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Discussion papers

Clinks' discussion papers aim to inform voluntary sector organisations working with offenders and their families, and to stimulate debate of issues arising in the Criminal Justice System.

Read our discussion papers here:

RR3 - Prison reform and the voluntary sector (July 2016)

The Reducing Re-offending Third Sector Advisory Group (RR3) was asked in February 2016 by the Minister for Prisons and Probation, Andrew Selous, to provide information on how the voluntary sector can be engaged in the government’s programme of prison reform and contribute to reducing reoffending. This paper sets out key issues and ideas that we believe will support the voluntary sector’s engagement with the prison reform programme.

The rehabilitative prison: What does 'good' look like? (April 2016)

his Clinks discussion paper aims to provide an early opportunity for voluntary sector organisations to contribute views on the forthcoming prison reforms, and invites your responses to some key questions. What would characterise a different prison regime ‘conducive to rehabilitation’? What might ‘good’ look like in a newly designed prison? What could ‘good’ - or perhaps ‘good enough’ – start to look like across the rest of the prison estate?

What does 'good' rehabilitation look like? (November 2013)
Rehabilitation: what does ‘good’ look like? (Published in the European Journal of Probation, August 2014, Vol. 6 and No.2) 

This discussion paper and journal article explore the need for a clearer vision of what ‘good’ looks like in the rehabilitation of offenders, whether in prison or in the community. Such a vision is needed to underpin not only innovative, evidenced-based service development but also quality-based commissioning and the procurement of packages of rehabilitation services most likely to support desistance.

A changing landscape: police reform and local commissioning (December 2010)

The Home Office envisages an increased role for the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) in delivering services for crime prevention, reducing reoffending and victim support. In the Big Society setting, it is hoped that the VCS will play a vital role in empowering local people and enabling greater participation in crime prevention in local areas.

This discussion paper looks at the impact of elected police commissioners, assesses the accountability of such reforms and explores opportunities for the VCS. Your responses will inform Clinks’ advice to the Home Office on how to support VCS frontline services both in the short term transitional period and longer term.

'Criminal justice outsourcing: what is the potential role of the VCS? (December 2010)

This is the fifth in a series of Clinks discussion papers that aims to inform Clinks Members and to stimulate debate of the issues that are expected to feature heavily in the new coalition Government’s rehabilitation Green Paper.

This paper is focussed on the potential for the VCS to deliver correctional services in custody and the community, including possible new forms of criminal justice delivery which are not currently provided by either the probation or prison services. It includes the policy context, current areas where opportunities might exist and some of the challenges faced by the VCS in delivering correctional services.

'A new focus on measuring outcomes: where do we start' (November 2010)

This is the fourth discussion paper in the recent Clinks series that aims to inform Clinks Members and to stimulate debate of the issues that are expected to feature heavily in the new coalition Government’s rehabilitation Green Paper, due for publication in 2010.

This discussion paper highlights the key issues affecting outcome measurement in Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) work with offenders, raises considerations for smaller organisations, and provides examples of organisations in the Criminal Justice System (CJS) that have been successful in monitoring their outcomes.

Payment by results: What does it mean for voluntary organisations working with offenders? (October 2010)

This is the third in a series of Clinks discussion papers that aims to inform Clinks Members and to stimulate debate of the issues that are expected to feature heavily in the new coalition Government’s rehabilitation Green Paper, due for publication in November 2010.

‘Payment by results’ has been presented as the dominant financial mechanism for delivering the Coalition’s criminal justice reform package. So far, it is unclear at what level payment by results will operate, and how it will affect commissioning and procurement. For the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) working with offenders, payment by results poses both an opportunity and a risk.

This briefing starts by providing some definitions of payment by results and examples of past and present practice. In the second section, we raise some questions that will be particularly pertinent to small and medium sized VCS organisations.

Localising Justice: How can we increase local VCS involvement in service design and delivery? (September 2010)

This paper explores the new coalition Government’s commitment to ‘localism’ and what it may mean for Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) organisations working with offenders. It discusses some of the issues that may support or hinder the Government’s vision of an increased role for the VCS in the design and delivery of local criminal justice services.

Big Society: Constraints and Potentials (September 2010)

The Big Society represents both opportunities and risks for VCS organisations working with offenders and their families. A smaller state could mean less protection for the weak and vulnerable, and a risk that local communities will have more scope for turning away from those that struggle to remain in the mainstream.

However, the history of the sector has been characterised by a set of values that include fairness, justice, and equality that has not been driven by government directives. If the Big Society can create conditions for the voice of the VCS to be more clearly heard then the challenge is to ensure that the sector has the capacity and commitment to respond.