The Magnolia project, supported by an Augusta Zadow Award, has been working with women to explore how a trauma-informed approach may support the recruitment and retention of women in the criminal justice workforce. To this end, we have spoken with both women who have established careers and women who are early-career professionals.

Women who are established workers with successful careers in criminal justice have shared their experiences and advice. From their stories, we have learned that co-workers and employers often make work stressful rather than the nature of the work itself.

(Image: Sahana Sarkar)

In May 2024, we hosted a roundtable for 12 new professionals. We heard about their motivations and aspirations for working with justice-involved people during the session at the roundtable. We shared some of the experiences of the established workers there. This led to a discussion of some of the challenges the women have already encountered (or expect to encounter) along the way.

What resonated most was Rachel’s advice to never ‘lose your sparkle’. The group recognised the value of opportunities to show compassion to ourselves and others. Criminal justice work brings with it both challenges and rewards. These challenges are often unique to women who work in male-dominated sectors. Witnessing the energy (pragmatism) and enthusiasm these early-career professionals bring to their roles was uplifting. And we hope that many of the women stay in touch.

So, where do we go from here? In this project, we will develop a resource to support new workers and women across the justice system. This is in line with our values of delivering trauma-informed and compassionate justice. We will report more about this project in future blog posts, web content, and newsletters.


Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *