We produce Briefings for our members to ensure they stay up to date with the latest relevant policy and legislative developments in the Criminal Justice System. These allow you to digest significant developments quickly, and indicate potential implications for the Voluntary and Community Sector so that you can plan your organisation's response.
Members can respond through Clinks. We often run round tables or consultations on issues of particular interest to capture the views of the Sector. Let us know if there is an issue on which you would like us to comment on, or investigate further.
Clinks Members have access to these documents before they are published online, so to ensure you stay ahead of the game, check if you're a Clinks member and join here.
Members Briefing -MoJ Transforming Rehabilitation - May 13.pdf (May 2013)
This briefing provides a summary of the headline issues and new proposals in the Ministry of Justice's response response to the consultation document Transforming Rehabilitation: A revolution in the way we manage offenders, published in January 2013.
Social Value Act (2012) (February 2013)
The Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 came into force in February 2013, and requires commissioners to consider the economic, environmental and social benefits of their approaches to procurement before the process starts. Commissioners will also have to consider whether they should consult on these issues. Minister for Civil Society, Nick Hurd, said: "As taxpayers, we should all want those buying services on our behalf to get as much value as possible. This Act is an important step in encouraging public sector commissioners to think harder about maximising value to communities. It also supports our commitment to make it easier for charities and Social Enterprises to help deliver better public services."
Transforming Rehabilitation consultation (January 2013)
Ministry of Justice has released a new consultation document on the future of the Probation Service and offender supervision in England and Wales. This briefing summarises the key proposals in the new consultation document, including national commissioning of offender supervision across 16 contract package areas, contracting out the supervision of low to medium risk offenders to private and VCS providers, the extension of payment by results in this area of the criminal justice system, and the restructuring of existing Probation Trusts.
NOMS Commissioning Intentions Negotiations Document (November 2012)
NOMS has released its Commissioning Intentions Negotiation Document for the 2013-2014 commissioning cycle. This follows the Discussion Document which was released in July, and will form the basis of contract and Service Level Agreement negotiations with prisons and probation trusts. This Clinks briefing summarises new or amended sections of the document, particularly the two new overarching commissioning intentions, further guidance on the use of qualitative evidence, amendments to table of nine reoffending factors, and detailed guidance on the segmentation methodology to be used by commissioners.
Changes to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and changes to disclosure and barring processes in the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (August 2012)
This briefing outlines the forthcoming changes to both the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and the disclosure and barring process for people working with vulnerable groups, including children. These developments will be of interest to Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) organisations that work with vulnerable groups, as well as to individuals with a criminal record, whose ability to engage in certain activities may be affected.
New health commissioning landscape (August 2012)
This briefing aims to provide Clinks Members with an overview of the new health reforms arising from the Health and Social Care Act 2012, and their impact on the commissioning of health services for people in contact with the Criminal Justice System (CJS) in England.
NOMS Commissioning Intentions 2013-14 (July 2012)
Clinks have published a briefing on NOMS' new version of the Commissioning Intentions Discussion Document, which has been updated for the 2013-2014 commissioning cycle. In our briefing we highlight several important differences from the previous NOMS document; notably the intention to revise the segmentation methodology used to categorise the offender population, clear guidance on what constitutes good evidence of an intervention's effectiveness, and a greater recognition of the significance of intermediate outcomes.
Punishment and reform: Effective Probation Services (April 2012)
This briefing summarises the main points of the government's consultation documents on the proposed reforms to Probation Services in England and Wales. This is a separate consultation to the consultation on Community Sentencing which was released simultaneously (see below). Both are subject to a three-month consultation period, with a deadline for responses of 22 June, 2012. Clinks would encourage VCS organisations to share their thoughts and responses to this document, either by a written submission to the address on the the briefing, or by participating in our survey and roundtable events on the review of Probation Services (details to follow shortly). This will inform our own response to the consultation.
Clinks briefing on NOMS Commissioning Intentions 2012-2013 (February 2012)
This briefing provides a summary of the 'NOMS Commissioning Intentions Discussion Document' for 2012-13. The document outlines NOMS intentions for services in the community and in custody, and for services which are co-commissioned with other government departments. It displays a strong commitment to evidence-based commissioning (drawing upon both desistance literature and empirical 'what works' evidence for guidance) and to focusing resources on segments of the offender population which present a medium to high risk of reoffending. Of particular interest to VCS providers are the stated intentions to provide more holistic, rehabilitative services, expand the use of Restorative Justice conferencing, and provide appropriate services for women.
