The Reframing Crime and Justice Project

The FrameWorks Institute is expanding its research on how to effectively communicate about criminal justice system to England and Wales. With support from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, FrameWorks is collaborating with Transform Justice, the Standing Committee for Youth Justice, and the Criminal Justice Alliance to design and test communication strategies that can be used to generate broader public support for actions that would prevent offending and reoffending and increase public safety in England and Wales. Communicators can use these tools and strategies to foster a deeper public understanding of, and more productive discussion about, crime and criminal justice.

Funders

The research reported here was conducted by the FrameWorks Institute in collaboration with Transform Justice, the Standing Committee for Youth Justice and the Criminal Justice Alliance. The research was sponsored by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and is part of the larger Reframing Crime and Justice (RCJ) collaborative. The project aims to design and test communication strategies that can be used to generate broader public support for actions that would prevent offending and reoffending and increase public safety in England and Wales. By investigating how experts, advocates, policymakers, the media and members of the public think and talk about criminal justice, RCJ will develop a practical, evidence-based communication strategy. This strategy can be used to foster a deeper public understanding of and more productive discussion about crime and criminal justice in England and Wales.

Research & Recommendations

**New** New Narratives: Changing the Frame on Crime and Justice (July 2016). This strategic guidance outlines a set of practical framing recommendations for advocates working to build public support for a system oriented to rehabilitation, not punishment. The findings offer insight into narrative structure, values that reframe the purpose of the criminal justice system, and Explanatory Metaphors that help the public appreciate the problems associated with a punitive approach and the promise of a more restorative approach. 

Communicating about Women and Criminal Justice in the United Kingdom: A FrameWorks Research Brief (June 2015). This Research Brief presents findings about women in the criminal justice system in the United Kingdom. It finds that members of the public do not place a high priority on rehabilitation, a key function of the system; do not take into account the unique social circumstances that contribute to women’s involvement in the system; do not consider how the system harms women in particular; and do not think the system should be changed to accommodate women’s particular needs. The report shows how experts and advocates can overcome these challenges and reframe discussions about the the system’s treatment of women—and build support for policies and regulations that can improve it—by telling a different story about women in the criminal justice system that uses metaphors, values, and other frame elements that have been shown to change public thinking. (PDF).

‘Like a Holiday Camp’: Mapping the Gaps on Criminal Justice Reform in England and Wales (2014).
This report documents what experts working on criminal justice reform in England and Wales want to be able to communicate, and how members of the public understand criminal justice issues. The report details the communication challenges that emerge from comparing these expert and public perspectives and presents initial strategies to use in addressing communication challenges. (PDF).

Explaining UK Prison Reform
One Small Thing and the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies work to bring greater awareness to issues surrounding women in prison. This animated explainer from Lady Edwina Grosvenor uses insights from a Strategic Frame Analysis® to make a powerful, and accessible, case for prison reform. It’s being shared widely in the UK, under the hashtag #FixTheMaze.


FrameWorks Institute