Four Dynamic Criminal Justice Pioneers start National Scholarship

The Centre for Justice Innovation is pleased to announce the four successful candidates of our StreetCraft Scholarship. Each of our pioneering Scholars are taking forward creative new approaches to criminal justice reform, and will spend their time on the Scholarship working with the Centre, CLINKS and the Young Foundation to turn those ideas into new practice.


StreetCraft Scholars will be taken through a three-month intensive training and mentoring program where they can learn from experts and leaders in the field on how to set up, develop, scale and sustain their criminal justice idea.


Anton Shelupanov from the Centre for Justice Innovation said: “Today, we are delighted to launch our StreetCraft Scholarship programme to support four creative people at the sharp end of justice innovation to do something which will help victims and communities feel safer, and offenders to take a positive route out of crime. Our four scholars span the charitable, public and social enterprise sectors. The ideas we are helping them put into practice cover a wide range of criminal justice issues, from mental health to a more restorative vision of custody.


In an environment of top-down system-wide reform this group of frontline innovators are proving that grassroots practice-led, creative and thoughtful change is nonetheless possible and necessary. The Centre for Justice Innovation together with our partners CLINKS and the Young Foundation shall do everything we can to make these dynamic individuals’ vision for change a reality.”


The four StreetCraft Scholars are:


Leroy Johnson, In Sync


Leroy Johnson is a social entrepreneur, who runs a music business that incorporates a DJ agency, a music distribution channel and a radio station. During his incarceration in Brixton prison, he realised that many young people left custody with nothing to go to and became determined to change that.


His StreetCraft Scholarship proposal is to provide employability support to young ex-offenders. In helping them gain soft and hard skills in music production and distribution, Leroy hopes to send them down a path free from offending and equip them with the skills and emotional resilience they need for today’s challenging labour market.


As a participant on the Young Foundation Accelerator, he hopes his social enterprise will improve its ability to secure investment to support these young people better, including delivering such aspects as job training and apprenticeships.


Lisa Rowles, Khulisa


lisa Rowles designs and develops programmes for a violence reduction charity, Khulisa. In her work, she has developed a reputation for coaching the most challenging and aggressive individuals, including young adults on bail.


This success has culminated in a passion to release potential in those who display dysfunctional behaviour through restorative listening, non-judgmental and non-violent communication. Through the StreetCraft Scholarship programme, Lisa will be working with Clinks to develop a practical vision for a prison regime rooted in restorative justice principles, a potentially radical reshaping of the ethos behind imprisonment.


Roger Blackman, The Reasons Why Foundation


Roger Blackman runs a social enterprise which supports young people at risk of offending and those coming out of custody. Roger believes that Reasons Why’s high-level, integrity-based care approach can lead to radical change in the ex-offenders’ lives. The Reasons Why Foundation use a unique problem-solving mentoring model to help their clients maximise their skills and resources in their journey away from crime, and helping the sector move beyond mentoring simply as well intentioned support for offenders.


He will be participating in the Young Foundation’s Accelerator programme to strengthen his existing intervention to incorporate counselling techniques for practitioners to further help ex-offenders.


Alexander Crisp, Leicestershire Police


Alex is a police officer in Leicestershire who leads a combined team of officers and mental health nurses to respond to potential mental health-related police incidents. These request for service make up an estimated 20% of emergency calls to police stations nation-wide. Setting out in a marked response-vehicle known as a Mental Health Triage Car, a two-person team makes assessments and manages incidents on the go.


Alex’s idea for his StreetCraft Scholarship programme is to further train police and nurses in joint working practices around mental health and the criminal justice system to help build up expertise as directed by their clients who make the calls. Alex will be supported by Clinks to develop Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) to offer to all officers and front-line health professionals in Leicestershire. Previously, he served in the Royal Military Police and completed several tours of Iraq.


Notes to the editor


For further information on the scholarships, interviews with the candidates or site visits, please contact: Arsheen Qasim on 0207 632 9070 or mobile: 07918831964 or


About the Centre for Justice Innovation


The Centre for Justice Innovation, an initiative of the US Center for Court Innovation seeks to introduce and support new ideas, new projects and new practice in the British criminal justice system. With a commitment to sharing learning between the US and UK, the Centre combines research and international evidence gathering with expert support to front-line practitioners to help build a more innovative and dynamic criminal justice system. The Centre for Justice Innovation is supported by the Hadley Trust, the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, the Monument Trust and the Barrow Cadbury Trust.