For far too long we have been accustomed to a political culture shorn of compassion, decency, and solidarity. We're all familiar with the script: a leader, or prospective leader, is someone who isn't afraid to 'make the tough choices', 'tell us how it is', 'be unpopular', 'take the hard rather than the easy decisions', etc, etc.
Investment in communities is essential for any government. Nacro and other organisations like us change lives and transform communities. Our work is difficult and complex. It is rooted in working with individuals and communities to move people forward and help people to see and reach their potential.
My dad is in maximum-security prison after an unreliable career in armed robbery. He already served ten-years and was finally promoted to an open prison - you know the ones - the kind we reserve for our white-collar criminals like celebrity politicians Jeffrey Archer and Jonathan Aitken. Annoyingly my dad didn't write a best seller in the last few months of his stretch...
n the Joel Schumacher classic, Falling Down, William Foster, played by Michael Douglas, passes a man protesting the fact he has been categorised as "not economically viable". Swathes of British society have been categorised in this way by the Conservatives and they are slowly being ground into the dirt. And now they might end up in court faced with the prospect of a crippling bill for simply exercising their ancient right to plead innocent.
For some time now, it's been clear that our criminal justice system is not up to scratch in the way it treats victims and witnesses. The very people it is designed to serve and protect have been ignored and mistreated. In some cases, victims have themselves been treated as criminals... While the current Victim's Code of Conduct is an improvement on its predecessor, it is still too easily dismissed by those working in the justice system. It is toothless, and the time has come to give it teeth. Putting it into law would strengthen victims' rights in a whole raft of areas.
For anyone who's been a victim of sexual abuse, asking for help to recover is a big step, yet to move forward and cope with what's happened it can be crucial... We want to help tackle the stigma that surrounds male victims of sexual violence and encourage them to seek help. I also hope it will encourage more male victims to report the crime and bring their offender to justice.
What are all those police officers and civil servants, involved in the Prevent Strategy meant to say to families when trying to persuade them to give the authorities information about their own children? You can trust us - your child will be treated as anyone else's? Their job just got harder - this sort of sentencing may well do a lot of harm and make us less safe.
Surprising stuff at the IARS Victim conference last week as a UK Government Minister appeared to falter over victim led justice by suggesting that the EU Victim Directive 2012/29/EU ("The Victim Directive") required new domestic law and would need further consultation before implementation on the meaning of "victim".