On this page, we include reports and policy papers which the criminal justice voluntary sector, and those researching it or interested in it, might find useful. The page will be updated throughout the course of the project, so please check back for up to date resources. 

MEAM Coalition - Opportunity knocks: A briefing on devolution and multiple needs in England. August 2016
This briefing is for people who want to know more about devolution and what it means for individuals experiencing multiple needs, and the voluntary and statutory services that work with them. It is relevant to the work of local authority and combined authority commissioners, voluntary sector providers, and national policymakers. It explores some of the opportunities that devolution may bring for local areas to better support people with multiple needs, who experience overlapping issues with homelessness, substance misuse, mental ill health and contact with the Criminal Justice System. In the briefing we will: • introduce the idea of devolution and how it is developing in England, • explain why it is relevant to people experiencing multiple needs, • explore experiences of devolution in local areas so far, and • suggest how devolution can be useful tool (although not a prerequisite) for joining up local services to better support people with multiple needs. 

UK Justice Policy Review 2014/15 -Centre for Crime and Criminal Justice Studies, published 2016

 HM Chief Inspector of Prisons for England and Wales Annual Report 2015 –16 - released 16 July 2016.

Unlocking Potential: A review of education in prison, Dame Sally Coates.

Joint review of partnerships and investment in voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations in the health and care sector.

Civil Exchange have produced an important report on the independence of the voluntary sector, Independence in Question: "In 2016, the independence of the voluntary sector is under serious attack. For some years threats to its independence have been growing steadily. The final report of the Panel on the Independence of the Voluntary Sector, An Independent Mission: the voluntary sector in 2015, raised serious concerns about the challenges to sector independence. This report, which picks up where the Panel left off, concludes that the situation is now more dangerous still. Unless checked, it seems likely that the sector will face further, even more fundamental challenges to its independence in the years ahead."

The Prison Reform Trust have released a report on the use of segretation and close supervision centres - Deep Custody. The study set out to: examine how segregation units and CSCs are used; describe the skills and views of staff who work there; and to explore prisoners’ perceptions of fair processes and their treatment. They also wanted to profile good practice.

The National Audit Office has produced a report on Transforming Rehabilitation. It reports that " Probation services have been restructured on time and within cost targets during a period of major change but operational problems and risks to further service transformation need to be resolved if re-offending levels are to reduce." 

The Making Every Adult Matter (MEAM) Coalition has published an independent evaluation of its work over the last 2 years: Changing systems, changing lives: A brief review of the MEAM Coalition.

Check out this recording of an NCVO webinar on ‘Introduction to sustainable funding’, broadcast 19 April 2016. 


The Clinks website has a wealth of high quality information; below is a small sample of the reports they have produced.

Clinks State of the Sector 2016 - excellent overview of key trends in organisations working with offenders and their families in the UK. 

Clinks SU Involvement 2016 - great resource which will help organisations get started, develop project planning and delivery, and guide through issues of recruitment, reward and support. 

Clinks Annual Review 2015 is now available and has an interactive format. Interesting overview of the criminal justice voluntary sector and last year's change.

Clinks Early Doors TR 2015  have partnered with NCVO and Third Sector Research Centre (TSRC) to track the voluntary sector’s involvement in and experience of recent changes to probation and prison services under Transforming Rehabilitation. This report compiles the findings of a preliminary survey of voluntary sector organisations working in the field of criminal justice which ran during May 2015.

Clinks State of the Sector 2015:  Over the last four years, Clinks has surveyed voluntary sector organisations working with offenders and their families to explore how healthy the sector is, the wellbeing of service users and to determine whether organisations are experiencing any new or existing challenges. As the sector is increasingly required to navigate a complex and shifting policy and commissioning environment, collecting this information is more important than ever. 

Clinks Tackling Inequality in CJS 2015: Many equality and minority groups are overrepresented in the Criminal Justice System (CJS) and a large proportion of the people in the CJS face some form of discrimination or disadvantage because of being from an equality and/or minority group. In November 2014 Clinks held a seminar for voluntary sector organisations to share learning on how different groups have advocated at policy, strategic and operational levels for the needs of offenders from these equality and minority groups. This report summarises presentations given at the seminar by organisations working to tackle inequality in the CJS and highlights learning points for voluntary and statutory organisations. It presents discussions which took place during the seminar, highlighting solutions to challenges for policy makers and commissioners to tackling inequality in the CJS at each stage of the commissioning cycle.

Clinks More Than a Provider 2014: Voluntary sector organisations have played an active and vital role in criminal justice and community safety for over a century. More than just potential providers of services; they are advocates, campaigners, sources of vital information on service user need, a critical eye on existing services and innovators that drive social change. Clinks has interviewed voluntary sector organisations navigating the complex world of procurement and subcontracting, and held discussions with commissioners. From this rich information we have developed a vision of good commissioning for rehabilitation and desistance from crime.


The Welsh Centre for Crime and Social Justice website has many useful resources. The presentations and reports given at an event in February 2015 on Prisoner's Housing and Social Care give a variety of perspectives from speakers based in the voluntary sector, local/regional government, and academia, among others. 

NCVO offer a comprehensive overview of the voluntary sector as a whole in its Almanac (2015) - you can find an overview of key data, including number of organisations, income and where it comes from, as well as other useful information here

Centre for Crime and Justice Studies: Over the past decade, the CCJS has been charting developments in community sanctions and calling for a more ambitious approach to criminal justice policy, informed by principles of social justice. Their research has shown that the UK’s increased use of community sentences has not led to any overall reduction in the number of people in prison. At best, it may have controlled the growth of short-term prison sentences. At worst, it has simply expanded the net of criminalisation and punishment, exacerbating rather than resolving social harms.

The Harris Review started its work in April 2014 and presented its report to the Minister for Prisons, Probation and Rehabilitation exactly twelve months later. It had been asked to examine whether appropriate lessons had been learned from the self-inflicted deaths in custody of 18-24 year olds that had occurred after ACCT* was fully rolled out in April 2007, and if not, what lessons should be learned and what actions should be taken to prevent further deaths. (*ACCT - Assessment, Care in Custody & Teamwork - a care planning procedure for those at risk of self-harm or suicide in prison.)

New Philanthropy Capital: NPC have delivered a report called NPC Data, charities and working with offenders (July 2015). It highlights why charities working with offenders should be concerned about impact, and how they can go about measuring it.