Funding and Income > A guide to statutory funding
A guide to statutory funding
Government bodies provide statutory funding to organisations working in criminal justice through a mix of contracts and grants. These government sources of income provide roughly half of all the funding received by the criminal justice voluntary sector, though most of this does go to a few large organisations.
Historically, government bodies made up the largest source of income for specialist criminal justice organisations, but in the years following the 2008 recession, the amount of statutory funding available decreased.
Significant cuts to the levels of central and local government funding available for voluntary organisations working in the criminal justice sector have created a tougher, more competitive, statutory funding environment.
In addition, government commissioning processes can be complicated to navigate. While there are ongoing initiatives to simplify some of these, the systems remain complex.
Government sources of income
A wide range of government bodies fund criminal justice services in England and Wales.
Some of these are part of central government remit:
Ministry of Justice
The government department responsible for courts, prisons, probation services and attendance centres. It oversees the work of His Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) and His Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS).
His Majesty's Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS)
HMPPS is an executive agency of the MoJ. It is responsible for managing the operations, performance and commissioning of prison and probation services, rehabilitation services and support to prevent reoffending for people leaving prison. HMPPS manages public sector prisons, youth custody, contracts for private prisons and oversees probation delivery.
Within HMPPS, the Probation Service is the statutory criminal justice service that supervises people in the community who have been released from custody on licence, and people who have received community sentences. It is responsible for planning and delivering rehabilitative support, often in partnership with voluntary sector organisations.
The Youth Custody Service, also part of HMPPS, is responsible for the operational running of the public sector sites across the youth secure estate for children between 10-17 years old in England and Wales. The Youth Custody Service also commissions the services and manages the contracts for private sector youth custody sites.
Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
The government department responsible for the welfare system, administering the state pension and child maintenance. It is the biggest government public service department, working with a wide variety of partner organisations and supported by many agencies and public bodies, including Jobcentre Plus. The DWP procures a range of goods and services from external partners, including voluntary organisations. The DWP also carries out and publishes social research related to its policies and services.
Office for Health Improvements and Disparities
The Office for Health and Disparities is a part of the Department of Health and Social Care. It took over some areas of Public Health England's (PHE's) remit when PHE was disbanded in October 2021. In particular, it is responsible for improving the population's health, and works with delivery partners to reduce disparities in health outcomes across socio-economic groups. The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities also works with DWP, through a Work and Health joint unity, to improve health and work outcomes.
The Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) is responsible for the National Lottery. The money raised through the National Lottery contributes to several National Lottery funders, including the National Lottery Community Fund. The National Lottery Community Fund awards grant funding to organisations that make a difference to people's lives and help communities most in need.
In Wales, lottery funding decisions are devolved. DCMS therefore works alongside the Welsh Government under a co-operation framework in this, and all other areas, where their responsibilities, policies, strategy or financial decisions might impact those of the Welsh Government (and vise versa).
The Welsh Government is responsible for devolved responsibilities in Wales. The Welsh Government's remit includes many areas that intersect with criminal justice, including health, education and accommodation. The Welsh Government works in partnership with criminal justice agencies operating in Wales to fund some criminal justice work, as well as related work in areas such as housing and recovery from addiction.
National Health Service England (NHS England)
NHS England is a non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department for Health and Social Care. It oversees all NHS services in England. It works through seven regional teams, engaging with other public bodies as well as voluntary sector partners to fulfil its remit.
The Health and Care Act 2022 introduced new legislative measures intended to encourage greater partnership and collaboration between NHS trusts and community partners, including voluntary sector organisations. Visit the NHS England website for more information on the new new legislation.
National Health Service Wales (NHS Wales)
NHS Wales provides healthcare to the Welsh population. The Welsh Government sets a Health Care strategy for Wales. The NHS in Wales delivers this strategy via its seven Local Health Boards, three NHS Trusts and two Special Health Authorities, working with, and funding, local delivery partners to achieve its strategic aims.
Other government bodies
Other government bodies are regional or local in scope:
The structure of local government in England and Wales varies from region to region, and local area to local area. However, in every area, there is a council responsible for a wide range of services, many of which are statutory. Each local authority will have its own systems and funding priorities. Many smaller criminal justice voluntary organisations receive some level of local authority grant funding.
Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs)
PCCs are regional elected officials. Each PCC has oversight of a police and crime plan which seeks to reduce crime and improve community safety in their geographical area. There are PCCs in 40 police forces across the country. In Greater Manchester, London and West Yorkshire, PCC responsibilities sit with the Deputy Mayor. Visit the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners website for more information, including contact details for the PCC in your region.
Regional Probation Directors (RPDs)
The RPDs oversee each of the 12 probation areas that make up the Probation Service (11 regional probation areas across England and a probation service area for Wales). RPDs are responsible for the overall delivery and commissioning of probation services in their area. They hold significant regional commissioning budgets for rehabilitative services. Click here to read more about the Probation Service's regional structure (you can find details for the RPD in your region by scrolling to the bottom of the linked page).
Each of the 12 probation areas has published a Regional Reducing Reoffending Plan which sets out how they will work with partner organisations to address the causes of reoffending. The plans, which are renewed annually, allow RPDs to highlight specific priorities and ambitions for their individual areas.
