An event to launch the new Criminal Justice Inquiry hub and celebrate the achievements and outputs from the two year period of listening and reflecting on issues relating to victims of crime, prisoners, ex-offenders and families was held at Wheeler Hall on Monday 27 June.
Speakers included Co-Chairs of the Inquiry, Revd Dr Joe Cortis and Tom Chigbo, commissioner Sir John Battle, Vicar General Mgr Paul Fisher and Bev Adams, Principal Community Engagement Officer for West Yorkshire Police.
Revd Joe Cortis said “The Hub Inquiry Homepage | Diocese of Leeds is the place to start if you want to know more about the criminal justice system, or how the Catholic Diocese can do more to help people in this area. It includes a formal Report under the title of ‘Justice and Mercy’ and a series recommendations for action and resources intended to help our Diocese going forward, including ways in which people can volunteer throughout the system.”
Bev Adams, Principal Community Engagement Officer, West Yorkshire Police said “The Justice and Mercy Report is outstanding because it makes the link between vulnerability, exploitation and Catholic Social Action and include challenging recommendations for action.”
Alison Lowe OBE, Deputy Mayor of West Yorkshire Combined Authority in a message read at the evening said: ‘ Faith and religion continue to be crucially important in responding to the current issues we face across society and is more relevant than ever. The Caritas Leeds Inquiry and the ‘Justice and Mercy’ Report are testament to that and really highlight what more can be done if we work in partnership. With the right training and mentoring, the Catholic Church can be a hugely effective ally in addressing criminality. We have seen this come to life in the launch of the ‘Faithworks Workshops’ (developed with Caritas Leeds) and I really welcome the progress that has been made through this collaboration with the police force’.