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Application for RJC Directorship

Page history last edited by Paul Crosland 9 years, 9 months ago

As further background information on the main creator of this wiki site, Paul Crosland, here is the text of how I applied for the post of RJC Directorship (job-share) in 2010:

 

October 2006 – current

 

 

 

 

 

September 2007- June 2008

 

 

 

October 2001-June 2006

 

 

September 1997-September 2001

 

Mediation Support Ltd

(Part-time)

 

 

 

 

 

Bristol Mediation

(Part Time)

 

 

 

Mediation UK

 

 

 

 

University of Cambridge (Institute of Criminology)

 

C.E.O.

Skills: 1) Management consultant - Developed business planning and fundraising skills eg for Canterbury and District Mediation Service;  2) Supervision - 3 office staff and a team of 8 “High Level” mediators at The Centre for Peaceful Solutions, Brent; 3) Event organisation - Annual Restorative Practitioner Network Days & miscellaneous training; 4) web-development (providing free on-line ways for people to work on their conflicts)

Restorative Justice Co-ordinator

The role was 1) to support the prison as a place of repairing the harm that crimes have caused- involving victims and the community.  & 2) to produce a full evaluation:- effectiveness of this project in numbers etc &  what it means to the individuals to be engaged in repairing harm and moving on.

Head of Restorative Justice

The networking & coordinating role enabled me to make presentations to government ministers, generate the resources to launch successful projects, engage in quality assurance, and publish books which have set new standards and shared practitioner experiences.

Research Assistant/ Associate

Developing research design, data collection systems and interviewing offenders/ probation officers. Also running a workshop on my specialism of reconviction data. 

 

Please say why you are applying for this position and highlight any knowledge, experience or skills you think are relevant. It is important that you cover ALL POINTS LISTED ON THE PERSON SPECIFICATION.

 

1) My strategic advocacy skills are demonstrated by the influence I gained (on behalf of Mediation UK) in working with The Youth Justice Board, The Home Office, Nacro (joint funding bid for YJB contract)  & the RJC (as well as Victim Support in tripartite meetings), as well as by key writers/practitioners/commentators in relation to the field of RJ over the years since 2001, when I began employment within the RJ sector. (The above is evidenced particularly in Sections D & E of the  “Relevant Knowledge, Experience, Skills and Values” paperwork attached separately.)

2) In the Additional Information above and in Section C, showing three examples of influence achieved this week I demonstrate the necessary interpersonal communication skills and ability to build rapport with a wide range of people.

3) Out of my co-authored publications, the one most frequently accessed on the web is a 4 page summary Home Office report comparing the complexity of the Police National Computer records against Offenders Index records (which started with a dataset of just short of a million offences and a grant from a fund for dealing with large and complex data sets). In the programming work involved in this (and in reconviction studies), I have demonstrated an attention to detail and clarity of result.

4) At HMP Bristol, I meticulously planned the budget for the team I headed there and planned the necessary cash-flow arrangements for the three-year plan. For Canterbury Mediation Service I have also drawn up for the years 2009-2012 the funding in spreadsheets designed to enable any changes –eg in staff increments- to automatically cascade through the calculations. This then automatically brings overall information about required funding to meet the annual gap into an easy to read summary sheet .

5) Prior to this year’s successful round one Equalities & Human Rights Bid for £106,000–see Section B of attached- my strength has been in winning tenders for contracts as well as some fundraising work for smaller projects (eg £5,000 Pilgrim Trust Funding for the ‘Resolve & Repair’ Bristol project). I offered to the RJC (via JPA) a number of creative funding ideas –eg case brokerage- and supported the development of the www.intermedial.org.uk system which would enable this approach to fundraising.

6) I have successfully led a team of trainers at Mediation UK (Section E), and more recently been the supervisor for the last two years at the Centre for Peaceful Solutions for staff and  volunteers. In a supervision today I was credited with supporting a process by which an ‘enemy image’ of a colleague was transformed into a well-wishing for their future. My guiding people through ‘what’s beneath your complaint?’  is a reason why others I know phone me for support as well. Amongst a network of support and accountability, I am phoned from time to time by the mentoring author, Mike Leibling (former strategy director of Saatchi & Saatchi) who guides and sharpens my work.