There are over 120 prisons in England and Wales. Most are publicly run by HM Prison Service, which is a part of HMPPS. Some are contracted out to private companies (G4S Justice Services, Serco Custodial Services and Sodexo Justice Services). The prison estate also includes five Young Offender Institutions and a Secure Training Centre. Outside the prison estate, local authorities also provide Secure Children’s Homes to accommodate 10-14 year old children.
There are also a range of public bodies that distribute government and lottery funding for specialist services. For example, Arts Council England, Arts Council Wales, Sport England and Sport Wales.
Key government commissioning systems
Most of the different public sector funding bodies commission services to their own timetables, using a variety of systems. Here is an overview of the key central and regional government commissioning systems:
Jaggaer (formally known as Bravo), is the name of the MoJ's commissioning portal. It hosts all relevant information and documentation about commissioning. To access this, organisations need to create an account and log into the system. If you are unsure whether you already have an account, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org and the team will check for you. If you have any questions or need additional support, contact the MoJ central support team on 0845 0100 132 or email email@example.com.
The national probation Dynamic Framework is the system that HMPPS provides for RPDs to commission voluntary and private sector organisations to deliver rehabilitation and resettlement services under contract (though note that not all of the probation areas choose to use the Dynamic Framework). The Dynamic Framework is a key mechanism through which voluntary organisations of all sizes can seek opportunities to deliver probation services. Organisations apply through Jaggaer to qualify to be on the Dynamic Framework. HMPPS have produced this short guide about how to qualify onto the Dynamic Framework. Click here for more information on the Dynamic Framework, including recordings of briefing events Clinks ran in 2020.
Integrated Rehabilitative Service
The Integrated Rehabilitative Service (IRS) is the procurement system the Greater Manchester Probation Service uses to co-commission services with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA).
Prison Education Framework
The Prison Education Framework (PEF) is the system the MoJ uses to commission core education provision in its prisons. Visit the Prisoners' Education Trust website for more information.
Dynamic Purchasing System
The Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) is an online application process that individual prisons can use to commission specialist education services. It is currently operational in five geographical areas: London and the South, North East, Midlands, South West and North West England. The DPS is designed to enable prison governors to make decisions directly and choose the best supplier for more niche and localised provision of, for example, training on employment, advice on housing, life skills and art therapies. Through the DPS, governors can contract with a supplier for up to two years. Read Clinks' brief guide to the DPS. Organisations interested in accessing DPS opportunities should first register on Jaggaer.
Central government bodies, such as the MoJ and HMPPS, commission criminal justice voluntary organisations to deliver a significant proportion of their services through contact funding arrangements.
These commissioning processes tend to favour bigger organisations that have the capacity to navigate complex systems and deliver large scale contracts for criminal justice services.
Some smaller organisations do deliver services under government contracts, generally as sub-contractors. Even so, statutory contracts contribute only a small proportion of income for small, specialist organisations in the criminal justice sector.
In all cases, organisations delivering services under government contracts or sub-contracts report that they regularly struggle to achieve full cost recovery. Clinks' 2022 State of the Sector research found that in the 2021-22 financial year, just 26% of organisations reported full cost recovery for all their contracted services.
For years, Clinks has received feedback from smaller organisations voicing their frustrations about the complexity of statutory commissioning models and confusion around procurement processes. Since 2021 Clinks has attended a quarterly forum with representatives from the MoJ and HMPPS, to provide feedback from the voluntary sector on aspects of statutory commissioning processes that are working well, as well as what could be improved. Find out more about the forum here. If you have any feedback or concerns that you would like to raise, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The VCSE Contract Readiness Programme, launched in 2023, is a government funded programme designed to support VCSE (voluntary, community and social enterprise) suppliers in England to work with government clients. The programme aims to help address some of the barriers that prevent VCSEs from entering the public sector market, through a series of webinars and training programmes. Find out more here.
While there are some government grants available to criminal justice voluntary organisations, the application process is often as complicated and rigorous as the contract commissioning system. It can even use the same processes and portals. For many years, Clinks had advocated for greater government use of grants to fund voluntary organisations and for simpler grant giving processes. We believe this is the route to more effectively involving small, specialist organisations in the delivery of services in prisons and in the community.
Central government bodies also increasingly recognise the value that smaller, more specialist organisations bring, in particular those offering rehabilitative services. For this reason, in 2021 HMPPS committed to increasing their use of grants, and simplifying the competition for these. At the same time, it announced a range of strategic grant programmes.
HMPPS has announced that grants will be funded through the Probation Service's Regional Outcomes and Innovation Fund (ROIF) using a new Probation Grants Application Portal (the Grants Portal). Organisations need to apply through Jaggaer to qualify to be on the Grants Portal. HMPPS have produced a step-by-step guide to the Grants Portal. Click here for more information on how to access the Grants Portal.
Beyond central government, local authorities also provide a significant level of grant funding to the criminal justice voluntary sector. Clinks' 2022 State of the Sector research found that in the 2021-22 financial year, 26% of voluntary organisations in the criminal justice sector were awarded local authority grant funding.
There is also grant funding available from a range of other statutory bodies.