Andrew Henley, a Graduate Teaching Assistant and PhD student in Criminology, is the winner of the 2014 Centre for Crime and Justice Studies essay competition.
As their website reports, "Entrants to this year's competition were asked to write an essay of between 1,400 and 1,600 words on what criminal justice institution, or what aspect of policy or practice, they would want to see abolished. Andrew's essay, entitled 'Abolishing the stigma of punishments served', argued for the abolition of the routine requirement to declare criminal convictions.
His essay concluded by arguing in favour of a tighter set of principles regarding disclosure that offered: 'a more proportionate, humane and legitimate system of dealing with previous convictions which would go some way to abolishing the persistent ‘non-superior’ status of former lawbreakers. Significantly, they could also play a significant role in a wider decarceration strategy because, whilst they will not address the underlying issues of social marginality and economic disadvantage which often contribute to individuals being criminalised in the first place, they may at least remove a significant barrier to those aiming to escape the ‘revolving doors’ of the criminal justice system.'
Reacting to the news Andrew said: 'I'm delighted to have won and want to extend my thanks to the judging panel. I think it's great that the competition topic was criminal justice abolition and that the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies is encouraging PhD students to think of alternatives to current policies and practices.'"
Congratulations to Andrew! He will now receive a bursary to attend the British Society of Criminology Conference and his essay will be published in the centre's quarterly magazine.