Transform Justice’s vision is a fair, open, and compassionate justice system. We look towards a future in which there is less crime and fewer people come into contact with the criminal justice system. We believe that evidence about what works to reduce crime and prevent reoffending should be at the heart of policy decisions and embedded in practice by those working in the criminal justice sector.
Contact with the criminal justice system negatively impacts too many people’s lives, be they victims of crime or those accused of causing harm. Evidence shows that the keys to preventing and effectively responding to crime often lie outside of the justice system. But our over reliance on prisons and prosecutions means that more people are criminalised than is necessary and the harm felt by victims is often not effectively addressed or resolved. We aspire towards a system in which prisons and prosecution are used only as a last resort and victims and people who cause harm receive the support they need.
Where the criminal justice system is needed, we are committed to the principles of open justice and fair treatment. Any process which has the potential to impact someone’s liberty, financial situation, or criminal record should be open to public observation and scrutiny so that the system can be held to account. Similarly, anyone facing a criminal penalty deserves a fair process in which they are kept informed, properly represented, and judged without discrimination.
For our vision to become reality, there needs to be a radical change in the way we as a society think about crime and justice. At the moment, punitive public and political narratives hold us back from following the evidence on what really works. We need a more productive discussion – one which highlights the humanity of those impacted by the criminal justice system and recognises the root causes which often contribute to offending behaviour. You can learn more about our work to reframe the conversation about crime and justice here.
We want to demystify the criminal justice system and increase awareness of the ways it could be improved, then persuade politicians and policy makers to make changes in line with our suggestions. It is important to us that our work is accessible to anyone interested in learning more about the criminal justice system. To this end, we produce regular articles and podcast episodes on key policy issues which you can find here.
Through our work we hope to reduce crime and the harm that can be caused by the criminal justice system.