Tonight I thought I would blog about something I’m part of which perhaps may be of interest to some of you who read my blog.
As you have probably noticed, I’m quite concerned about just, humane and effective responses to crime. Because of this, I’m part of a new initiative called the Smart Justice Network. It’s a collaboration of individuals and organizations who are troubled by current practices and trends within the Canadian criminal justice system.
We are concerned about the increasing emphasis on punishment over prevention, about the people impacted by heavy-handed crime legislation, and about money that’s being poured into prisons – money which is desperately needed in so many other sectors such as health, education and social services.
We believe there is an urgent need for an informed public conversation that presents smart, safe and effective responses to crime and its consequences – and this is exactly what the Smart Justice Network hopes to ignite.
To ignite this public conversation we are creating a vast network of Canadians who believe in proven, effective and compassionate justice policies and practices. We plan to disseminate and produce comprehensive, carefully sourced information on the justice system and on smart justice approaches and practices, and to respectfully engage with the perspectives and stories of people who have experiences in the criminal justice system.
Our vision is a responsible criminal justice system which values justice and human dignity for all – victims, offenders and communities.
One of the things I’m doing as part of this network is building a website which will serve as a hub of resources, information and dialogue about Canada’s criminal justice system. The task of building such a site from scratch is a bit daunting, but it’s exciting to see people from across Canada and from different sectors join in the conversation. I really believe this has the chance to be something unique and very important.
If you are interested in learning more about the Smart Justice Network, please let me know. I can send you documents which describe in more detail our objectives, values, communication priorities, etc. You can follow also me on Twitter @Smart_Justice.
A just and compassionate society is worth striving for.