Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Latest news from the Community Justice Centre in North Liverpool

I have been sent this by email and am sharing it with you for interest.

Community Justice Centre, North Liverpool

Welcome to the Community Justice Centre, North Liverpool e-bulletin, keeping you up-to-date with our latest news and progress.

Working with the Community

More than 300 14 and 15 year-olds from Alsop High School in Walton and the North Liverpool Academy in Anfield, ‘judged for themselves’ and learned about the reality of life in prison, as part of a number of special events delivered by the Community Justice Centre in December.

Using a mix of real criminal cases heard at the Community Justice Centre and educational tools developed by the OCJR (Office of Criminal Justice Reform), the centre team led class-based discussions about Community Justice and the Youth Justice System. The pupils role-played in a mock sentencing event, to help them to understand the court process and how offenders are sentenced.

The young people also role-played in a restorative justice conference, which is one of the many innovative approaches pioneered by the centre. It brings together victims with offenders as part of the sentence. The pupils learned how this method aims to help offenders explain their actions, understand the harm they have done to their victim and the community, and give them an opportunity to make amends.

At the North Liverpool Academy, the centre team was joined by a Prison Officer from HMP Liverpool, who gave a presentation about an offender’s first five minutes in prison. The presentation focused on the realities of prison life which provoked many questions from pupils and teachers. They were also given the opportunity to experience the size of a real prison cell.

The Problem Solving Approach

The Community Justice Centre team has set up a new group to tackle anti social behaviour issues at the Anfield Sports and Community Centre (ASCC) in Lower Breck Road.

The Community Problem Solving Group (PSG) which includes representatives from a range of local agencies, met for the first time at the end of 2007. The group identified around a dozen of the main perpetrators of anti social and criminal behaviour in the Anfield area and put together a number of proposals to tackle the problem, including plans to position a mobile police station on the ASCC site, as part of a community event.

The group identified the need to divert local youngsters from involvement in anti social behaviour and to encourage use of the centre’s facilities by the local community. This group intends to link any activities it plans with Anfield’s Respect Action Week planned for March 2008.

Tackling Crime and its Causes

Making Amends

A 16 year-old who shouted racial abuse at a steward at Everton Football Club has had his season ticket confiscated and has been banned from attending games for the rest of the season. This action taken by the club followed a recommendation by Judge David Fletcher for the youth to take part in a restorative justice conference. This involved the youth meeting the steward and apologising for his behaviour. The offender also wrote a letter of apology expressing his regret and the steward is reported to be happy with the outcome.

Breaking the Cycle of Offending

A 16 year-old from Anfield with a history of anti social behaviour appeared before Judge Fletcher in January for breaching an order which prevented him from contacting other known persistent young offenders in the area. The offender had previously received custodial sentences, so Judge Fletcher imposed a residence order at an address in Nottingham, with the aim of breaking the cycle of the offending behaviour by removing the offender from North Liverpool.


The centre is planning to launch a competition to find the best design for its very own Superlambanana.

In support of Liverpool’s City of Culture year the Community Justice Centre is taking part in a major art event, when up to 100 replica “Superlambananas”, individually painted and decorated by local artists, community groups and celebrities, will be displayed around the city in the summer.

The centre’s competition, aimed at young people, will be launched in the Spring, and aims to find the most creative and innovative design for the centre’s version of the Liverpool icon. Once the winning design has been selected, the Superlambanana will be painted by local young people with help from an artist.

It is expected that the completed replica “Superlambananas” will be a major tourist attraction in the city and the details of each one will appear on a special website and a location map. Some will be auctioned for charity at the end of the year. Details of the competition will be announced in the Spring.

Panto Success

The centre hosted its third senior citizens’ Christmas party at Liverpool Hope University’s Cornerstone building at the beginning of December with a special performance of its panto version of Cinderella, ‘Checkout Cindy’.

The pantomime was a huge success, with original songs created and developed by the young people involved, with help from centre staff and the Rotunda College. The initial performance was followed by a matinee for 100 local people, including the performers’ parents.

Since their debut the young people have performed a selection of their songs at various senior citizens’ parties around North Liverpool. Building on its success it is hoped the Panto will become an annual Community Justice Centre event.

In 2007, in addition to its own activities, the centre was able to offer its Community Room as a venue for two children’s Christmas parties. ASDA in Breck Road held its children’s party at the centre when its original venue fell through. The centre also hosted a children’s party for the Impact Group which holds a weekly support session for local families at the centre.

No comments: