The final thirty justice heroes were whittled down from a record 830 nominations this year across the Criminal Justice System. They include:
• An Iman in Hertsfordshire who has used his knowledge of Islamic, Christian and Jewish traditions to develop developing an offending behaviour programme which was appropriate to people of all faiths, and for those who had none;
• A Race and Equality Officer from Belmarsh prison has worked hard to challenge negative attitudes and behaviour towards Islam and Muslims, often in his own time and using his initiative;
• A Hate Crime and Diversity Unit that had the highest detection rate for UK race hate crime in 2006. The unit has set up a series of workshops and a hotline located in the terraces of the local football club, Burnley FC, which can be used to report racist abuse directly to the police.
The Awards celebrate teams and individuals who have gone the extra mile to make outstanding commitment to diversity and ensuring justice for all communties. They were nominated for their outstanding practice by colleagues. The winners will be selected by senior officials and ministers including the Attorney General, Lord Chancellor and the Home Secretary. The Prime Minister has also added his praise for the nominees.
The Prime Minister, Gordon Brown said:
“Justice depends on the integrity, courage and hard work of men and women in police stations, courts, prisons, probation services and in communities up and down the country. The Justice Awards recognise the work of these everyday heroes and I offer all those who have been nominated my congratulations.”
The Attorney General, Baroness Scotland added:
“I inititiated the Justice Awards in 2004 and I have watched them grow in popularity ever since.
Nominations for the Justice Awards have increased three fold and come from front line staff. Those recognised as part of the Justice Awards are examples of the very best the Criminal Justice System has to offer.”
The Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith said:
“We are building an efficient, effective and proportionate Criminal Justice System to protect the public from terrorism, crime and anti-social behaviour. It is important that through the Justice Awards we recognise the excellent, often unsung work done on both the frontline and behind the scenes to demonstrate the real difference we are making to people’s lives.”
There are fifteen categories ranging from work with victims and witnesses through to efforts made to engage local communities. These are split into individual and team awards. The winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on Monday 5 November, hosted by BBC Crimewatch presenter Fiona Bruce.
Further information on the Justice Awards and the full list of finalists can be found at www.cjsonline.gov.uk/justiceawards.
The awards ceremony forms part of Inside Justice Week from 3-10 November 2007.