Keith Simpson

by Niall Kearney

On 25 April 2022, Sacro (Safeguarding Communities Reducing Offending - a Scotland- based third sector organisation) announced the death of a good restorative justice friend: Keith Simpson. Keith was a senior manager in Sacro throughout the 1990s and 2000s and was instrumental in the development of many innovative services, including restorative justice.

Speaking recently to Sacro’s Communications Officer, Alan Mairs, Keith said: “I joined Sacro in 1990 at a time of significant transformation.” Sacro was instrumental in setting up a number of innovative services; practically all of them the first of their kind in Scotland.

“Coming to work was a pleasure and there was a genuine pioneer spirit as we pressed forward in new areas like community mediation, restorative justice, supervised bail, through care and intensive support to name but a few.”

“It’s hard to overstate the impact Sacro made on community justice at this time; much of which is still evident to this day.”

Keith was a strong advocate for restorative justice. He ensured that Sacro’s restorative justice provision was evidenced-based, and he supported access to the benefits of restorative justice at every stage of the justice system. He was a regular attendee at the European Forum for Restorative Justice’s conferences and was keen to see Sacro develop international links.

Keith’s passion and dedication to helping those who could not help themselves was in his DNA.

It was an honour to work with Keith. His gentle humour, his remarkable ability to find solutions to seemingly intractable problems, and his compassion, which he had in abundance, were a constant inspiration. His contribution to Sacro and to restorative justice was immense, and we were very fortunate to have him with us.

Thanks to Sacro colleagues Alan Mairs and Robert Lambden for their contribution to this short tribute to Keith.

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