StreetCraft - Stories from the frontline of criminal justice innovation

By Anton Shelupanov
Wednesday, 19 February 2014

StreetCraft is a collection of interviews with some of the UK's leading criminal justice innovators. The book relates their stories of obstacles faced, opportunities realised, successes achieved and failures absorbed, as they set out to make a difference in the British criminal justice system of the early 21st century. 

In their own words, these practitioners from the worlds of police, probation, prison, courts, and the third sector tell their experiences of doing things differently, in a changing and challenging world. In a sector which can at times seem conservative and rule bound, StreetCraft demonstrates that social innovation is alive and kicking in the criminal justice system. 

Anton Shelupanov, Associate Director at the Centre for Justice Innovation said:

“StreetCraft demonstrates that frontline criminal justice practitioners have a multitude of excellent ideas to reduce crime, help victims and make our streets safer. In these challenging times for public services, innovation is all the more necessary.”

 

The book features interviews with:

  • Heather Munro, Chief Executive of the London Probation Trust
  • Steve Heywood, Assistant Chief Constable at Greater Manchester Police
  •  Evan Jones, Head of Community Services at the St Giles Trust
  •  Danny Afzal, prison reformer
  • David Chesterton, Magistrate for Youth and Family courts in East London
  • and many more. 

The ten StreetCraft lessons

The interviews give contrasting views of what it is like to try to innovate in the criminal justice system. Reflecting on their stories, the book offers ten key lessons for other justice innovators:

  • Start with a passion for solving problems. 
  • Be clear about the problem you want to fix (and work out whether it is a problem for others).  
  • Engage with the people who care about the problem you are trying to solve. 
  • Have a convincing idea of how you’ll get there (even if the evidence is unclear about what is going to work). 
  • Build partnerships early and maintain those relationships. 
  • Balance your self-belief with humility and the capacity for self-reflection.  
  • Perseverance and persuasion are necessary, though not sufficient, attributes if you want to make a difference. 
  • Money is not your only resource. 
  • Successes and failures are seldom black and white. 
  • It’s people, not systems, which matter. 

StreetCraft demonstrates that frontline criminal justice practitioners have a multitude of excellent ideas to reduce crime, help victims and make our streets safer. In these challenging times for public services, innovation is all the more necesssary.

The book is free for download from this page. If you want a hard copy, please go to our donate page.