Life is unfair, and we should all be doing more to give opportunity those who have not had the life chances so many of us have had.
During my year as High Sheriff of Oxfordshire (2017-18), I am raising awareness of some shocking problems about criminality locally:
- In HMP Bullingdon, Oxfordshire, the rate of re-offending for prison terms of less than 12 months is over 60%
- Re-offending costs the economy between £9.5-13 billion per year
- 70% of sentenced prisoners in custody are assessed as having an education, employment or training need
- Adolescent victims of crime have higher than average rates of teenage pregnancy, substance abuse, depression and violent offending.
Funds are therefore urgently needed for those parts of the voluntary sector that operate in the areas of crime prevention, offender rehabilitation and victim support. This project has the support of His Honour Judge Ian Pringle QC, who says: “I have been asked by the High Sheriff of Oxfordshire whether the many and increasingly numerous voluntary organisations that operate in crime prevention and offender rehabilitation make much difference to the criminal justice system in this country. The short answer is that they are absolutely vital.”
During my shrieval year, I am appealing for people to help me support charities and community groups working on justice and opportunity. Any funds raised will be donated to the excellent programmes run by:
- Aspire (www.aspireoxford.co.uk)
- Safe! (www.safeproject.org.uk)
- Youth Challenge Oxfordshire (www.yoco.online)
Donations will be managed through my dedicated High Sheriff's Charitable Fund with Oxfordshire Community Foundation. Please help however you can. I and the organisations I am supporting will be most grateful.