Tuesday, June 06, 2006

criminal justice foum

Last week saw the launch of an ecumenical criminal justice forum for Norfolk at a well-attended meeting hosted by the Bishop of Norwich. A group of local judges, magistrates, senior police and probation officers, prison and police chaplains, lawyers and voluntary agencies such as Victim Support and denominational representatives have come together to form a network to engage with criminal justice issues from a Christian perspective and seek ways of reducing crime and anti-social behaviour in the community by tackling their root causes and suggesting imaginative and effective deterrents.

The forum will be chaired by Norfolk Magistrate, Paddy Seligman under the episcopal oversight of the Bishop of Lynn, the Rt Rev’d James Langstaff, with Rev Simon Wilson, chaplain to Norfolk Police, acting as convenor. Various working groups will be formed to look at a variety of specific issues with Community Chaplaincy and Restorative Justice having been agreed as early priorities.

Last week’s meeting was an encouraging start to the work of this ecumenical forum. It was heartening to see so many people working in the criminal justice field come together to explore a Christian perspective to their work and committed to engaging with local churches and communities and making a real difference in an area of such topical concern to so many.

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