Tell us how you've been doing through our eighth annual State of the sector survey.
This is your chance to share your experiences and help us influence key decision makers on your behalf. Each response to this survey will form the basis of an in-depth report to be published early next year and will help us to understand the experiences, challenges and opportunities for organisations working to transform the lives of people in the criminal justice system as we regroup from the Covid-19 pandemic. The survey takes about 20 minutes and you can respond here.
Here are four reasons why your response matters:
1. To gauge the health of the voluntary sector working in criminal justice
The Covid-19 pandemic has been transformative for us all. We have had countless conversations with members throughout the pandemic on how they have adapted their services, worked to address new challenges faced by service users and sought support and flexibility from contract and grant managers. Though we did not run a state of the sector survey in 2020, we focused our research efforts on understanding the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, culminating in a major impact report published last year.
Each response to this survey will help us build the richest picture possible of the voluntary sector in all its breadth and diversity, so we can influence key decision makers on the your behalf.
2. To collect the robust evidence we need to influence for change
State of the sector reports have long been a valued source of information by decision makers. We distributed the 2019 report far and wide and brought together Ministry of Justice and Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service officials and voluntary sector organisations for an event to discuss its key findings. We use the report in our day-to-day work, to identify priorities for influence and frequently reference the data in evidence submissions to the government.
Each response we receive this year will help us to update this vital source of data. We work alongside researchers from the National Council of Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) to help ensure our data is robust but we need sufficient responses from you to ensure it remains a representative, authoritative and trusted source of information for decision makers.
3. To shine a light on difference and inequalities within the sector
Voluntary organisations working in the criminal justice system can be anything from an individual practitioner delivering arts provision in prison, to a multi-million pound substance misuse provider. There are organisations of all sizes spread across England and Wales, working in areas with distinct characteristics and challenges.
Organisations in the criminal justice system also have unequal experience. Our last State of the sector report found that voluntary organisations supporting racially minoritised people were more likely to see numbers of their service users increase, and their staff were taking on larger caseloads compared to those that do not provide tailored services to racially minoritised people. Our 2018 report showed that these organisations were also amongst the hardest hit by the challenging funding environment.
There are both commonalities and vast differences in the daily experiences and challenges of organisations across the criminal justice system. We need your responses to accurately reflect the experience of the whole sector and highlight where inequality exists.
4. To celebrate the work we do
The material and social environment within which voluntary organisations are currently working is incredibly tough and we expect this research to raise many areas of continued challenge and concern.
This research however also gives us the opportunity to reflect on the successes organisations have had. The state of the sector 2019 survey showed the sector’s commitment to reach ever more people in the face of challenging environments. As much as anything, we use this research to promote and celebrate the great strengths, diversity and dynamism of the sector. The more voices we have contributing to this research, the more there is to celebrate.
Please respond to the survey here by 8th November. It takes 20 minutes and you can return to it on the same link. Please contact me, Will Downs, Senior Policy Officer, Clinks firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions about the survey or accessibility requirements.