7) In my commitment to Equal Opportunities I am clear that respecting difference is key, not treating everyone the same. I seek to remain sensitive to different abilities and special needs. I am alert to prejudice, and when I encounter what I perceive as prejudice in others I prefer to challenge it in ways that both respect the concerns of the other and offer ways to act that value all.

 

Paul Crosland RJC Director application – Relevant Knowledge, Experience, Skills and Values.

“All wars end with conversations” - I’m a great believer in this phrase.

 

Section A) The more I’ve reflected on the role of the RJC Director, the more convinced I’ve become that a deep commitment and lived experience of Restorative Justice combined with a knowledge base of restorative work is not just desirable to deliver a compelling vision; it is, I suggest, essential. The role that the RJC can play in sharing the value-base, skills-base and knowledge-base of Restorative Justice will progressively win-over those brought up to believe in retribution. It is not easy to shake off the retributive response to infractions of rules and I work alongside, in courts and the community, those who have yet to make the paradigm shift.  To market the paradigm shift    requires a well-grounded team with clear accountability and support structures, such as are emerging within the RJC at present, led by a dynamic and creative director such as myself. Whilst willing to give a full-time commitment to this crucial post, I also offer my dedicated services to the RJC on a job-share basis. If job-sharing, I would be happy to be the junior partner to someone sufficiently experienced. I would thus be answerable to my colleague before being answerable to the board. All decisions of magnitude require a prior mandate, so I look forward to building the working relationships at all levels of the RJC such that all important ideas are discussed behind closed doors before being aired in any way that impacts on the public profile of the RJC, which is dear to my heart.

I can assure you of my capacity to be loyal in a Director's role; which is very different from my current role as an elected Board member, in which my role has unfortunately been to point out the matters of RJ practice that I am now confident other Board members are capable of voicing, ensuring the RJC steams ahead as a well-balanced ship, with plenty of ballast and the ability to steer quickly in the adventurous waters ahead. I would represent the work of the members of the RJC in the UK with all the dedication and success that came from my doing this for Mediation UK for 5 years.

 

Section B) In this additional supporting information I inform the panel that the depth of my conviction in the effectiveness of quality restorative arises from my experience as a participant in restorative processes affecting the quality of many years of life of a number of people. As a facilitator of these processes for over ten years, I am ever-more committed to ongoing learning and the delivery of results for those affected by crime or dispute. This autumn, the combination of approaches that I brought together under the name  ‘Community Inclusion Teams’ led to a successful round one funding bid for £106,000 to the Equalities & Human Rights Commission (in which more than 85% of applicants failed). This was with Canterbury & District Mediation Service, whom I have strongly supported with business planning and whom I have trained in a cutting-edge approach to case management, which clearly prioritises and responds to cases. This framework has parallels for management of a national charity in that it assesses: a) the mediation service’s interests, b) the referring agencies/stakeholder interests, c) the trajectory of any actual or pending conflict, and d) the willingness of parties to engage in a new range of options provided to address the matter in hand. Previous case management initiatives I have led include the multi-agency ‘Victim Satisfaction Framework’ launched at the 2006 Annual Restorative Practitioners Network Days and the RJ Assessment Pack, hailed by the chair of the Youth Justice Board, Sir Charles Pollard, as “very very good, and has international implications” (Mediation UK Annual Report, 2004).

 

Section C) As a director of two companies which I’ve established, (one in management consultancy and mediator supervision), I use a number of situational management approaches; responding to the circumstances in front of me very flexibly & creatively. ‘Systemic Win’ is created in the long-run, ‘good enough’ outcomes in the short-term. The main benefits of my management style are usually seen in the medium term, although I can also be counted on to deliver agreed short-term goals.

Three examples of influence I’ve achieved this week:

1)     Tomorrow I am hosting a telephone conference that brings together some influential individuals for cross-collaboration. One of these is possibly the leading restorative practitioner in the world at present and a close friend, whose keynote speech at the 2008 Ontario IIRP conference was said, by a board colleague, to have ‘gone down a storm’ and been the talk of all three days. Another is a frequent Radio 4 ‘thought for the day’ speaker who has made Restorative Justice his theme twice within a month this autumn,

2)     Today I was engaged in a quick email exchange from which I’m confident that a few hundred pounds to support my training will quickly follow. This money will come from a member of the RJC recruited at the 20th April Spring Conference that I led, who has been sufficiently impressed by what I stand for that she has become a major benefactor to the Community Interest Company of which I am co-director, and is keen to talk to me as soon as this application is in about the funding of my ongoing training.

