The Centre for Criminal Appeals is a not-for-profit legal centre which uses in-depth investigation to challenge unsafe and disproportionate criminal convictions.
With funding from Lankelly Chase, the Centre for Criminal Appeals is using strategic litigation to challenge the over-use of custodial sentencing of women for minor, non-violent crimes. Though this is a problem frequently identified – by the Corston Report in 2007, for example – there are few notable success stories, at least in part because people who can’t afford expensive legal representation struggle to make effective appeals. The aim, therefore, is to find and challenge a select number of test cases which can set legal precedent for how the system operates in future – making sharp, incisive interventions at a crucial point to prevent a downward spiral of poor outcomes for women and their families, and disseminating the learning from this work amongst the legal profession to deliver bigger and wider change.
This project also reflects Lankelly Chase’s belief that imprisonment is often a harmful and destructive intervention for people facing severe and multiple disadvantage, particularly in the cases of women and children; strategic efforts should therefore be made to make this outcome less likely.
Find out more: www.criminalappeals.org.uk