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Russell Webster

Russell Webster

Criminal Justice & substance misuse expert and author of this blog.

Criminal Justice voluntary sector: Share your story

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This is a chance to tell your story and help Clinks influence decision makers - responding to the State of the Sector survey is vitally important as it helps to develop an evidence base so Clinks can advocate on behalf of the sector. You'll be helping Clinks to gauge the impact of policy changes on your organisation and the wellbeing of your service users. Your anonymised responses will make up a report which will be sent to key decision makers and influencers.

Clinks State of the Sector

The pace of change in criminal justice is dizzying. In the last parliament, the probation service was privatised, legal aid was crippled and a new wave of Titan prisons were planned.

And, MoJ and Home Office budgets were cut by 29% and 19% respectively.

It’s important that organisations keep up to speed and publicise the impact of all these changes on their service users and themselves.

This is where Clinks State of the Sector reports are invaluable – combining the experience of large numbers of frontline voluntary sector organisations working with offenders.

The most recent survey, published on 24 April 2015, found that:

  • Policy changes, particularly welfare reforms, were having a negative impact on service users’ financial stability, mental health and housing.
  • A number of organisations had gone out of business, and several others have tightened their assessment criteria – further reducing the support available to service users.
  • The majority of the sector had had to make redundancies
  • The voluntary sector is again starting to resemble the volunteering sector with organisations having on average 1.7 volunteers for every member of paid staff.
  • Many organisations were not achieving full cost recovery on their contracts – they were having to dig into their financial reserves in order to subsidise the services that they were commissioned to deliver.
  • It was too soon for the report to analyse the impact of Transforming Rehabilitation; however, it was clear that TR is taking up a lot of the sector’s time and resources.

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Contribute your experience

Clinks is currently gathering views for its next State of the Sector Survey.

This is a chance to tell your story and help Clinks influence decision makers – responding to the State of the Sector survey is vitally important as it helps to develop an evidence base so Clinks can advocate on behalf of the sector. You’ll be helping Clinks to gauge the impact of policy changes on your organisation and the wellbeing of your service users. Your anonymised responses will make up a report which will be sent to key decision makers and influencers.

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How do I take part?

The survey takes less than 30 minutes to fill out. You’ll need to have recent information about your organisation’s finances, staffing and strategy to hand; this can usually be found in your annual report or, if you’re a registered charity, on the Charity Commission website.

The deadline is fast approaching – the survey closes on Friday 17th July.

If you’re from a voluntary sector organisation supporting offenders and/or their families, please complete the State of the Sector survey here.

 

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