An All-Party Parliamentary Group on Sport and Physical Activity in the Criminal Justice System was launched in March2021, with the Alliance of Sport as its Secretariat.
The new APPG is the central, constructive, cross-party voice in parliament that promotes sport-based interventions and physical activity as effective tools for the diversion and prevention of crime and the rehabilitation of people involved with the Criminal Justice System.
Recognition of sport and physical activity’s positive role within the Criminal Justice System is growing, but its inherent power as a vehicle for preventing crime and reducing reoffending remains widely misunderstood and largely underutilised.
The Alliance of Sport has worked hard to change this and has established itself in a central role between sport, criminal justice and other key sectors; fostering effective collaboration, promoting good practice, launching research programmes and working to advance policy and practice.
Newly-elected Chair of the new APPG, Clive Efford MP, said: “I have witnessed many examples of interventions through sport that have turned people’s lives around and diverted people away from spirals of crime and the criminal justice system. Our group will help highlight this work and encourage the government to give more recognition for the positive contribution sport can make in the justice system.”
Baroness Amanda Sater, Co-Chair, commented: “I am passionate about the role sport and physical activity can play at all levels in the Criminal Justice System and am very excited about the potential impact this group can make together.
“I believe that in forming this APPG we have created a platform that can make a real difference, especially to the lives of children and young people. We can also give a voice to organisations who work so tirelessly to increase positive outcomes for those involved with, or on the fringes of, the Criminal Justice System.”
Alliance of Sport Chief Executive, James Mapstone, added: “We are proud to support this new APPG. It gives us a unique opportunity to raise the profile of sport and physical activity’s role in the Criminal Justice System – and champion emerging practice from across the Alliance of Sport network.”
The APPG’s initial focus will be on how sport and physical activity can recover previous levels of engagement both in the custodial estate and with at-risk groups in the community post-Covid, especially among hard-to-reach individuals who may have lost contact with previous sources of support through lockdown.
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