Grace Moronfolu MBE is inclusion and community engagement manager at the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) as well as chairing the National Black Crown Prosecution Association (NBCPA). Grace is passionate about increasing understanding about the CPS and the wider criminal justice system, especially amongst hard to reach and easy to ignore communities. As chair of the NBCPA, Grace has developed strong partnerships with BAME networks across the civil service public and voluntary sectors, and won a prestigious CPS Partnership Working Excellence Award in recognition of this in 2020.
“Intersectionality is the foundation of our humanity. No one on earth is defined by just one characteristic or aspect of themself, and it is important to embrace our multi-faceted experiences in society and the workplace.”
Passionate about making a difference
I have worked for the CPS since 1987 in a variety of roles. I actually started out studying fine art, but I have gained other qualifications over the years in management, training and development design, and project management.
As in my current role as an inclusion and community engagement manager (ICEM) for the CPS in the East Midlands I provide specialist inclusion and community engagement advice, as well as supporting my colleagues in my region.
The main responsibilities of my role include strategy, planning and reporting on equality, diversity and community engagement in my area. I also look after community involvement for the East Midlands.
I work on community scrutiny (via panels) of CPS performance on serious issues such as violence against women and girls, as well as hate crimes.
I provide specialist advice to our managers in the East Midlands around inclusion and engaging with the local community. I also assume leadership and support the undertaking of specific local projects on equality, diversity and community engagement. It is also my role to network, representing the interests of the CPS in a range of external fora. I support performance reviews of community engagement, and I support local engagement of national agendas.
My role is wide-ranging and I am passionate about making a difference to the communities I serve.
Background to the CPS and wider criminal justice system
The CPS is at the heart of the criminal justice system in England and Wales, working with our partners to deliver justice through independent and fair prosecutions. Our vision is to become:
“a leading voice in transforming the criminal justice system, using our legal expertise and digital capability to make the public safer and build the confidence of our diverse communities.”
We have more than 6,000 highly trained staff whose duty is to make sure the right person is prosecuted for the right offence, and that trials are fair so that offenders are brought to justice whenever possible. We are proud to be recognised as a leading employer, committed to supporting a diverse workforce that reflects the community we serve.
The role of the CPS is to:
- Decides which cases should be prosecuted – every charging decision is based on the same two-stage test in the Code for Crown Prosecutors;
- Determine the appropriate charges in more serious or complex cases, and advises the police during the early stages of investigations;
- Prepares cases and presents them at court; and
- Provides information, assistance and support to victims and prosecution witnesses.
We do not investigate crime, or choose which cases to consider; our prosecutors must review every case referred to us by the police or other investigators. We provide expert legal advice early in investigations to help build strong cases, or identify where a suspect should not be charged.
We make our decisions independently of the police and of government. We must always be fair, objective and impartial to secure justice for victims, witnesses, defendants and the public.
Last year the CPS brought around 370,000 prosecutions, with five in every six cases leading to a guilty plea or verdict. However, our success is not measured by the conviction rate alone. A fair trial, properly brought, can lead to a guilty or not guilty verdict. Our job is not to seek an ever-higher proportion of guilty verdicts, but to make sure that every case which satisfies the legal test set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors goes before the courts and is prosecuted independently and fairly.
We work with criminal justice partners across borders to tackle international, organised and economic crime, and use our powers to confiscate the proceeds of crime at home and abroad.
Because we review every case sent to us, our work is extremely varied and can be complex in nature. We prosecute offences ranging from burglary and terrorism to domestic abuse and multi-million-pound fraud cases. What these cases all have in common is that they can have a devastating impact on victims.
Chairing the National Black Crown Prosecution Association
I have been the chair of the National Black Crown Prosecution Association (NBCPA) since 2019. The National Black Crown Prosecution Association is a network providing support and guidance for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic colleagues within the Crown Prosecution Service and wider criminal justice system.
Our aim is to promote race equality and diversity within the Crown Prosecution Service and advocate for a fully inclusive and fair working environment where all our members can thrive.
Whether we are working collaboratively with the Crown Prosecution Service, joining forces with other staff networks or engaging with the diverse communities served by the Crown Prosecution Service, we are here to challenge racism, inequality and underrepresentation.
The importance of intersectionality
Intersectionality is the foundation of our humanity. No one on earth is defined by just one characteristic or aspect of themself, and it is important to embrace our multi-faceted experiences in society and the workplace. Tackling challenges around issues like race or gender in isolation is not helpful as it can pigeonhole people and marginalise understanding.
Inclusion initiatives in the CPS and the wider Civil Service
Equality, diversity and inclusion is at the heart of how we work at the CPS, both as an employer and as a prosecution service. The CPS is committed to creating an inclusive culture — in how we work together as an organisation and how we work with our external partners and serve our communities.
We want to foster a workplace where our people are supported and where everyone knows that their personal contribution is valued. We also want to make sure that we respond to the needs of the communities we serve by taking time to listen and understand their concerns. It is only by doing this that we can be our very best and achieve our core purpose — delivering justice through fair and independent prosecutions in line with our public sector equality duties.
Our 2025 Inclusion and Community Engagement strategy sets out how we will do that and how this will help us achieve the vision we set ourselves in CPS 2025.
Inspiration to be more courageous
Role models in the inclusion, equality and diversity space are important to show that standing up to unfair and hateful practices makes a difference to people’s lives. I have always been inspired to be more courageous by my personal heroes and heroines like Nelson Mandela, Baroness Doreen Lawrence, Afua Hirsch, Peter Tatchell, Nabil Shaban and Nick Vujicic, to name a few.