The role and value of volunteers in the criminal justice system
A European study
This report, from the Justice Involving Volunteers in Europe (JIVE) project, presents the findings of a European-wide survey on the current contribution and value of volunteers in the criminal justice systems of Europe.
The study covers various areas of interest, such as how organisations select, train and engage volunteers; how volunteers and paid employees work side by side; how organisations structure civil engagement work carried out by volunteers; and where the lines blur between non governmental organisations and wider social service provision.
Overall, the results of the study indicate that organisations which involve volunteers are moving towards further improving their standards, through the use of recruitment strategies, standardisation and quality management. However, to truly modernise volunteering, it must lose its image of being an activity which people just do for personal, altruistic reasons, and move towards becoming a key social networking activity grounded in a commitment to civic engagement. Volunteering should be seen as an integral part of the rehabilitation process, not as simply an add-on or free resource.