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I welcome this special issue on Compassionate Criminology: The Legacy of Josine Junger-Tas, thanking the two editors (Ineke Haen Marshall and Hans Boutellier) as well as the authors for the excellent work they have done.
I am proud that this Journal, which was founded by Josine, is devoting its attention to the issue of compassionate criminology celebrating in this way its first Editor-in-Chief who, in her professional and academic life, has paid particular attention to the combination of good research and good policies. Josine’s history is the history of a strong commitment toward those who have less and need more attention. This commitment is the line connecting her academic and public life.
I have followed Josine in two initiatives: this Journal, which started with Josine in 1993 and is continuing with me since 2004, and the European Society of Criminology. It was Josine who invited me to become its fourth President (2003–2004). In both these initiatives the European dimension is the label that has influenced the development of the Journal and the success of the European Society of Criminology. And this label is the marker of my career.
When Josine started this Journal there was a strong enthusiasm but little attention toward the issue of crime in Europe. The circle of European criminologists was small. Rather than European criminologists there were criminologists living in Europe. Step by step this Journal has helped the development of the debate on crime and criminal policies in Europe and the Society has reinforced the belief that there could exist a European criminology in cooperation with the American one. After ten years of this Journal and of membership in the European Society we can say that the road toward a European dimension of criminology does exist and is clear. It is full of many initiatives that have characterized the development of Western, Central and Eastern Europe. The enlargement of the European Union to 27 countries goes in this direction. During these years this Journal has moved up in quality and reputation and the European Society of Criminology is still growing. This is Josine’s legacy for which we all are immensely grateful!