Today is your last day to take part in the Clinks state of the Sector survey. As of Wednesday this week, 110 organisations have told us how the economic downturn and evolving government policies are affecting their organisation. By providing this information, you are enabling Clinks to lobby and influence on behalf of the Sector. If you do one thing after reading today's Light Lunch, complete our quick survey here.
Clinks has published two new resources for criminal justice practitioners. Clinks' 'Do It Justice' resources are designed to provide easily accessible information on key aspects of the Criminal Justice System (CJS). They provide introductory level information to the sector to support the development of services that assist people in their desistance from criminal behaviour. 'Navigating the Criminal Justice System' is aimed primarily at organisations who are new to the CJS and want to find out more about how it works, who is involved, and where they can engage. 'Getting Help from LSDOs', written by our partners NAVCA, explains what role Local Support & Development Organisations, such as Councils for Voluntary Service, can play in supporting the local VCS and statutory partners to develop services for people in the CJS. Download the resources at: Clinks.
'The ups and downs of public sector contracts' is a new blog by Clinks' Local Development Officer, Isabel Livingstone, following a visit to one of our Devon-based Members Fata He. Despite delivering a much needed BME service in prisons and the community, a change of Government saw their contract end prematurely. Isabel explains: "The project had completed one year of a three year contract to work in prisons, but was given three months? notice of termination, despite successful delivery and an ongoing need for the work. Anecdotally Fata He has been told by some who had been involved in the project that, since their project ended, the clocks have been turned back on race equality issues in the prisons. While some larger organisations might have reserves or other funds to cushion the blow of a contract ending, for a small organisation like Fata He the termination of this contract has had a big knock on effect on their sustainability and other programmes." Read more at: Clinks Network.
'Next steps in turning the tide' is a blog from Revolving Doors Agency's Policy Manager, Anna Page. It provides an update on 'Turning the Tide: A vision paper for multiple needs and exclusions', and considers the government's progress to date. "We were clear from the outset that working closely with government to think through the challenging issues set out in the paper would be key to achieving our recommendations...We called for the government to develop a top-level, cross-departmental strategy, drawing together everything the government is doing to tackle multiple needs and exclusions, and for local leaders to take up this message, leading action in their areas." Read the full blog on Clinks Network.
The latest 'Bromley Briefings Prison Factfile' - the most accessibly comprehensive publication of today's prison population - has been published by Prison Reform Trust. Headline statistics include: 1,299,251 people were sentenced by the courts in 2011, a decrease of 5% from the year before; On 22 June 2012, the prison population in England and Wales was 85,697. When Ken Clarke was last home secretary from 1992-93, the average prison population was 44,628; Between 2001 and 2011, the prison population in England and Wales grew by 19,650 or 30%, and the number of women in prison has increased by 85% over the past 15 years; In 2007-08, reoffending by all recent ex-prisoners cost the economy between £9.5 billion and £13 billion. As much as three quarters of this cost can be attributed to former short-sentenced prisoners: some £7-10 billion a year. Download the latest edition at: Prison Reform Trust.
Following 350 responses, the Government has responded to the 'Getting it right for victims and witnesses' consultation. The response talks about how services for victims will be commissioned in future, making a specific point that "the bulk of services...will be devolved to democratically elected and accountable Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs)"; revised compensation for victims of violent crime; an increase in the victim surcharge paid by offenders; a review of the processes that allow victims and witnesses to report crime and give evidence. Read the full response at: UK Government.
The Home Office has launched a micro-site for police & crime commissioners, which includes information for the general public, partners, and candidates themselves. To find out more about how your organisation can be involved in this, visit the Safer Future Communities site, or for more generic information visit the new Home Office site.
Ministry of Justice are inviting expressions of interest for the provision of library services in public sector prisons in England. The vision is to provide offenders in custody with a range of reading and reference material that will: assist their learning and skills development; help them to structure their time when they are not engaged with regime activities; provide essential support and guidance to their resettlement aims; and encourage their use of libraries after release, as part of adopting a positive role in society. The deadline to express an interest is 27th July; full details at: BusinessLink.
The Lloyds TSB Foundation for England and Wales has launched a new £2 million funding programme. Grants of over £50,000 for up to three year are available to registered charities that are currently working with older people experiencing financial difficulties in England and Wales. The deadline for Expressions of Interest is 20th September at: Lloyds TSB Foundation.
The European Commission has issued a new Call for Proposals under the Youth in Action programme. The aim of the Call is to support partnerships with regional or local public bodies or other stakeholders active in the youth sector at European level in order to develop long-term projects which combine various measures of the programme. The specific objectives of such partnerships are to: Encourage the involvement of public bodies at regional or local level or other stakeholders active in the youth sector in European youth and non-formal education activities; Support their capacity building as bodies active in the youth field providing non-formal education opportunities to young people and youth workers; Promote the development of sustainable networks, the exchange of best practices as well as the recognition of non-formal education. Grants of up to €100,000 per project are available for up to 50% of total eligible costs. The deadline for applications is 17 September 2012 at OJEU.
