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Arts in the Criminal Justice System

The National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance

About Us

The National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance is the leading national network supporting the arts in criminal justice. Our aim is to ensure the arts are used within the criminal justice system as a springboard for positive change. Nearly 800 Alliance members deliver creative interventions to support people in prison, on probation and in the community, with impressive results. We support this transformative work by providing a network and a voice for all the talented and creative people who are committed to making great art with offenders.


We conduct and commission research to highlight the impact of the arts in the Criminal Justice System. Additionally, in 2012 we launched the Evidence Library, which is an online library housing the key research and evaluation documents on the impact of arts-based projects.

The Evidence Library

The Evidence Library was launched by the National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance in November 2012. It is a comprehensive high-quality resource for professionals, academics and others working in the Criminal Justice System. The Evidence Library hosts the key research and evaluation documents on the impact of arts-based projects, programmes and interventions within the Criminal Justice System.

In 2013, the National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance was presented with an award for the Evidence Library by the Royal Society for Public Health.

Click here to visit The Evidence Library

Policy and influencing

Where possible we act as a conduit between our members and local and national policy-makers who set priorities relating to arts and criminal justice. One mechanism for this is via the Arts Forum- a tri-annual meeting chaired by the Ministry of Justice.

Raising the profile of arts in criminal justice

We work hard to share the work of our members via a range of communications including our monthly newsletter – which includes news,eventsjob opportunities, funding opportunities and recent publications, as well as via Twitterblog posts and case studies

Promoting good practice

We want to encourage and promote excellence within arts and criminal justice, and aim for this to be threaded through all of our work. To address this, we run a professional mentoring scheme, and our Evidence Library enables members and commissioners to assess the impact of arts programmes within a range of criminal justice settings.


We also hold a range of events throughout the year to bring together a range of stakeholders including Governors, prison staff, Heads of Reducing Reoffending, policy makers, and arts and culture organisations. 

Professional Mentoring Programme

Following a pilot scheme, we have rolled out our professional mentoring programme to expand opportunities for our members to develop professional skills and knowledge in the field of arts and criminal justice through a one to one mentoring relationship. Expert mentors working in the arts and criminal justice sector will provide a minimum of four meetings or telephone conversations over a six month period to their mentee. The mentors will provide a range of support about using arts within the Criminal Justice System. 

If you use the arts in criminal justice then why not join us? Membership of the National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance will enable you to stay in touch with policy, events and debates which affect your work. 

Keep in touch