Academic journal article British Journal of Community Justice

Streetcraft: Stories from the Frontline of Criminal Justice Innovation

Academic journal article British Journal of Community Justice

Streetcraft: Stories from the Frontline of Criminal Justice Innovation

Article excerpt

Anton Shelupanov (2014) London: Centre for Justice Innovation. pp113 (pbk) 15.00 [pounds sterling] ISBN 9780992811808

Over the last few months, I've had the opportunity to meet and speak with a number of individuals working in the justice sector. We discussed their journey through corrections, their love and passion for social justice and the wonderful work their organization was doing. From the moment I met each of these front line workers, I was intrigued and excited. I wanted to immerse myself in the world of justice and understand their passion and drive to strengthen their communities and reduce crime. As it happens, I had the opportunity to review Streetcraft and found myself reading interviews with front line justice pioneers who, like others I had met, spoke about their work with passion, love and care. I was impressed with their approach to justice and their positive attitude to the work they were performing. While reading Streetcraft, I felt connected to the stories offered by the practitioners and found myself thinking about the struggles each practioner and/or their organization has faced. I was impressed by their dedication and their love for justice.

Throughout this book, it is the voice of criminal justice practitioners, their hard work and dedication and their passion to make a difference that stands out from other more traditional justice books. The talented and caring individuals shared stories, memorable moments and struggles over the years they have been involved in criminal justice. The book has a positive outlook, yet the discussions of struggles and obstacles were essential and important in understanding the dedication and work that is required for justice innovation. It is often through resistance and limitations that successes follow. Indeed, this is precisely what practitioners discovered and discussed in their interviews. While reading about the struggles that some practitioners faced, I found myself rooting for them to succeed whilst also recognizing my own struggles and limitations in conducting criminological research and/or attempting to become involved with criminal justice organizations. Throughout the book, practitioners display enthusiasm, perseverance and optimism with regards to the current justice system. The strength of this book lies in its uncut perspective of the practitioners. By reading this book, the reader has a clear understanding of what it is like to work in the criminal justice system.

Streetcraft is divided into twenty nine case studies, with an introduction, a 'top lessons' list as well as an annex describing the practitioners. Each case study is approximately two to three pages in length and includes a number of interview questions. The questions presented in text have been taken from a larger interview schedule. The questions presented were interested, captivating and provide a nice overall balance between introduction of the organization or previous work history, particular challenges or struggles faced and lessons learned throughout their work history. Each case study also includes a quote in larger print from the practitioner. …

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