London Development Officer Tiegan Mercer outlines details of the Local Leadership and Integration Fund – a Ministry of Justice grant funding scheme to support the development of locally-led pilots to improve outcomes for prison leavers – worth £7.1 million. The competition for the second round of funding is due to open in early September.
Where did this funding come from?
The Local Leadership and Integration Fund (LLIF) is one of three distinct strands of the cross-governmental Prison Leavers Project. The Prison Leavers Project was awarded £20m of the Shared Outcomes Fund, which was set up to test innovative ways of working across the public sector and drive the modernisation of public services. The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is leading the Prison Leavers Project and plan to work closely with prison leavers and across organisational boundaries to develop solutions to key challenges faced by those leaving our prison system. The two other strands of the project are Cross-sector teams and the Prison Leavers Innovation Challenge.
Key principles of the Prison Leavers Project:
- Co-design: putting prison leavers at the heart of plans, bringing people with lived experience of the challenges into the design of solutions
- Systems-led approach: taking a collaborative approach, bringing in individuals from the entire system to address a shared challenge
- Innovative: creating the space to rapidly test and explore new ideas
- Evaluate: discovering “what works” and identifying where this has potential to scale.
What is the LLIF?
The LLIF is a grant funding scheme to support the development of locally-led pilots which aim to improve outcomes for prison leavers. This approach recognises the problems facing prison leavers are often location specific and allows local organisations to design interventions that are relevant to their local community and improve the join up and integration of services (although, local is not prescriptive). There are two rounds of the competition, with the first one now closed and the second round due to launch in September 2021.
Following the first round of the competition, the following have now been awarded funding partnerships:
- Bounce Back
- Change, Grow, Live (Cheshire)
- Change, Grow, Live (Midlands)
- The Innovation Unit
- New Futures Network/Antz Junction
Applications for round two of the LLIF are due to open in early September 2021. A total of £3,196,849 is available in round two, however the maximum amount of funding available per bid is capped at £1m. The lead bidder (who submits the application) should be responsible for the largest proportion of spending and service delivery. For this round, The MoJ is encouraging bids that focus on groups and geographical areas that were under-represented in the first round, in particular bids that specialise in supporting female prison leavers and/or bids that are based in Wales.
Who can bid for funding?
The grant is open to bids from both the voluntary and public sector, however organisations should have some experience of working with prison leavers and have an understanding of the unique challenges they face in their geographic area. All bids must be made as a partnership between at least two organisations, and will need to have representation from across the voluntary and public sector. The MoJ is actively seeking cross-systems partnerships and encouraging smaller organisations to partner with larger ones where possible, as they would like to see a mixture of different sized organisations working together, as well as organisations which focus on different areas of need.
The criteria for round two of the LLIF is explicitly linked to the key principles of the Prison Leavers project which were outlined in the first section of this blog.
You will need to provide the following:
- Organisation and Information: information on the organisations involved within the partnership, their experience of working with prison leavers, and how the partnership represents a cross-systems approach.
- Overview of Proposal: details will need to be provided on the problem that the pilot will address, the activities the pilot will undertake to achieve this and the desired outcomes. For this section, the MoJ will likely require project plans, including details on milestones, resourcing and risk.
- Stakeholder Engagement: The bid will need to provide how relevant stakeholders were involved in the design of the pilot, including how prison leavers engaged thus far and how they will remain involved in the pilot if funding is received.
- Evaluability: details will be needed on the group of individuals the pilot plans to work with (including the number of prison leavers who the organisations will work with throughout the duration of the pilot), and the outcomes which the pilot seeks to measure and how. It is worth noting that the MoJ has removed the requirement to draft and submit a theory of change/logic model as this will be covered by the activities section.
What do they mean by outcomes?
All proposals will be required to identify which outcomes the pilot aims to improve. Where these outcomes do not have obvious existing measurement tools, proposals will need to outline a method of measurement.
All proposals must seek to reduce reoffending, but can also select outcomes in the following categories, or propose their own additional ones:
- Access to and efficiency of services
- Employment and financial security
- Engagement with services
- Family and relationships
- Health, including mental health and substance misuse
- Perceptions of self, e.g. self-worth
- Satisfaction and well-being of front-line staff
- Systems wide, e.g. service collaboration.
Proposed timeline and next steps
- Applications open: September 2021 – October 2021
- Bid evaluation: October 2021 – November 2021
- Due diligence: December 2021
- Award notification: January 2022
- Pilot development: January 2022 – April 2022
- Pilot delivery: May 2022 ongoing
Final timelines for funding are TBC.
The MoJ has been running a series of webinars on Round two. The next webinar will be held on 2nd September 2021 and will provide an opportunity to ask questions before the launch. Register here. If you would like to request a recording of previous webinars, please contact LLIF@justice.gov.uk.
For more information, please see the MoJ’s Prison Leavers Project guidance here.
Round 2 of funding is now open, please register via the Ministry of Justice portal where you will be able to access further information, guidance and the documents required to submit a bid. Access the portal here