This paper presents findings from research into one of the Serious and Organised Crime Community Coordinator (SOC CC) pilots funded by the Home Office. Delivered in Birmingham UK between 2019 and 2021 by West Midlands Police, the SOC CC role included identifying community projects and building partnerships across statutory and voluntary sectors in high-need areas of the city. The research took a qualitative approach, interviewing 11 key stakeholders representing the programmes commissioned by the SOC CC, the Home Office, community partners, the West Midlands Violence Reduction Unit, local schools, and West Midlands Police. The study focused on the potential of the pilot to develop community resilience and address vulnerabilities through a whole-system approach and commissioning of resources from statutory, police, and third-party stakeholders.

Editorial (Issue 19: Issue 1)

Welcome to this issue of the British Journal of Community Justice. The papers in this issue highlight current and long-standing concerns about race equality in the criminal justice system and the challenges in identifying and addressing community tensions. Issues which influential 2017 Lammy Review brought to the fore. Our papers do not directly touch on the issue of policing, but it seems remiss not to mention the recently published Casey Review report (Baroness Blackstock 2023) into standards of behaviour and internal culture of the Metropolitan Police (the Met). The finding that the Met is institutionally racist, sexist and homophobic is damning and profoundly dismaying. The issue of race equality and justice is not new. It suggests that lessons have not been learnt from the Scarman Report into the Brixton riots, over forty years ago; and the MacPherson report (1999) which first found the Met to be institutionally racist. The Met and policing more generally does not constitute the…


Despite being the most overrepresented group of women in the Criminal Justice System (CJS), a significant lack of attention has been paid to Black women in academic literature and government policy in relation to this disparity. Using a Black feminist lens, this article seeks to illuminate the mistreatment, neglect, discrimination, and oppression experienced by these women once in the CJS. The research highlights their voices and experiences through a process of Narrative Interviewing, one of the most effective tools for collecting data from marginalised groups, and the use of Critical Race Feminism as the theoretical framework that assists in providing powerful counter narratives. Eight women with experience of imprisonment in England and Wales were interviewed, producing 21 in-depth interviews. This article explores key themes including racist stereotyping, poor healthcare, and lack of rehabilitative services and presents participant’s narratives alongside case examples. The data…


Purpose - this paper maps out the cooperation space between partners responsible for tension monitoring and cohesion delivery in Wales. The network, labelled Cohesion Delivery Network (CDN), is examined using a mixed method approach. The final output provides a visualisation of the cooperation space between seven key stakeholder groups and indicates what predictive factors cause increased and decreased cooperation. The final section of this paper provides explanatory accounts of the findings made, providing an insight into why and how the cooperation exists.

“I’ve Never Been Arrested At A 12-step Meeting”: How Structural And Functional Mechanisms Of 12 Step Programmes Might Support Criminal Desistance

This article aims to highlight how the structural and functional mechanisms of 12 step programmes (12SPs) might support criminal desistance. Drawing upon a small sample (n=7) from a wider PhD study (n=38) on peer work and desistance in prisoners, probationers and former probationers in England, narratives were reanalysed thematically to explore the desistance potential of 12SPs. The author has personal experience of 12SPs and has also worked within criminal justice (Prison Service). Themes identified suggest that 12SPs can be a ‘hook for change’ and allow for ‘changing of playground’. Tools offered through 12SPs can help structure and shape daily routines, develop discipline and manageability of self, and the collective responsibility of 12 step groups can develop social, human and recovery capital which might potentially support desistance supporting roles like employment and parenting. Not all 12 step members are involved with the criminal justice system, so this article presents a…

Policing Disability Hate Crime

There is no aggravated offence for disability hate crime (DHC). The current legislation fails to place the disability characteristic on an equal footing with the characteristics of race and religion (for which there are aggravated offences). The effect of this is evident not only in law, which does not adequately punish the perpetrators of DHC, but also in the actions of the police who find it difficult to recognise and record DHC. In its 2021 report on hate crime laws the Law Commission has echoed its previous recommendation made in 2014 to extend aggravated offences that currently exist for race and religion to all other existing characteristics including disability. No changes were made in response to the 2014 report, and it is unlikely immediate changes will be made following the 2021 report. The police, however, are in a position to change how the current law relating to DHC is implemented if they improve their recognition and recording of it. This article examines the…

Race Equality in Probation Services in England and Wales: A Procedural Justice Perspective

Probation services in England and Wales supervise over 240,000 people sentenced by the courts or after they have left prison; around one in eight of these people are from a non-white ethnic minority (Ministry of Justice, 2022). Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation recently published their inspection report on the experiences of ethnic minority people on probation and staff. From fieldwork across five areas, the inspectors found significant problems in the quality of relationships between probation workers and ethnic minority people on probation, and reported significant gaps in the availability of services and interventions.