Distant Voices is a partnership project between the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research (SCCJR) and Vox Liminis, with current funding from the Scottish Prison Service, Creative Scotland and the University of Glasgow.
Crime in our society is an emotive issue, and rightly so. Offending, by its very definition, is offensive. We also know that, for those who have offended in a way that requires a prison sentence, there is a substantial social dynamic to not re-offending after release. Someone who has committed an offence needs to be allowed back in to the society they have offended – into meaningful relationships, roles and purpose.
As a society however, we are not great at considering the emotional responses we have to offending behaviour (or many other aspects of life!). Many will have an initial gut reaction that might serve to exclude the other, but as soon as they start engaging with people – their common emotions, their common humanity – they start to see aspects of themselves in another’s story. This is surely the starting place of reintegration.
And so Distant Voices brings together artists, criminologists and people with convictions to explore the humanity of crime and punishment, and dream a little bit more publicly about what a just Scotland could look like.