A long time ago a friend suggested that I might become a voluntary prison visitor – someone who visits a few prisoners every week or two to keep them in touch with the world outside. I was not the best person to do this, because I became interested in prisons and imprisonment, which was not what they mostly wanted to talk about. I joined the Howard League for Penal Reform, and at the suggestion of its then Secretary, Hugh Klare, I did some translating for the abstracting journal Excerpta Criminologica. After working for a time in the library of the Royal Institute of British Architects, and then at a co-operative translation service run by the Iron and Steel Institute, I became librarian of the Cambridge Institute of Criminology. While living in Cambridge I helped to establish a shelter for homeless people, originally called the Simon Community and now the Cyrenians. From Cambridge I went to become director of the Howard League, and policy officer of Victim Support. At the Howard League I heard of a new idea in Canada and North America called the Victim Offender Reconciliation Program, and mentioned it in an article for the Howard Journal in 1977. When I left the Howard League in 1981, I took victim-offender mediation as the subject of a PhD at the London School of Economics, and my thesis was later published as Justice for victims and offenders. I became interested in mediation and restorative justice generally, and was a founder member of Mediation UK, the Restorative Justice Council, and the European Forum for Restorative Justice (to give them their most recent names), as well as the local Lambeth Mediation Service in south London, which has concentrated on neighbour disputes and some work in schools. More recently I have had some experience of victim-offender mediation with another mediation service, CALM in west London.
This is my formal CV:
Martin Wright has been librarian at the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge; director of the Howard League for Penal Reform; and policy officer for Victim Support. He obtained a PhD in criminology at the London School of Economics in 1990, and is a senior research fellow at the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, De Montfort University, Leicester. He was a founder member of the European Forum Restorative Justice and until 2006 a member of the board, and until 2010 was a board member of the Restorative Justice Consortium and the Conflict Research Society. He is a volunteer mediator in Lambeth, south London, and with CALM Mediation Service in west London. He has spoken at numerous international conferences. Publications include Making good: prisons, punishment and beyond (1982, reprinted 2008), Justice for victims and offenders: a restorative response to crime (1990, 2nd ed. 1996), Restoring respect for justice (1999, 2nd ed. 2008), Rebuilding community connections : mediation and restorative justice in Europe (joint author with I. Aertsen, R. Mackay, C. Pelikan, and J Willemsens (2004) , and Towards a restorative society (2010). Edited volumes are: Mediation and criminal justice: victims,offenders and community, jointly with Burt Galaway (1989), Images of restorative justice theory, jointly with R Mackay, M Bošnjak, J Deklerk, C Pelikan and B van Stokkom. (2007), and Civilising criminal justice: an international restorative agenda for penal reform, jointly with David Cornwell and John Blad (2013) .He is an honorary fellow of the Institute of Conflict Resolution, Sofia, and holds a diploma from the Polish Centre for Mediation. In 2012 he received the European Forum’s European Restorative Justice Award.