Recovery, transformation and justice through an ABCD lens

Finding genuine community alternatives to prison sentences and other custodial programmes that transform the lives of the people who committed the crimes, their victims, their families and the wider community, is near the top of Nurture Development’s agenda.

We all know that justice is not a product that can be unilaterally dispensed by law enforcement or the judiciary. It is simply not within the power of the Police, judiciary, the prison service, probation or any other professional to rehabilitate people and produce more just societies which is fundamentally about tackling issues of poverty and health inequality. These are issues of social justice, more so than criminal justice, and their complexity demands a community-wide response.

Similarly, we know that the recovery journey is essentially a whole community challenge; that recovery capital does not reside within an individual alone, or in the professional services they receive, but is found, nurtured, strengthened and reinforced by friends, neighbours and wider communities.

In short it takes a village to create and sustain the conditions for recovery, transformation and justice.

Nurture Development is passionate about contributing to radically tackling these challenges and I am really pleased that Rebecca Daddow has agreed to bring her experience; heart felt commitment and leadership to this challenge, as Nurture Development’s Recovery and Justice Lead.

Read on as Rebecca introduces her new role. Welcome on board Becs!

Cormac Russell


I’m yet to find a sector, topic, organisation or community in which ABCD cannot be applied. It’s the beauty of the approach. Its relevance to everyone and to pretty much anything in our communities, means that we – Nurture Development – are invited to train and create and implement development programmes with those who have a primary interest in a whole range of areas including mental health, vulnerable young people, system change, probation, disabilities, environment, well-being, prisons, organisational transformation, co-production… You name it and we’ve probably brought ABCD to it in some way.

Our door remains open to anyone wishing to learn more about – and apply – ABCD in their community. But my work will be more focussed; placing the ABCD lens over 2 specific areas that have featured significantly in my research and practical work for the last 6 years:

1. Recovery; primarily from drug and alcohol misuse

2. Justice; primarily criminal justice, looking at meaningful community alternatives to traditional models of desistance and rehabilitation

It won’t be the first time that ABCD has been brought into these areas. There are some fantastic examples of ABCD in action within recovery communities, and, in regards to criminal justice, the Scottish Prison Service has been open about its incorporation of ABCD in its strategic priorities for 2014 onwards.

We have been thrilled to be part of many of these developments to date and we want to build on them. There is so much potential in ABCD to invigorate and catalyse positive change within individuals and communities in ways that will support sustainable transformation.

Keep up with our thinking, ideas and developments here on our blog or via our Twitter feed. And if you would like to discuss training opportunities or possible collaboration, email me at

Rebecca Daddow

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