and avoiding engaging with others.
This handy guide equips anyone seeking to communicate persuasively about progressive criminal justice reform with the tools to do so. It maps out the British public’s main beliefs about crime and justice. These include unhelpful beliefs like the criminal justice system is there to punish criminals, but also helpful beliefs such as rehabilitation being one purpose of the criminal justice system. It shares how you can use certain values to navigate those beliefs in order to get people interested in criminal justice and engaged in reform. And it outlines some tried and tested metaphors that will help you explain the problems facing the criminal justice system and bring your solutions to life.
This guide is based on research done by the FrameWorks Institute on behalf of Transform Justice, the Criminal Justice Alliance, Clinks and the Standing Committee for Youth Justice. The project has been supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.