IN YOUR WEEKLY LIGHT LUNCH...
CLINKS NEWS: new Network for the VCS
CLINKS RESOURCE: new working with women offenders information hub
CLINKS BRIEFING: Competition Strategy
CLINKS RESOURCE: setting up a mentoring and befriending project
CLINKS MEMBER NEWS: play in prisons project evaluation
CLINKS MEMBER CONGRATULATIONS
CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM: alternatives to custody findings published
CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM: HMPS website no longer exists
CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM: unions question impact of cuts
CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM: probation service to be put out to tender
GOVERNMENT NEWS: public services white paper
COMMISSIONING: consortia organisations wanted for DWP fund
FUNDING: for Lincolnshire community groups
FUNDING: for South Norfolk organisations
EVENT: prisoners families AGM
RESOURCE: prison statistics published
RESOURCE: factsheets for running a charity
PUBLICATION: OCC business plan
PUBLICATION: role of the VCS in charities
PUBLICATION: the dangers of privatisation on the VCS
RESOURCE: offender mentoring at NOMS..
OPPORTUNITY: low cost computers for rural projects
CLINKS MEMBERS VACANCIES
TIPS OF THE WEEK...
CLINKS NEWS: new Network for the VCS
Following feedback, Clinks has set up a new VCS Network for our Light Lunch readers. The easy to use Network will allow you to set up a profile and build relationships with fellow professionals in our field of work. You can set up or join thematic groups, get involved in discussions, share your ideas and best practice, and promote your services and events. We will be starting to take content for Light Lunch from the Network, so please post your opportunities, news and events at http://clinks.ning.com.
Clinks' South West Team has been working with NOMS South West to enable the VCS to assist in carrying forward the NOMS Criminal Justice Women's Policy Team's diversion agenda in the region. An information hub has been developed as part of Clinks' website - holding strategic contacts, reports and guides & resources for working with women offenders in the South West. There is also a link to a special Thematic Group on the new Clinks VCS Network to provide an opportunity for sharing ideas and information to further develop services and to provide a communication tool for the region. Get involved at Clinks South West.
Not had time to read and digest this week's Competition Strategy? Clinks has produced a short briefing, picking out some key parts, and highlighting issues that may affect the VCS. Clinks wants to find out what our members think about the Competition Strategy and positive or negative experiences of working under a prime provider model. What principles need to be included in the code of conduct between prime and subcontractors? Read our briefing and respond at Clinks VCS Network.
Do you manage or recruit volunteers to work in the Criminal Justice System? If so, Clinks' has a series of useful guides designed to support organisations in their day-to-day work with offenders. 'Setting up a Project' helps support organisations who are setting up a mentoring or befriending project to work with offenders and ex-offenders. The guide goes through the different elements that need to be considered when planning for a new service and gives interesting case studies of organisations working with offenders and ex-offenders. Download it free at Clinks Volunteering Guides.
A project run by Clinks Member pact for the past three years has this week published an evaluation of its achievements in bringing families closer together in order to reduce re-offending and the risk of social exclusion. The Play in Prisons project was funded by the Big Lottery Fund, and operated in three prisons in the South West to support and enhance parent-child relationships through the medium of play and interaction. For more information visit Clinks VCS Network.
Clinks Member Circles UK are Charity Awards 2011 winners. Daniel Phelan, organiser of the Charity Awards 2011, said: "The judges singled out those charities whose excellence in charity management they felt will inspire others. Circles UK is an excellent organisation, the award is richly deserved and I congratulate them on their achievements."
'Evaluation of Intensive Alternatives to Custody pilots' presents the main findings from a range of research, conducted by Sheffield Hallam University and the Greater Manchester Probation Trust, exploring the learning from the Intensive Alternatives to Custody (IAC) pilots. It also contains background information and statistics collected by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). It found that offenders with a chaotic lifestyle, multiple needs, previous custodial sentences and motivation to change were most suitable for an IAC order; the IAC has a positive impact on offenders and the potential to impact on reoffending; and at £5,000 per offender, per year it does at least as well as short custodial sentences in rehabilitating offenders. Find out more at Clinks VCS Network.