SFC Policy Briefing 2 | Implications of the introduction of Police and Crime Commissioners for the Violence Against Women and Girls sector (February 2012)
This policy briefing builds on the policy briefing 1 and discusses the issues in relation to the Violence Against Women and Girls sector specifically.
SFC Policy Briefing 1 | Introduction of Police and Crime Commissioners (December 2011)
The police authorities that currently hold the police to account will be abolished from November 2012 and replaced by elected PCCs in 41 police force areas across Greater London, England and Wales. This policy briefing is intended to provide a brief overview of the introduction of PCCs and some of the key implications of this changing landscape for Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) organisations in England and Wales with an interest in community safety.
Youth Justice (September 2011)
The youth justice system in England and Wales is a complex set of arrangements involving local authority children’s services, probation trusts, NHS services, Ministry of Justice, a range of commissioned voluntary sector organisations, as well as the police, Crown Prosecution Service, youth courts, prisons, and private sector service providers. Although there has been a recent substantial reduction in the number of young people (under 18 years) in secure settings, the current daily figure of approximately 2,000 is still among the highest in Europe per head of population. Our latest briefing provides an introduction to the youth justice system, recent developments, sentencing and processes, policy, and looks at future issues.
Secure Estate for Young People (July 2011)
This briefing summarises the joint consultation from the Youth Justice Board (YJB) and Ministry of Justice (MoJ) on youth custody. The consultation is open until 11th October 2011 and as part of the consultation process, the YJB has also commissioned independent organisations to gather the views of young people. Clinks invites our members who have an interest in youth justice – and particularly in youth custody – to submit views on the expressed strategy. If you wish to have your views included in the Clinks’ submission, please get in touch by 16thSeptember 2011.
The Government’s response to Breaking the Cycle and the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill (June 2011)
This briefing provides a summary of the Government's response,a fairly short document that includes little detail about how Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) organisations are to be financed and supported. Furthermore, the response marks a retreat from some of the more radical suggestions outlined in the Green Paper earlier this year. Disappointingly, a statement in the foreword explicitly states ‘we are not aiming to cut the prison population’. This has been perceived in many quarters as a u-turn on criminal justice policy and gives rise to concerns over where the missing £130 million will now be saved.
Giving Green Paper (April 2011)
Clinks have produced a short summary of the key points contained within the Government’s Green Paper. The Giving Green Paper is concerned with encouraging social action and contains details of initiatives that will support this. The paper states a particular interest in how smaller charities and community groups can make their presence felt. “We want to hear from charities about how they can do more to improve their social impact reporting, particularly from smaller organisations that have less resource, and whether there is a role for government in facilitating their work on this.”
Supporting People (February 2011)
Across the country, councils are facing the most challenging financial settlements from central government for years. The Making Every Adult Matter coalition have published a briefing for local authorities that campaigns for the continuation of Supporting People services. The briefing presents the key facts about Supporting People and four sets of questions local authorities should ask as they make difficult decisions about services. We hope this will be a useful checklist as decisions are made and that councils will protect important, cost-effective Supporting People services in for the benefit of current and future populations
Breaking the Cycle Green Paper (January 2011)
This briefing is intended to assist Clinks members and other Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) organisations working in the Criminal Justice System to address the key themes and issues contained in the Government’s Green Paper, ‘Breaking the Cycle - Effective Punishment, Rehabilitation and Sentencing’. The Green Paper is wide-ranging and includes proposals in relation to sentencing, delivery of services, and commissioning of interventions. Taken as a whole, this is a progressive set of proposals and policy positions detailed within.
Big Judges (October 2010)
This briefing introduces problem solving courts, and highlights opportunities for voluntary sector involvement.
Commissioning of Prisons (July 2010)
This briefing is intended to provide a review and update on recent announcements and developments in the prison-building and commissioning programme.
Briefing Note on Ken Clarke’s speech (June 2010)
This briefing note summarises Ken Clarke’s speech at the Centre for Crime and Justice studies and considers the impact on the Voluntary and Community Sector working in the Criminal Justice System.
Briefing Note on Nick Herbert’s speech (June 2010)
This briefing note summarises the key points from a speech made to the Policy Exchange on 23 June 2010 by the Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice, Nick Herbert. The Minister proposed a string of policies to strengthen the ‘chain of justice’ that will empower Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) organisations to play an increased role in reducing reoffending.
