Making change happen for over 25 years
Revolving Doors Agency has a rich history of advocating and achieving real world changes though our policy work. We aim to create bold change that builds a smarter criminal justice system and makes the revolving avoidable and escapable. We work alongside people with lived experience to make change happen. Our work focusses on priority areas set out below.
We are working with police services and Police and Crime Commissioners to develop mainstreamed responses for young adults (18-25) from first contact to prosecution. Young adulthood is the critical opportunity to identify those who are not “growing out” of crime, those just entering the revolving door. The criminal justice system can embed the disadvantages of poverty, trauma and racism, – or it can respond intelligently to the needs of those young adults likely to already be self-medicating, sofa surfing, surviving.
Courts are going under a major reform through the Transforming Justice Programme and will be different years to come. The challenge – and the opportunity – is achieving equitable access to justice that supports fair and effective sentencing. This must include a court system that recognises and responds to multiple vulnerabilities. We are engaging with the reform programme, providing evidence and lived experience insight, to improve the design of the court and tribunal systems.
Probation must be designed for the needs of those in it. To do this, we need to know what those needs are. There is a mismatch between the exceptional level of needs and the ability of services to respond. Services continue to ignore the assets people with lived experience have and can bring to the system. We are pioneering a new lived experience inquiry that puts people who have been in the system in a position of power to identify solutions.
Every year 30,000 people who commit minor and non-violent offences are sent to prison for 6 months or less. These prison sentences simply do not work. We are campaigning for a presumption against short prison sentences, replacing them with more effective community sentences.
Health inequalities in the criminal justice system
Far too many people in the criminal justice system with mental ill-health or a learning disability are left without their needs properly identified. Too many end up in prison when they could have been safely diverted and cared for in the community. Too many are processed through the justice system without adequate care and support. We bring together robust research evidence and lived experience to address health inequalities people in the revolving door face.
Leading criminal justice and health charities are calling on the government to strengthen the law so that anyone being considered for a prison sentence must have a relevant up to date pre-sentence report before a court can imprison them. The call forms part of a new report entitled In Ten Years Time being launched at a major health and justice conference mark the 10th anniversary of Lord Bradley’s report on improving outcomes for people with mental ill-health and learning disabilities in the criminal justice system. The report, co-authored by Revolving Doors Agency and Centre for Mental Health, argues that far too many people are still being sent to prison despite significant vulnerabilities.