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1,800,000 opportunities missed by criminal justice system to end the revolving door

To mark its 25th Anniversary, Revolving Doors Agency launches new analysis showing the extent of the revolving door.

New analysis by the charity has found that last year 60,000 cautions or convictions for minor offences were given to people who had offended 11 or more times[i]. The data reveals that these individuals had a total of over 1.8 million previous sentencing occasions where the criminal justice system failed to provide an effective intervention when they were dealt with for similar minor offences in order to prevent or to break the cycle of personal crisis and crime.

The report, 1,800,000 million opportunities, sets out the charity’s ambition to prevent the next generation of young people entering this cycle.

Drawing on a range of evidence, including from 2,500 people with lived experience, the report highlights the combined impact of childhood trauma, poverty and structural disadvantages on causing and perpetuating this negative cycle. In its 25th year Revolving Doors sets out its ambition to work with partners to develop models that prevent the criminal justice system embedding existing disadvantage at the crucial stage of young adulthood.  

The report will be launched at the charity’s 25th anniversary event with the Justice Minister, Edward Argar MP and attended by people with lived experience, MPs, academics, commissioners, policy-makers and charities.

Coinciding with the charity’s 25th anniversary celebrations, Revolving Doors also launches a new podcast to change the terms of criminal justice debate. In Other Words brings together voices from across the sectors and explores the role of trauma, poverty and wider structural disadvantages in bringing and trapping people in the revolving door of crisis and crime.[ii][iii]

The charity recognise the challenges in preventing the revolving door and draw on their 25 years of experience in developing models that have now been adopted at national scale.  The charity’s impact includes the co-creation of national liaison and diversion services and setting lived experience at the heart of decision-making. Revolving Doors Lived Experience Forums were established 10 years ago and pioneered a model of creating social change that many organisations are adopting.  

I’m very proud of Revolving Doors’ impact over the last 25 years and all those who contributed to it. Together we have achieved a great deal, but this cannot be seen as only a celebration; our new analysis shows that our mission is as critical as ever. Today we are setting out our ambition to prevent a new generation of young people entering the revolving door and our offer to work in partnership with those who share our vision.

Christina Marriott, CEO of Revolving Doors

[i] Ministry of Justice. 2018. “Offending History Data Tool: previous offence statistics” London. Ministry of Justice. dataset/cbe983-a459-444f-bc92- 39dc70bbdec1/criminal-justice-statistics2

[ii] Key contributors include Professor Suzanne Fitzpatrick, Heriot-Watt University; John McTernan, formerly Director of Political Operations for Tony Blair; Professor James Nazroo, The University of Manchester; Emeritus Professor David Wilson, Birmingham City University; Edward Davies, The Centre for Social Justice: Maff Potts, Camerados and people with lived experience.

[iii] Debates will be of interest to people working in services, commissioning, research, policy or practice with young people in contact with the criminal justice system. Episodes are available on Soundcloud, iTunes and Castbox as well as the Revolving Doors’ website