As regular readers may remember, last February the Butler Trust launched a new resource aimed at everyone who works in a criminal justice setting. The Knowledge Exchange is an online library of guidance and examples of best practice. The resource encourages users to suggest examples of best practice and guidance and allows users to search content by both source and sector. I have been helping the Trust curate the site over the last year and there are now over 400 resources instantly available for download.
About the Butler Trust
The Butler Trust is best known for its awards programmes designed to celebrate and promote the best in UK prisons, probation and youth practice. The Trust was set up in 1985 by former prison governor, Rev Peter Timms OBE and Veronica Linklater, later Baroness Linklater of Butterstone. The Trust is named after Richard Austen Butler (RAB), later Lord Butler of Saffron Walden, and the Butler family have been closely involved with the Trust throughout.
As Home Secretary (from 1957 to 1962), RAB introduced a series of reforms to improve the management, care and rehabilitation of offenders. To further the scientific understanding of criminality, he set up the Home Office Research Unit, and helped set up the Cambridge Institute of Criminology. He also gave the go-ahead for Grendon, as the world’s first dedicated psychotherapeutic prison. The 1975 Butler Report (which RAB oversaw after leaving office) led to significant improvements in the management and care of offenders with a mental illness.
The Trust has been working hard since the start of the pandemic to champion the work of #HiddenHeroes in the prison, probation and youth justice sectors.
The Butler Trust Awards were launched in 1985 to celebrate people in the sector who go “above and beyond” in their work. The Awards were increased by two new initiatives last year. While the Annual Awards are for people, the Ruth Mann and Kathy Biggar Trophies, named in their memory, recognise notable practice in custodial and community settings, respectively.
The Knowledge Exchange site
The site has been designed to be simple to use. The front page includes both featured entries and recent additions but the two most useful ways of finding what you are looking for are the search box at the top of the page or the ability to browse by source, sector (custodial, probation or youth justice) or theme. The range of themes will grow over time but already include:
- Learning Disability
- Mental Health
- Peer Support
- Restorative Practice
- Safer Custody
- Self Harm
- Substance Misuse
There is also an option for readers to suggest their own additions to the resource. You can see a screenshot of the site’s front page (snipped earlier this week) below. Next time you are looking for the latest information on a work topic, don’t forget to check the Knowledge Exchange.