In light of the opportunity for positive change represented by the Prime Minister’s recent speech on prison reform, Clinks’ Policy Team is now working on a new discussion paper that will draw on desistance research to explore what ‘good’ might look like in a rehabilitative prison, within the context of a reformed prison system. 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, given the very difficult conditions prevailing in so many of our older, over-crowded prisons?
Starting work on the paper made me realise I needed to refresh my understanding of the way prisons have been re-configured since the implementation of the Transforming Rehabilitation (TR) reforms, and to what extent NOMS and the prisons are still committed to commissioning rehabilitation services from voluntary sector partners in addition to those contracted through the Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs). I have therefore been going back through NOMS’ publications in 2015 to check for the most up to date information.
Here are a couple of documents that I’ve found particularly useful and thought worth sharing with members:
- In April 2015 NOMS published the National Framework Agreement for Services Commissioned from Public Sector Prisons in England from 2015. This sets out how custodial services are now commissioned, together with the delivery expectations for Public Sector Prisons. It talks about the need for all prisons to strengthen integration between directly funded, co-commissioned partners and wider partners so that offenders ‘receive the right services at the right time in a coordinated and effective manner which supports safe, legal and decent custody, rehabilitation of the public and reduced reoffending’.
- In October 2015 NOMS also published an updated table, listing all the public and contracted prisons in England and Wales together with their predominant functions, whether or not they are resettlement prisons and, if so, which Contract Package Area (CPA) and Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC) they relate to.
Looking beyond the current situation, Clinks’ new discussion paper will consider the position of voluntary sector organisations within a reformed system and ask questions about how a refreshed prison strategy might more routinely capitalise on their distinctive roles in supporting rehabilitation. Clinks members and other stakeholders will of course be invited to participate actively in this important discussion. Watch this space…