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What We Do Conference Resources

18th Annual Conference & Annual General Meeting 2016

On 2nd November 2016, Clinks held our Annual Conference on the theme of 'What We Do'. Throughout the day criminal justice practitioners, voluntary sector staff, and other stakeholders explored ways in which the voluntary sector’s wealth of experience could improve the lives of people involved in the Criminal Justice System. We followed this with our AGM.

Below is a selection of keynote speeches and workshop notes from the day, each section has a brief explanation of what was covered and a link to the presentation.

What we do – the role of voluntary organisations in criminal justice

This year’s theme was ‘What We Do’, focussing on the historic and future role of the voluntary sector that supports people to change their lives, reforms the justice system, makes communities safer, and improves conditions in our prisons, probation services and courts. The conference offered a chance to hear from key policy and decision makers, and to network with voluntary sector organisations, government officials, and funders. We brought people together to discuss progressive work being carried out across England and Wales, but also the change and challenge faced by those working in the criminal justice system. See our presentation here

Stronger together: collaboration in the voluntary sector (session A)

At a time of austerity and rapid change in the justice system, working together offers voluntary sector organisations the chance to take on roles and provide services which might be impossible if they were acting alone. The session featured the Centre for Justice Innovation sharing lessons from his forthcoming Clinks report on collaboration, with Brighton Women's Centre and Second Step, Bristol. See the presentation here

Find you own partners on our Partnership Finder www.clinks.org/partnership-finder

Greater Manchester & the devolution of justice services (session B)

As the number of ‘Devolution Deals’ across the UK increases, this workshop will explore the progress of the justice devolution in Greater Manchester (GM), the role of voluntary sector within devolution and reform, and look at how we can ensure the sector has a voice and is engaged and involved. We heard from GM Public Service Reform Team and Stockport Women’s Centre about the GM Ambition and Reform Principles and look at the demand for devolution and reform. See the presentation here

Dynamic approaches to emotional well-being and safety (session C)

How do we support people in the criminal justice system with mental health needs? Whose responsibility is it to keep people safe from themselves? We heard from two voluntary sector organisations working at different points on the criminal justice pathway. Together presented on the Liaison and Diversion Services in London and Lincolnshire Action Trust presented on their innovative court based service, Supporting People After Remand or Conviction. See the presentation here

Clinks also has an advisory group- read more here

Volunteering in the Criminal Justice System

As part of our review this year on volunteer involvement in prisons, Clinks worked with NOMS, voluntary sector organisations and prisons to identify good practice. This workshop will share these findings in order to maximise the impact of volunteering, and minimise any barriers that limit its use. We will hear from some of the organisations involved in the project: the Shannon Trust, HMP Whatton and User Voice about how to include volunteers and the impact they have in their work. Read the reports here

Influencing policy (session E)

As well as delivering high quality services, the voluntary sector have a long history of bringing about positive policy change in the criminal justice system. This workshop will explore what our sector does to influence government policy, highlighting why it is important and the different approaches people take. We will hear from the Criminal Justice Alliance, the Prison Reform Trust, Prisoners Education Trust and Maslaha about their approaches to influencing policy, their successes so far and what they have learnt along the way. See the presentation here

Service user involvement

Involving service users is not a new concept in public services, but until recently criminal justice has often lagged behind. Increasingly, the value of getting people with lived experience of the criminal justice system involved in the design, delivery and evaluation of services is being recognised. This is especially true in the current economic climate and with huge changes being made to the system. This workshop will look at why involving service users matters, how it can be done meaningfully and what difference it can make. User Voice talked about their experiences of involving service users at local prison and probation level, and also at a national policy level, focussing on the significant challenges and some of the impact to date.

Read Clinks article on service user involvement here

Providing quality housing (session G)

Accessing and maintaining a tenancy is essential for supporting resettlement and providing some stability. At a time when there is a shortage of quality and affordable accommodation this workshop, chaired by Homeless Link, invites three housing providers to express what good housing looks like, and consider what challenges and opportunities the future holds. We heard from Langley House Trust, Stonham Home Group and NACRO, and the session was facilitated by Homeless Link. See the presentation here

Working together to keep women out of prison (session H)

Sending women to prison damages their life chances, making it more likely they will reoffend and harder to address the issues that led to their conviction. Women in Prison talked about the exciting campaign to reduce the number of women in prison to 2020 by 2020. Advance talked about the issues with their CRC contract, and her hopes for what it can enable the women’s sector in London to achieve. See the presentation here

Annual General Meeting

You can read our annual review which was released at the AGM here