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Knowledge exchange in the criminal justice system

The Knowledge Exchange is a new online resource for people who work in criminal justice to find and share new practice & guidance.

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Knowledge exchange

Yesterday 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.

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 are being supplemented by two new initiatives this 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 details of all shortlisted entries will be published on the Knowledge Exchange so that they can be shared across the sector.

I encourage readers to take the time to check out the Knowledge Exchange and help it grow over the coming years. There are already more than 200 documents on the site from a wide range of sources. The image below is a screenshot of its homepage.

Thanks to Amelie & Niklas Ohlrogge for permission to use the header image of Stuttgart Library, previously published on Unsplash.

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