Inside Justice Week 2009

Inside Justice Week (17th October until 24th October), organised locally by the St.Helens and Knowsley Criminal Justice Board and local Councils, gave residents the chance to understand the criminal justice system
Mock trials were organised at St.Helens and Knowsley Magistrates' Courts and were open to members of residents' associations, youth centres, schools and members of the public too. There was also a 'market stall' session held at Knowsley Magistrates in Huyton, where agencies provided information on the support they provide to victims and witnesses of crimes.

The mock trial at St.Helens was based on an 18 year old who had been issued with an Anti Social Behaviour order (ASBO), who had re-offended and was likely to be given an additional punishment. It also involved a question and answer session. The event in Knowsley involved a racially aggravated assault on a shopkeeper and focused on how victims and witnesses are supported through the Criminal Justice System.

People who attended were also taken on a tour of the court building and information was handed out by a range of people including staff from St.Helens Council, the Crown Prosecution Service, Helena Partnerships, Witness Care, Merseyside Police plus Probation officers, solicitors, court ushers and magistrates. Cllr Teresa Sims, the Council's Executive Member for Safer Communities, said: "Inside Justice Week helps residents to get to know their local Criminal Justice System, to challenge it, and to understand how it works. It also gives residents the opportunity to inform criminal justice agencies what they think is needed in their area. It is by meeting the needs of local communities that we can increase public confidence and satisfaction in the criminal justice system."
Suzanne Mulholland, a 21 year old from St.Helens who is teacher training at Knowsley Community College, studying Law, added:  'I found the Inside Justice event at Knowsley Magistrates  a very interesting and a valuable experience. "I was specifically interested in the victim support process, as I didn't know too much about this before, and seeing the different stages of the court case, and how the victim is provided with support throughout the process was very good. I've picked up a lot of useful leaflets and information to plan some interesting discussions in our classroom sessions. It was a great opportunity for the other students and myself to see inside the Criminal Justice System. We particularly enjoyed going on a tour of the court building and going  inside the cells."