Clinks has been asked to notify Light Lunch readers that as of last Friday 8 July, the Prison Service website is closed. This is in response to a directive from the Cabinet Office as part of their ongoing web rationalisation project. The content from the site will now be split between DirectGov (www.direct.gov.uk), for the general public audience, and the Ministry of Justice website (www.justice.gov.uk) for the practitioner and stakeholder audience. Find out how to find site content and who to contact with queries at Clinks VCS Network.
Criminal Justice in Meltdown is a new briefing paper from Napo that brings together the perspectives of unions across the criminal justice sector and considers the impact of the cuts, privatisation and payment by results. The views articulated call into question the capacity within the CJS to deliver on the rehabilitation revolution. The Prison Officers Association believes the level of cuts to staff will lead to more warehousing of prisoners. Download the paper at Clinks VCS Network.
Responding to the announcement this week that all Probation work will be put out to competitive tender, Harry Fletcher, Assistant General Secretary of Napo said: "...The government has little if any understanding of how complex work with offenders is and how demanding supervision can be...The majority of offenders have multiple mental health problems, issues with drugs and alcohol and suffer from low literacy and numeracy rates. They are extremely difficult to monitor and their supervisors must be trained experienced and dedicated staff. Selling off the work to the lowest bidder for profit will not raise standards. Indeed the reverse is the case. The quality of the work will fall and public protection will be compromised". Read the full press release at Napo.
The 'Open Public Services White Paper' published this week commits the Government to a programme of modernising public services based on the key principles of increasing choice, decentralising services, opening services to a range of providers, ensuring fair access and accountability to users and taxpayers. What do you think of the principles set out above? Will this result in increased opportunities or barriers for VCS involvement? How can Clinks support you? Find out more at Clinks VCS Network.
Social Finance is interested in hearing from individual organisations or consortia of service providers that are interested in forming Social Investment Partnerships to develop proposals for the DWP Innovation Fund. The fund is designed to drive the growth of innovative interventions to support disadvantaged young people between the ages of 14-24 who are not in education, employment or training (NEET). The Innovation Fund will award between 5-20 outcomes based contracts. The deadline to express an interest in forming a Social Investment Partnership is 12pm on Monday 18th July. Details at Clinks VCS Network.
New and existing groups and organisations operating in, or benefiting residents of, East Lindsey (Lincolnshire) may apply for grants to help with the revenue and capital costs of eligible projects. Both Revenue and Capital Grants are available for between £100 and £8,000. Revenue funding can be supported for up to three years, which could provide up to £24,000 for an organisation. The deadline for applications is 5th September at Clinks VCS Network.
South Norfolk Council's Neighbourhood Fund aims to support small-scale projects that will improve the quality of life in local communities and make a real difference to the neighbourhood or the environment in and around South Norfolk. Constituted community organisations, registered charities, social enterprises, parish and town councils and constituted parish meetings may apply for grants of up to £2,000. Grants up to £5,000 will be considered for projects that have a wide focus. Find out more about eligible projects at Clinks VCS Network.
The latest Bromley Briefings has been published by Prison Reform Trust. It reveals a prison population nearly twice the size of the last time Ken Clarke was Home secretary, more children are affected by the imprisonment of a parent than by divorce, community sentences are more effective at reducing reoffending than short custodial sentences, and only 11% of people believed that sending more people to prison would do most to reduce crime. Find out more at Clinks VCS Network.
Do you deliver or know of services that provide dedicated holistic support to people with multiple and complex needs? If so, Revolving Doors want to hear from you! As part of its SPARK project Revolving Doors is mapping services or multi-agency partnerships across England supporting adults with multiple and complex needs in contact with the criminal justice system. Information will be disseminated to local and national decision-makers to showcase best practice and help us to make the case for more and improved local responses, as well as a coordinated national policy response for this group. If you believe you provide such a service or have knowledge of one please visit the SPARK homepage for further details on how to promote the work of your service to a wide audience, as well as the chance to win a £50 John Lewis voucher.
