Weekly round-up of criminal justice and voluntary sector news

Clinks’ Light Lunch provides a weekly round-up of criminal justice and voluntary sector news. Details of how to subscribe (free of charge) are at the foot of the page.

CLINKS RESPONSE: prison governor empowerment

Clinks has submitted additional written evidence to the Justice Committee’s sub-inquiry on governor empowerment and prison performance in response to some of the supplementary questions posed. Our submission takes account of the publication by the Ministry of Justice of the Prison Safety and Reform white paper in November 2016 and Clinks’ response to it. While welcoming many of the commitments made in the white paper, Clinks’ evidence highlights the need for the Ministry of Justice and National Offender Management Service to disseminate timely information to the voluntary sector about governors’ new budgetary and commissioning responsibilities and ensure that existing providers, including voluntary organisations, are fully consulted and engaged with those plans at the earliest possible date. Download the response here

CLINKS BLOG: tracking the reforms to probation services

Clinks’ Head of Policy and Communications, Nathan Dick, has written a blog looking at the voluntary sector’s role in Transforming Rehabilitation and progress since our last TrackTR survey. He says, “On 29th October 2014 the Ministry of Justice announced that the voluntary sector would be at the forefront of a new fight against re-offending … But since these announcements the role of the voluntary sector has been far from obvious. It hasn’t been transparent, and we have often been left guessing about who is delivering what, where and why. It’s not at all clear that the voluntary sector has been encouraged to be at the forefront of a ‘new fight’ or a ‘transformation’.” The new TrackTR survey is now open. Read the blog here

CLINKS MEMBER’S NEWS: reframing crime and justice

Transform Justice has published a guide to reframing crime and justice. The guide summarises the findings of a research project to explore how we can more effectively communicate about crime and justice. People’s reactions to communications about criminal justice are guided by a set of strong beliefs about why people commit crime and how to reduce crime. These beliefs affect everyone, are deep-seated, strong and sometimes contradictory. We are unlikely to fundamentally change people’s beliefs, but we can change their appetite for progressive reforms by triggering some beliefs and avoiding engaging with others. Download the guide here

CLINKS MEMBER’S NEWS: randomised controlled trials

Catch22‘s Realising Ambition consortium has published their sixth Programme Insight briefing which looks at conducting real-world randomised controlled trials, how they are delivered and how their results can be used. Informed by the randomised controlled trials (RCTs) being undertaken by three Realising Ambition organisations – Ariel Trust, Chance UK and Malachi – this Programme Insight highlights the challenges encountered during RCTs and how to address them. It presents lessons for funders, researchers and intervention developers and providers. Download the briefing here

CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM: Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service

A new executive agency of the Ministry of Justice, called Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service, will replace the National Offender Management Service from 1st April 2017. The new service will be responsible for rolling out the government’s reform programme to reduce re-offending and protect the public. The service will launch a new leadership programme and new promotion opportunities for staff. The changes will be backed by an additional £100 million to boost frontline staff numbers by an extra 2,500. Find out more here

FUNDING: developing skills

The Royal Bank of Scotland’s Skills and Opportunities Fund aims to support organisations that help people in disadvantaged communities develop, create or access the skills and opportunities they need to help themselves – skills that will enable them to get into work or start a business, now or in the future. Grants of up to £35,000, or 20% of the applicant’s previous year’s turnover, are available. To be eligible, applicants must be able to demonstrate experience of working in and/or with disadvantaged communities, and be able to demonstrate experience in measuring impact of the projects. The deadline for applications is 24th February. Find out more and apply here

FUNDING: social impact

The 2017 European Investment Bank Social Innovation Tournament is now open. The aim of this competition is to reward European entrepreneurs that generate a social, ethical or environmental impact. There are first and second prizes of €50,000 and €20,000. Submitted projects are typically related to fighting unemployment, marginalisation of disadvantaged communities and promoting access to education in a wide range of fields, from education and health care to natural or urban environment, through new technologies, new systems, and new processes. The deadline for submission of proposals is 1st March. Find out more and apply here

FUNDING: financial life skills

Money Saving Expert (MSE) Charity’s Raising the Next Generation grant is open to applications from small to medium-sized non-profit organisations. Projects must assist people to improve their quality of life through knowledge and understanding of how to manage and take control of their own financial situation. They must include an element of education/improving financial literacy. Most grants will be for less than £5,000. This grant round is open from 1st February until 3rd March 2017, but will close as soon as 40 applications are accepted. Find out more and apply here

CLINKS MEMBER’S EVENT: reducing serious violence

Professor David Kennedy will be giving a public lecture on ‘Focused Crime Prevention’ [20th February, Preston, free] hosted by University of Central Lancashire’s Criminal Justice Partnership. Professor David Kennedy is the director of the National Network for Safe Communities at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. A developing body of academic and applied work shows that a remarkably simple and common-sense form of engagement with small numbers of exceptionally high-risk people can reliably produce substantial reductions in serious violence. Kennedy will present the theoretical framework and explore applications in gang violence, domestic violence, drug markets, and other settings. Find out more and book here

CLINKS MEMBER’S EVENT: women’s routes into prison

Nepacs, in partnership with Durham University’s St Aidan’s and Grey Colleges, are hosting a production of Open Clasp Theatre Company’s new play ‘Sugar’ [6th March, Durham, from £5]. ‘Sugar’ exposes the routes into prison, life behind bars and the revolving door that catapults women back. It was devised with women in HMP&YOI Low Newton, Women’s Direct Access Homelessness Service and women on probation attending a Women’s Hub at West End Women & Girls Centre. Find out more and book here

