Dave Nicholson who is a PhD student with PERU has written a chapter on the potential for co-operatives to re-shape community payback in a book published yesterday.

Crime and Consequence: What should happen to people who commit criminal offences? is published by Clinks and the National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance and is open access. The book includes contributions from a diverse group of people including academics, professionals working in the criminal justice system and people with lived experience. It includes reflections on what does, or should, constitute a criminal offence in the first place and how changes to sentencing practice can seem arbitrary. There are also thoughts on what should happen to specific groups of people who commit crimes, to people who commit specific types of crime and whether we can tailor sentencing practice to each individual and their circumstances.

Dave is a former Probation Officer, currently Director of Ex-Cell Justice Solutions, a co-operative of people with lived experience of the Criminal Justice System, campaigning for a fairer justice system and developing innovative justice solutions for victims and people who commit criminal offences. In the chapter he draws on his experience of setting up and supporting co-operatives in the criminal justice system to argue that co-operatives can generate social capital to support desistance from future offending and that community payback could be “a system owned and run by the community”.