Clinks website

supporting voluntary organisations that work with offenders and their families

        About Clinks button

What's next for arts in criminal justice?

Events Banner Image

What's next for arts in criminal justice?

National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance Conference 2017
December 4, 2017 - 9:30am to 4:30pm


In light of increasing cross-governmental support from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Ministry of Justice, and the recent inclusion of engagement in creative activities in Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons’ new Expectations for adult male prisons, this event will explore current topics relevant to the arts in criminal justice.

Speakers include:

  • John Glen MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Arts, Heritage and Tourism,
  • Darren Henley, Chief Executive of Arts Council England,
  • Sir Peter Bazalgette, Chairman of ITV and former Chair of Arts Council England.

Topics under discussion will include:

  • how the arts can respond to the recommendations set out in the Lammy Review,
  • the contribution of arts in criminal justice to the creative economy,
  • the challenge for digital innovation in criminal justice settings,
  • how those working in the arts can continue to build on recent support,
  • how we can produce more high quality, meaningful creative interventions for people in contact with the criminal justice system.

Participants have the opportunity to:

  • share innovative examples of good practice in sessions on digital provision, employment within the creative industries, and diversity,
  • influence the National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance's priorities on our journey to become an Arts Council England, National Portfolio Sector Support Organisation,
  • watch performances including The Listening Room  and Clean Break’s Hear.

We are offering 20 free places to volunteers working within arts and criminal justice, and those with a lived experience of the criminal justice system. Please send an email to outlining why attending this conference will be of benefit to you.

To find out more about the NCJAA, visit their website here.


Tickets are £45 for individuals & £60 for organisations / £90 non-members.

If you think you should be getting the member price please contact


9.30 Registration, tea and coffee
Welcome and introduction
            Alison Frater, Chair of the National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance

Welcome to The National Theatre, Rufus Norris, Artistic Director
Key Note Speech by John Glen MP
Darren Henley, Chief Executive Officer, Arts Council England

Performance of The Listening Room
            A stirring exploration of life, death and justice, The Listening Room features the true stories of
            people whose lives were transformed by violent crime. Years after trial and punishment,
           each one of them was given the chance to meet the person on the other side. This is the
           extraordinary story of what happened when they said yes.

Breakout Sessions

Breakout 1.    Arts in criminal justice: building the creative economy - this breakout session is now full
Engaging in the arts can lead to new skills and employment opportunities. In this breakout we explore the notion of ‘normalising’ cultural activities for people in the criminal justice system in line with the Arts Council England’s ethos of ‘arts for all’. Would normalising arts in justice settings expedite resettlement by reducing stigma leading to increased employment opportunities thereby improve pathways towards reducing re-offending?  In this context we will also look at partnerships between arts organisations that specialise in criminal  justice and mainstream cultural organisations:  how can they improve continuity for arts and artists between custodial and community settings, can we learn from models of best practice offering routes to employment in the creative industries?  

Breakout 2. The Lammy Review : the creative case
In 2016, NCJAA published Using the arts as a driver for equality in criminal justice settings, in response to Arts Council England’s Creative Case for Diversity.  This year saw the publication of the government commissioned review into the treatment of, and outcomes for, BAME people in the criminal justice system by the Rt Hon David Lammy MP. While arts organisations and artists are seeking to enrich their work by embracing diverse influences and practice,  how can NCJAA members respond to the review’s recommendations which highlights on a major scale, the inequalities of the justice system within which they operate?

Breakout 3: Innovation in criminal justice: how arts and culture make an impact
Digital technology has transformed the way participants and audiences interact with art and culture. Limited access to digital technology in prisons for both staff and prisoners is however creating a capability divide limiting access to rehabilitative social networks and reducing education or employment opportunities. This breakout explores the challenges faced by prisons and other criminal justice settings in relation to use of the internet and digital devices.  It presents the case for improving access to arts and culture through technology for individuals in the criminal justice system for children and families, for staff and as an effective step on the pathway to rehabilitation.

Question Time discussion and session feedback

  • Prof Sarah Colvin, Cambridge
  • Sally Taylor, Chief Executive Officer, Koestler Trust
  • Laura Caulfield, Chair of the Institute for Community Research & Development
  • Lucy Perman, Executive Director, Clean Break
  • Nick Hardwick, Chair of Parole Board
  • Sir Peter Bazalgette, Executive Chairman of ITV, previously Chair of Arts Council England

Welcome to the afternoon

Arts health, wellbeing and women in criminal justice
Open Clasp, film: Key Change
Learning from the Past: What was Holloway?  
Janet Weston, Wellcome Trust, Prison Healthcare Project: Health in HMP Holloway 1903-2016
Jess Collier, Art Therapist, HMP Downview: Mesopotamia
Erika, Koestler Trust: Postcards from Prison
Maureen Mansfield: Holloway in its own words

Where do the Arts fit now?
Music In Prison
Jess Collier: Trauma Art and the Borderspace
Clean Break: Hear, by Deborah Bruce

Plenary: Where next?

  • Jennifer Joseph, Actor with Clean Break
  • Sarah Allen, Lead Clinical Forensic Psychologist, CNWL NHS FT
  • Sara Hyde, Health in Justice, SCN 
  • Chair Alison Frater, Chair of National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance

 16.30    Close




Terms and Conditions

Full terms and conditions apply

Cancellations must be made in writing to  Please include your organisation name and delegate contact details.

If you cancel your booking:
  •     1 month or more before the event, no charges will be incurred. If payment has been made, a refund will be arranged.
  •     Less than 1 month, but more than five working days before the event, Clinks will retain 50% of the fee and a refund can be arranged for the remainder.
  •     Within five working days of the event, Clinks will retain 100% of the fee and no refund will be applicable.
  •     If you do not attend the event Clinks will retain 100% of the fee, unless a legitimate reason for not attending can be provided.  Such decisions are at the discretion of Clinks.