3)     Yesterday I received words from a would be collaborating company (Lets All Share Ltd) that my Community Interest Company sought out and met with on Monday; words which testify to the strong working connections I can make in relation to social change: “Changing behaviour and encouraging sharing will require a great deal of co-ordinated effort and we both look forward to exploring these possibilities with you in the future.”

 

Section D) To return to the arena of the social change for which the RJC requires a “pioneer” such as myself, I wish to mention  “Restorative Justice -How it Works” by Marian Liebmann. The former CEO of the RJC, Harriet Bailey, referred to this book as “The Bible for Restorative Justice” and Marian's second paragraph in the book states:

 “I have been fortunate enough to meet or work with many of those who helped to pioneer new developments in restorative justice – such as Tony Marshall, Martin Wright, Jeanne Wynne, Barbara Tudor, Guy Masters, Paul Crosland, Christa Pelikan, Mark Umbreit, Dan Van Ness and Howard Zehr.”

In my role as a pioneer, I have both built relationships and challenged those structures that block restorative approaches.

Thus, I worked in detail with Deborah Clarke in 2002 on the RJC Principles etc and with Howard Zehr both in relation to his book on Critical Issues in RJ and on another occasion in preparation for a meeting I was having with Tony Blair. Thus I have been invited to meet the prime minister at 10 Downing Street to be “thanked for my work on behalf of victims”, have presented to the minister for prison and probation at a stage which led to the appointment of Liz Nelson and Alex Crowe to the Home Office, and gone on to advise the Home Office RJ Team substantially (with a team behind me including 4 of the names referred to above plus Marian Liebmann). This strongly shaped “Restorative justice: the Government's strategy”, and “Best Practice Guidance for Restorative Practitioners”. From the Youth Justice Board, I won (on behalf of Mediation UK) the tender to produce the RJ reader for the Professional Certificate in Effective Practice, which opens with the words:

This publication has been prepared by Mediation UK for the Youth Justice Board in conjunction with the Home Office. The material was developed by Guy Masters and Paul Crosland (Mediation UK), Roger Cullen (Youth Justice Board) and Liz Nelson (Home Office). The writing team would also like to thank the members of Mediation UK's Mediation and Reparation Committee”

 

Section E) At Mediation UK I was promoted from RJ Co-ordinator to the newly created post of Head of RJ in light of the national profile I achieved for the work of Mediation UK members. My role included the co-ordination of a team of RJ Trainers not only training in the UK, but providing co-trainer advice for international training such as that co-ordinated by Lawrence Kershen with British Council funding. Having set up a trainers forum, I negotiated for the RJC to take over its administration and ensure the safe delivery of the RJ trainers code of conduct. Running services for the Mediation UK members for 5 years, I was determined to keep the Annual Restorative Practitioners Network Day which I had established going even whilst Mediation UK collapsed. I had the fortitude to withstand the threats of civil and criminal prosecution that came from the misinterpretation of actions by the board of Mediation UK and initiate a restorative process with the Chair who is now my referee for this application. Those attending these annual gatherings acknowledged them to provide at least as much support and development of their practice as any other assistance they could access from trainers and membership organisations. 

 

Section F) I am applying for this post primarily on a job-share basis; though I would be able to put aside my two company directorships sufficient to take up the post full-time, if desired. Stepping down from the Board, which now has sufficient RJ practitioners for my no longer being required to take the role of bringing attention back to the RJ practice-base, I would be glad to take a job-share Director role in which my work was led by a colleague who brings a set of complementary skills, such as Lizzie Nelson or someone with a strong track record in achieving desirable change in another sector. I would be keen to explore with the interview panel (in interview or subsequently) the vision of how a community-up practitioner based approach can complement the experience from another background that may be brought by someone seeking a job-share. I would hope to convey my grounded ability to serve, support and be accountable just as I did when employed in HMP Bristol for 18 hours a week as a key-holding RJ Coordinator addressing the issues behind a range of offending behaviour. I hold myself fully accountable to: staff colleagues, the board, the membership and the wider interests of Restorative Justice that builds safer societies.    

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