Foreign National Prisoners (March 2010)
Our latest member’s briefing gives a brief history of government policy and operational arrangements for foreign national prisoners. The briefing informs members about the current ‘hub and spoke’ method of detaining foreign national prisoners, and explores potential issues and opportunities for the Voluntary and Community Sector.
Independent Safeguarding Authority (December 2009)
This Member’s briefing looks at the Independent Safeguarding Authority’s (ISA) Vetting & Barring Scheme (VBS) against the context of Sir Michael Bichard’s inquiry. The briefing introduces the ISA VBS and its components, requirements and implementation, before identifying some of the challenges and threats to the VCS, offenders and ex-offenders. The briefing concludes that the VBS may undermine the work being undertaken by the voluntary sector with offenders, ex-offenders and their families.
Integrated Offender Management (December 2009)
This Member’s briefing introduces the Integrated Offender Management (IOM) scheme and looks at the agencies involved, methods of delivery and criteria for offenders being placed on the different schemes including MAPPA, PPO and DIPs. The briefing also signposts to a piece of NOMS-commissioned research into the involvement of the VCS in IOM.
Reducing Re-offending: Calculating reconviction rates (March 2009)
The Government recently claimed that re-offending rates have improved and Clinks joins them in celebrating this achievement. However, the way in which the figures are calculated has been changed, and this paper offers some explanation about what these changes have been.
Directors of Offender Management appointed (June 2009)
This updated members briefing announces the appointment of NOMS' Directors of Offender Management. The briefing provides a brief introduction of DOMs and their role, looks at how this will impact on Clinks members, and how Clinks will support members to engage with this new structure. Update: this briefing now features contact details for all DOMs including the appointment of an interim North East DOM. To ensure you are first to hear about these announcements, become a member of Clinks.
Best Value Framework (December 2008)
This Clinks Members Briefing gives an overview of the NOMS 2008 consultation on a Best Value Review of the National Probation Service. The document predicts the likely effect on Clinks members, and what the next steps are for implementing the review.
Titan Prison Consultation (August 2008)
Clinks and Action for Prisoners Families (APF) echo the views of other voluntary sector organisations who have commented on the futility of the government's decision to respond to the overcrowding crisis in the prison system by investing huge sums of money in expanding the prison estate, rather than investing in effective community-based alternatives to custody for offenders and their families. Nevertheless, the voluntary sector will be required to deliver services to prisoners in these new prisons, including Titans, and we want to ensure that the sector's views about the most effective provision are communicated to government. Therefore, we have prepared a briefing identifying the key features of Titans.
Infrastructure Fund (April 2008)
This members' briefing provides information on Clinks' successful application to the NOMS Infrastructure round of funding in February 2008. It explains to members how we will use the funds to improve our service to our membership and highlights the other successful organisations.
Best Value Consultation (April 2008)
This members' briefing provides information on the Probation Service's Best Value review process and how it may affect the VCS. The Best Value review public consultation period opened on the 9th April 08, and Clinks' members are encouraged to respond to it.
AGENDA FOR ACTION: Parliamentary briefing on the children & families of prisoners (December 2007)
Action for Prisoners' Families, CLINKS, Prison Advice & Care Trust and the Prison Reform Trust, believing that the maintenance of family ties is vital for the effective resettlement of prisoners and for the welfare of their children and families, ask the government to work with us on the following 'Agenda for Action', over the coming five years. We ask the Inter-Ministerial Group on Reducing Reoffending to commit to developing policy and practice to address the needs of children and families with a parent or close relative in prison.
Futurebuilders England Funding of Offender-related VCS(February 2006)
Futurebuilders England (FBE) is the funding stream established by the government to increase the capacity of the Voluntary and Community Sector to equip organisations to deliver public sector services. There is concern that FBE are not attracting enough applications from the offender-related VCS. This paper looks at a survey of Clinks members and presents a number of issues impacting on the experience of offender-related organisations in engaging with FBE.
Clinks' Guide to NOMS (February 2005)
An introductory guide to the National Offender Management Service.
Prisons, Probation and NOMS - A Fact Sheet for the Voluntary Sector (February 2005)
This response summarises how the introduction of the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) will bring prison and probation together within one agency.