London prisons & the VCS (Archived)
This report was commissioned by Clinks to assist London prisons and voluntary, faith and community sector (VCS) organisations delivering, or wanting to deliver, services within them to work more effectively together.
The specification for the project noted that the VCS provides a wide range of services to London prisons, funded by a variety of sources, and acknowledged the complexity of this area of engagement.
There are some core factors that have a significant influence on the working relationships between prisons and VCS organisations. As the visits to prisons, interviews and consultations organised as part of this project took place, it became very apparent how different from each other the prisons are and the extent of the diversity of VCS organisations.
The recommendations made in this report have tried to take into account that:
- every prison is different
- all voluntary and community sector organisations are different
- both are under increasing financial and operational pressure.
Solutions to barriers that require complete uniformity and standardisation at the local level are not likely to be practical or appropriate.
This project has focussed on the key themes emerging from the interactions between prisons and the VCS and proposes practical measures which can be adapted and amended to local circumstances.