Criminal Justice Management 2012 [19th September, London, from £149] will bring together 350 key decision makers from across government and the criminal justice, local, charity and private sectors to debate, discuss and continue to make progress in sector improvement. With insightful workshop sessions, focused streams and unrivalled networking opportunities, this conference is not to be missed. Speakers include Stephen Rimmer, Baroness Newlove, Crispin Blunt and Helen Judge. Light Lunch readers can get discounted places with these promotional codes: VCS organisations can use 'VCSClinks' for £25 off, whilst public sector delegates can get £100 off using code 'PSClinks' at: CJM 2012.
'A call for action: tackling penal excess' | 13th September, London | Details
Alcohol Concern's 'Family Training Programme' | various dates and locations, free | Details
Make Justice Work and Matrix have published 'An economic analysis of alternatives to short term custody', the culmination of a research project that aimed to generate evidence on the economic benefits of providing Intensive Alternatives to Custody (IAC order) as an alternative to short term custodial sentences. Key findings from the research include: The IAC costs about a quarter of a short term custodial sentence; and providing IAC orders for all eligible young adult offenders instead of a custodial sentence would save £500 million over the next 5 years. Download the full report at: Make Justice Work.
'Integrated Offender Management - Effective alternatives to short sentences' is a new briefing paper from Revolving Doors Agency that draws together the evidence of the elevated levels of mental ill health, substance misuse and accommodation difficulties experienced by many short-sentence prisoners. Examining the barriers a significant proportion of short-sentence prisoners encounter in accessing support services to address their offending behaviour, the paper considers ways in which partners at a strategic and operational level can come together within IOM to develop and deliver a range of interventions to interrupt the cycle of repeat offending. Download the paper at: Revolving Doors Agency.
IARS Director, Dr. Theo Gavrielides, has written to Ken Clarke requesting an evidence-based, user-led sentencing policy. In his letter, Theo expresses concern at the continued punitive approach and language used; advocates for a user-led approach; and champions local delivery of restorative justice programmes. Read the full letter at IARS.
Coaching with Styal aims to challenge and support women in Styal prison to get the best out of themselves using coaching techniques that work for leaders in the community. If you're curious about coaching offenders or about working in a female prison then the new blog should answer some questions. Future posts will come from partners inside and out, as well as from prisoners themselves. Find out more at: Coaching with Styal.
A new film about preparing for court, aimed at young people with a learning disability or communication difficulty has been launched by Mencap's Raising Your Game project. The film was produced after Raising Your Game received direct feedback from magistrates and professionals in East Kent that young defendants with a learning disability or communication difficulty found the court environment a daunting and confusing place. Research shows that 91% of young people in a pupil referral unit and up to 90% of those supported by Youth Offending Teams have poor communication skills. The 12 minute film aims to give young people advice on how to prepare for their first time in court and what to expect when they get there. The film can be viewed at Raising Your Game.
Issue 13 of 'theRecord', the magazine for law-abiding people facing discrimination and inequality as a result of a criminal record, has now been published. Articles include: Walk for Forgiveness, Give as you Live, Second Chance: Writing With Conviction, and From Stangeways to the 'Write Stuff'. You can download the latest issue here and subscribe for free here.
Skills for Justice want to hear about your organisation's experiences of aiming for excellence in the justice and community safety sector. Are you going for gold in 2012? Are you striving to be the best you can be? Are you using business improvement and quality tools to help you get there? By letting them know what is happening and where, you will be investing in the development of a knowledge base that will give you the advantage - knowledge of what works, where it works, how it works and what stops it working. Get involved at: Skills for Justice.
OPPORTUNITY: enhance your professional learning
Continuous change in the UK criminal justice sector requires practitioners to adopt and adapt to the latest thinking and legislative requirements. De Montfort University offers a range of professional and flexible postgraduate and research opportunities, engaging you in the forefront of future policy. DMU's excellent reputation for professional training ensures that 100% of their postgraduates, seeking to enter employment or further study, are successful after six months of completing their course. Opportunities include taught Master's degrees, research and PhD opportunities by distance learning; as well as a range of individual modules, offering a taste of what postgraduate study might entail. For details, visit: De Montfort University.
James Barry is a freelance charity consultant and copywriter. He's offering an hour of free telephone/email consultancy to the first ten Clinks Member organisations that get in touch with him. James looked after the individual donor work at Prisoners Abroad for over five years. He has a wide understanding of the challenges involved in successful fundraising and marketing for penal affairs organisations on tight budgets. This is an opportunity for those looking to improve their individual fundraising work, online/print communications, and more. The offer is on a first-come, first-served basis. Contact James at: Charity Copywriter.
View all our Member's CJS vacancies at: Clinks Members' vacancies.
TIP OF THE WEEK I: People Tree, the fairtrade fashion retailer, is doing goodie bags with £150 worth of women's clothing for £35. And use the code 'FREDELMS' for free delivery. Details.
TIP OF THE WEEK II: B&Q are running free DIY classes for kids (7-11) where they get all the tools and materials to build bird feeders, weathervanes or toy boats, amongst other things. Details.
TIP OF THE WEEK III: Decleor Spa Day in Surrey including Lunch at Victorian Manor for £49 per person. Details.
TIP OF THE WEEK IV: For £89, two people can stay in a 4* Tudor-style mansion in Elstree, Hertfordshire. The deal includes three course dinner and cooked breakfast. Details.