Tim Newell trained as a teacher at Durham University after gaining a degree in history there and used that learning within the Prison Service for thirty eight years. He has worked in a variety of settings with young people as well as adults and finished his career in the service as Governor of Grendon and Spring Hill prisons where he worked for ten years. Grendon is a unique prison offering a therapeutic community experience for some of the most difficult prisoners and has remarkable results with them. Throughout his working life he was involved with a variety of organisations outside the prison service, seeking to widen the context within which treatment of those who commit offences is experienced.
In retirement he worked as a consultant developing prison staff’s initiatives through The Butler Trust and as a restorative practitioner within the research project that established the effectiveness of restorative justice for meeting the needs of victims and offenders. As a member of Quaker Crime and Community Justice Group he helped establish the initiative of Circles of Support and Accountability for high risk high need sex offenders. This was then developed in the Thames Valley to deliver a high quality effective service, working with volunteers from the community to meet the needs of potentially dangerous people through a trusting relationship of support and holding to account. The work is now an independent charity working across justice agencies and developing a national capacity for the work.
Tim worked as a trustee of Old Jordans to develop restorative services for victims of trauma and crime. In establishing Escaping Victimhood, now an independent charity, the restorative principle of meeting the needs of those affected by serious crime was put into practice. The experiential, residential workshops established by Escaping Victimhood provide people seriously affected by crime with an opportunity to learn, change perceptions and regain control in their lives. Being part of the National Victims Service has established the work as a regular part of services for those bereaved by homicide.
He has written about murderers and life sentenced prisoners (Murderers and Life Imprisonment with Eric Cullen), about a Quaker vision of forgiveness, restorative justice and compassion in the 2000 Swarthmore Lecture (Forgiving Justice), and about restorative practice in prisons (Restorative Justice in Prisons – a guide to making it happen, with Kimmett Edgar).