RESOURCE: factsheets for running a charity
Insider Access is a new free digital magazine which has been designed, edited and written by offenders in prison and ex-offenders in the community. The aim of Insider Access is to develop employability skills and support resettlement of offenders, in order to reduce re-offending. Through the magazine, its authors hope to highlight the positive skills of offenders and work undertaken, both in prison and in the community. You can find the 1st issue of Insider Access at Clinks VCS Network.
The Office of the Children's Commissioner (OCC) has published its 2011-12 Business Plan and 2010-11 Annual Report. Dr John Dunford's independent review of the OCC made recommendations for a Children's Commissioner for England with greater independence, stronger powers and an enhanced focus on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). The Business Plan takes on board 130 organisations that were consulted, and will ensure both the voices and the best interests of children and young people, particularly the most vulnerable, are taken into account in all the decisions which affect their lives. This year will see two major Inquiries launched - one examining patterns of school exclusions to be launched in July, and one investigating the sexual exploitation and related abuse of children and young people to be launched in the autumn. Interested in children and families of offenders? Visit our VCS Network's Thematic Group.
Charity Insight has published an interesting essay 'Breaking the Cycle' which looks at the role of charities in reducing reoffending. The essay presents some good graphics and statistics, and suggests "the problem is not that there are not enough good ideas out there; the problem is that provision remains a postcode lottery: depending on where someone is locked up, they have access to radically different levels and types of services." The essay goes on to say charities need more funding, capacity building support, and support from the statutory and private sectors. Read the essay at Clinks VCS Network.
'Why privatisation damages services and independent voluntary action' is the title of a new blog on the Clinks VCS Network from NCIA who have published a series of linked papers presenting evidence about the dangers of commissioning, localism and the big society, all part of the government's privatisation agenda. The papers argue that public service cuts are political choice rather than inevitability, localism and big society will stifle communities, and competitive markets threaten VCS independence. The evidence and analysis is for those who wish to argue the case for good public services and resist the privatisation of voluntary action. Find out more at Clinks VCS Network.
Bettina Crossick, NOMS Lead - Mentoring, Volunteering and Service User Engagement, has asked Clinks to circulate a paper for NOMS staff on the evolving role of offender mentoring at NOMS. "Mentoring is not new - many probation areas have a long history of recruiting volunteers who befriend and provide support to offenders to support the work of probation officers and assist in the resettlement process....now NOMS is starting to use mentoring as a specific intervention alongside more conventional offender management outcomes, to help reduce reoffending, build on the principles of localism and encourage local communities to take responsibility for their offenders....This may mean offenders assisting other offenders, or other members of the public assisting offenders." The paper includes some examples of successful mentoring project across the country. Download it at: Clinks VCS Network.
OPPORTUNITY: low cost computers for rural projects
The Arthur Rank Centre has set up the "Computers for Rural People" scheme to provide computers at very low cost to encourage people to take the first step. For details visit Clinks VCS Network.
Vacancies this week include 2 x Development Workers atYSS [Worcestershire & Shropshire], a Legal Director at Howard League [London], Communications & Policy Volunteer at Prisoners Abroad [London], a Senior Housing Support Worker at Foundation [Northallerton], a Team Administrator at Foundation[Durham], and a Project Administrator at YHCOSA [York]. View these and other vacancies at Clinks Members Vacancies.
TIP OF THE WEEK I: Get a free tastecard, entitling you to 50% off loads of London restaurants. Deadline Friday 15 July at http://www.tastecard.co.uk/trial3/july#.
TIP OF THE WEEK II: Free cocktail, cider or glass of wine at 22 Pitcher & Piano bars with this voucher.
TIP OF THE WEEK III: Kids aged 5 - 16 years can go free with one paying adult to 31 West End shows between 12th August and 4th September. Shows include Mamma Mia!, Shrek, Legally Blonde, The Wizard Of Oz and 39 Steps. Book at Kids Week.
TIP OF THE WEEK IV: A week in the Algarve including flights and accommodation for just £159 per person at Travelzoo.
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