‘Community Justice’ means being concerned for all our neighbours, especially the more vulnerable and ostracised to ensure Justice for all, not just the mighty. It can be described as the strategic method of crime reduction and prevention, but Quakers go further than that: believing that if society can focus on treating everyone with dignity and respect, ensuring equal access to accommodation, employment and healthcare then the ‘community’ can have more ‘justice’.
The Community Justice Group meets to give support to those working in this field as well as keeping local Quakers informed about current issues of concern by hosting conferences, open meetings and writing reports.
Members continue to support Circles of Support, (run by the Lucy Faithfull Foundation for those who have committed sexual offences) by:
- providing volunteer Circle members,
- attending strategic Circles of Support Project Board meetings at Birmingham Probation Offices,
- enabling a number Circle meetings to use Quaker premises.
Quaker Chaplains (who are members of the Community Justice Group) work as members of multi faith teams in:
- West Midlands Police;
- the 3 prisons in the area: HMP Birmingham, Hewell & Oakwood;
- the Spiritual Care Team for the Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health Foundation NHS Trust.
‘Chaplains’ is an unusual term for Quakers to use as we do not have priests or vicars. However, the title enables us to be part of multi faith chaplaincy teams in numerous institutions where our unique, non judgemental pastoral care can give support to many. Quakers’ belief that everyone is unique, precious and a child of God helps break down barriers and begin difficult conversations.