Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s consultation on the Civil Society Strategy
Clinks responded to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s consultation on the Civil Society Strategy. In our response, we championed the essential contribution of voluntary organisations in providing innovative, flexible, person centred and trusted services for people who have had or are in contact with the criminal justice system. We said that for the government to support civil society they must actively promote the value of civil society, utilise appropriate funding mechanisms and engage voluntary organisations and their service users in the development of policy. We made a number of recommendations, including for government and criminal justice agencies to:
- Work in partnership with voluntary organisations. It is important that the Ministry of Justice and other criminal justice agencies utilise the expertise of voluntary organisations through providing flexible but systematic routes for them to share intelligence about emerging needs, advocate for service improvements and support the development of transparent and proportionate commissioning and procurement processes.
- Allow for innovation and reform. To support voluntary organisations to remain resilient, flexible and innovative the Ministry of Justice and criminal justice partners should allow organisations the space to continue to innovate and consider providing laboratory grant funding to enable organisations to test new approaches.
- Recognise the value of small, specialist organisations. It is essential that the Ministry of Justice and criminal justice agencies recognise the importance of organisations providing specialist services to distinct groups and proactively work to support and nurture them through providing sustainable long-term grant funding, or find better ways to include them successfully in commissioning processes.