Penelope Gibbs worked in radio production and at the BBC before being inspired to influence social change in the third sector. She set up the Voluntary Action Media Unit at TimeBank before joining the Prison Reform Trust to run the Out of Trouble – a five year campaign to reduce child and youth imprisonment. Under her watch the number of children in prison in the UK fell by a third.
In 2012 Penelope set up Transform Justice, a charity which advocates for a better justice system in England and Wales - a system which is fairer, more open, more humane and more effective. Transform Justice promotes change by generating research and evidence to show how the system works and how it could be improved, and by persuading the public to support those changes and practitioners and politicians to make them. Penelope has researched and written a number of publications for Transform Justice including: Justice denied? The experience of unrepresented defendants in the criminal courts; Magistrates: representatives of the people?; and Managing magistrates’ courts – has central control reduced local accountability?
Penelope has also volunteered in the justice system – she sat as a magistrate for three years and is currently deputy chair of the Standing Committee for Youth Justice.