Network will enable University to collaborate on research, evaluation, publication and promotion of ‘best practice’ in the pursuit of peace and justice
Members of the Lancashire Law School and the Criminal Justice Partnership at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have launched a peace and justice studies network.
Fronted by Dr Kim McGuire, the network will help those, both internal and external to the University, who are involved in peace and justice studies and practice to work collaboratively.
Amongst the many areas discussed at the launch, and to be considered in future, were: rehabilitation and education initiatives within the prison and youth justice services, restorative justice providers, hate crime reporting agencies, as well as research into radicalisation, and community cohesion initiatives to prevent, and in the aftermath of, violent events.
Dr McGuire said: “I received innovation funding from the Law School and the University to launch this network.
“At the moment it has been a virtual network, so we have a website, but we are now in the process of expanding contacts both internally and externally with people who are interested in promoting peace and justice, in a variety of ways.”
We are now in the process of expanding contacts both internally and externally with people who are interested in promoting peace and justice, in a variety of ways.
“For example, we’re looking at people who are using restorative justice, those who are undertaking education and rehabilitative work with people in prison, as well as hate crime reporting centres, victim support, and community cohesion. Anything to do with the promotion of peace and justice in innovative ways is what we’re really looking for.”
Several guest speakers attended the event, which provided the opportunity to engage with a whole host of new contacts. Feedback from delegates has been excellent. One commented that the event “has given them the opportunity to be involved with others interested in similar areas” and “raised awareness of what UCLan can offer to the wider communities of practice.”
The ball has already started to roll even before the launch of the network.
Dr McGuire added: “We’re starting to develop restorative justice within the University and we also have a hate crime reporting centre in addition to the mediation work we do.
“It will also involve academic work. For example, we recently evaluated a hate crime and restorative justice with perpetrators. The network will include a mixture of research, evaluation and publication with practitioners and promoting what’s out there.
“I’m hoping people will sign up to be members of the network, and then decide how they would like to contribute. So whether they want us to put events on for them, or work together on different kinds of projects, working collaborative partnerships is what I’m hoping to do. This is a work in progress, but the signs are that there is a real interest in these areas.”