So, what do prisoners and ex-offenders need to learn? That is the question set by a fellowship, established by the Monument Trust, launched last October. I think it’s a provocative question, one that can be answered in several ways and that’s what makes it a good one. Clinks will be submitting a response to the question, and you can too. Details on how to submit a response can be found here. Contributions should ideally be between 800-2000 words. If you would like more information you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The fellowship is new, gratefully supported and pulled together by the Monument Trust, and it consists of a diverse set of organisations:
- Centre for Justice Innovation
- Diagrama Foundation
- Koestler Trust
- National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance
- Restorative Solutions
All of these organisations will be responding to the question in their own way, as well as contributing to the fellowship's overall ambition to improve the criminal justice system. The fellowship has set itself 11 values to stick by - all can be found in our first publication Working together to improve criminal justice. These include making sure people get a second chance, focussing on what is going well, acknowledging that we lock too many people up, improving rehabilitation and resettlement, talking and listening to people with lived experience, and much more. These values will give you an idea of where we are heading and what we want to focus on over the next 10 or more years.
So what do you think prisoners and ex-offenders need to learn? Is it about skills and education, is it life experience, the importance of family life, having a purpose, navigating the benefits system, or maybe how to deal with setbacks? Or maybe you think that we have to learn from prisoners and ex-offenders, not the other way round. This is about debate, and about the voluntary sector speaking out and having a say in a useful and long-term discussion about improving our justice system.
I hope you’ll think it’s worthwhile and if the question has struck a chord with you, I would encourage you to take some time and respond. If it hasn’t then don’t worry, each year we’ll change the question and address a different issue – we will keep you up to date through Light Lunch and our blogs.
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The RR3 special interest group on Covid-19 will today convene voluntary sector leaders to discuss what is needed to mitigate the impacts of the virus on CJS voluntary organisations and the service users they support. We'll publish the key points from the discussion in a blog.