State of the sector 2018
Key trends for voluntary sector organisations working in the criminal justice system
Clinks has been collecting information about how voluntary organisations working in criminal justice are faring for the last six years. Our 2018 report presents the most detailed information we have about these organisations to date. It explores what services organisations are delivering, to whom and how organisations are funded to do this.
This year we included an additional thematic focus exploring how organisations are recognising and responding to the particular needs and vulnerabilities of people protected under the Equalities Act (2010) and what barriers they face in doing this.
We found that:
- Charities and social enterprises are working relentlessly, in difficult circumstances, to support increasing numbers of people who are coming to them with more complex and urgent needs. They’re responding by developing and delivering new services and working in partnership to share knowledge and resources but increasing caseloads are putting staff and volunteers under pressure.
- Organisations supporting people with protected characteristics under the 2010 Equality Act, including from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, and people with disabilities, are being hit the hardest by the challenging funding environment, and are seeing more people with complex issues in need of immediate attention.
- Charities and social enterprises working in prisons and the community are seeing urgent housing needs, substance misuse problems and poor mental health soar, as funding cuts to public services including prison and probation take hold.
- Alongside this, welfare reform, particularly the roll out of Universal Credit, Personal Independent Payments and sanctions are pushing people into poverty and leaving them unable to access accommodation.
- The sector continues to face a challenging financial environment, where organisations are reliant on grants and are unlikely to meet their costs, while often having to subsidise services they are contracted to provide.
- Statutory organisations referring people to the voluntary sector are not providing adequate funding meaning organisations need to subsidise funding from other sources, including from charitable trusts and foundations
- Charitable trusts and foundations continue to provide essential grant funding to charities, especially those providing specialist community-based services.