CLINKS MEMBER’S EVENT: reducing re-offending strategy

West Yorkshire Police Crime Commissioner (PCC) is establishing a Third Sector Reference Group to support the development and delivery of his reducing re-offending strategy. Voluntary organisations working in West Yorkshire are invited to attend this initial meeting [23rd March, 2pm – 4pm, venue TBC]. The aim of the group will be to inform current work being carried out by voluntary organisations working with offenders, identify initiatives to increase sector involvement and advise the PCC on needs, gaps, priorities, approaches and strategies to reduce re-offending to support partnership working. To register your interest contact David Smith at david.smith@westyorkshire.pcc.pnn.gov.uk

OPPORTUNITY: family support

The Commissioning Greater Manchester partnership (Greater Manchester Combined Authority, governors of HMP Styal, HMP Risley and HMP Wymott, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Greater Manchester, and the Cheshire and Greater Manchester Community Rehabilitation Company) seeks to appoint an independent provider to help deliver family support for all offenders and their families within the three prison establishments, provide a through the gate service that supports successful resettlement, and build and maintain strong and effective links with community-based provision. For more information visit the Bluelight e-tendering portal. The Procurement ID is 26687 and the Contract Reference Number is A0369. Visit the portal here

PUBLICATION: racial disproportionality

VICE has published an article looking at racial disproportionality in the criminal justice system, focussing on the experiences of black women. The article asks: “why are twice the amount of black women imprisoned for drug crimes than white women?” It includes input from Clinks, the Lammy Review and members Anawim and Prison Reform Trust. Read the article here

PUBLICATION: the huge role that charities play

ACEVO, the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), the Institute of Fundraising and CharityComms have published ‘Charity Today’, a report aimed at giving people a better understanding of the contribution made to public life by charities as well as giving an insight into how they operate and how they are changing. The analysis highlights the huge role charities play in many aspects of our everyday lives. It finds that £1,500 is spent every second on charitable services in England and Wales. Download the report here

BLOG: prison suicide

Dr Philippa Tomczak, Crick Centre Associate Fellow, has written a blog which examines the issue of prison suicide. She writes, “Tragedy inside prison walls doesn’t just stay locked up in there, but ripples out far beyond them to create vicious cycles of damage and despair. There is absolutely no mystery about what we can do to reduce the number of suicides in our prisons, the mystery is why we are allowing these tragedies to keep occurring. We need to bring about public and political acknowledgement that prison suicides matter for all of us.” Read the blog here

FEATURED VACANCY: Employer Engagement Worker

Plias Resettlement is recruiting for an Employer Engagement Worker [Salary dependent on skills and experience, London, full time] with experience in casework. The Worker will develop an employability service which creates, promotes and delivers job opportunities for ex-offenders and other disadvantaged members of the community. You will be required to build relationships and partnerships with local and national employers to identify current and future vacancies for employment and apprenticeships opportunities. The role will require effective communication and negotiation skills as key relationships are built and managed with employers. The closing date for applications is 17th February. To apply for this role, please email emmanuel.beidoe@plias.co.uk or call 0208 838 6800.

FEATURED VACANCY: Employment Adviser/Caseworker

Plias Resettlement is recruiting for an Employment Adviser/Caseworker [Salary dependent on skills and experience, London, full time]. They are looking for an individual who is performance focussed and target driven who will support women ex-offenders into employment. The ideal candidate will be an experienced and assertive practitioner, well-equipped to provide support for marginalised individuals over the phone, via email and in person and develop a robust and effective case management service of supporting people into work. The closing date for applications is 17th February. To apply for this role, please email emmanuel.beidoe@plias.co.uk or call 0208 838 6800.


Spurgeons is recruiting for a Play Worker [circa £10,000, HMP Belmarsh & Isis, part-time]. Spurgeons deliver services in six visitors’ centres in London prisons with an emphasis on working towards positive outcomes for children and families. They are seeking a highly motivated, enthusiastic, imaginative individual experienced in working with children and families who can demonstrate excellent communication and customer service skills. The role will require you to plan and provide play activities within a prison environment which will support children to feel comfortable, safe and secure while visiting their parent in prison. The closing date for applications is 26th February. Find out more and apply here


Vacancies on the jobs board this week include: an ICT Mentor with Sova [Winchester], a Resettlement Worker with Vision Housing Consultancy Services [Croyden], a Marketing and Communications Officer [Gloucestershire] and Female Keyworker [Wiltshire] with The Nelson Trust, a Volunteer Co-ordinator with The Reasons Why Foundation [Lambeth], a Project Worker with Hibiscus Initiatives [London], a Housing Caseworker – Through the Gate service [HMP High Down] and Midlands Contract Manager [HMPs in the Midlands] with St Giles Trust, and a Drug and Alcohol Practitioner – Dual Diagnosis Lead with RAPt [HMP Lewes]. For more information about these vacancies, and many more, click here


  • Tip of the week I: Get a free KFC coffee, tea or hot chocolate every day until 26th February. Details
  • Tip of the week II: A list of Valentine’s Day deals. Details
  • Tip of the Week III: A three night break in Prague with tours and return flights is £179pp. Details


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