I am a member of the Board of Recovering Justice. I have lived experience of addiction recovery and have spent the last ten years as a recovery activist (recoverist). During this period I have worked with numerous organisations – including treatment services, NHS trusts and government bodies – with a particular focus on building resilient recovery communities.
I have also been engaged in advocating to reframe addiction recovery as a civil rights issue within a social justice framework. I am currently National Recovery Movement Officer at the Scottish Recovery Consortium, working on embedding recovery at a policy level.
Throughout my 10 years plus experience of recovery activism I have come across many barriers to recovery. However, one that has particular significance is the impact on individuals of involvement in the criminal justice system. Essentially, by criminalising sections of our community – many of whom are disadvantaged in other ways – we continue to propagate inequality and limit life chances.
Having spent significant periods of time in prison environments with people struggling to recover, and knowing that their journey will be significantly more difficult with a criminal record, I can only support and organisation that seeks to work towards humane policy change.