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National Alliance for Arts in Criminal Justice News | September 2014

The newsletter for arts organisations working in criminal justice

In this month's issue...


National Alliance for Arts in Criminal Justice news

The Arts Alliance has changed its name to the National Alliance for Arts in Criminal Justice

We have changed our name to the 'National Alliance for Arts in Criminal Justice.' After discussion with our Steering Group and stakeholders, we have changed our name from the Arts Alliance to make what we do even clearer to outside parties and to avoid confusion with other organisations. We think this will foster more of an understanding and raise awareness of what it is that we do. We will continue as before with the four main strands of our work: conducting and commissioning research into the impact of arts in the criminal justice sector, policy-influencing, publicising the work of organisations and individuals within the sector, and encouraging good practice. To coincide with our name change, and as part of an Arts Council England funded project, we also have a new, easily navigable website, which you can see here. You can log into the new website and update your profile information, and add an image and a brief description about your organisation. This will help you to spread the word about what you're doing and will help us keep on top of our database of arts organisations working in the Criminal Justice System. You can also now join us on Facebook

The 2014 Anne Peaker lecture and panel debate

On Monday 17th November we will be holding our annual Anne Peaker lecture. This year, it will focus on a multidisciplinary approach to investigating the impact of arts in the Criminal Justice System, with a key note lecture by Professor Sarah Colvin from the University of Cambridge. The lecture will be followed by a panel discussion, with current confirmed panellists including writer Dreda Say Mitchell; Shan Maclennan, Creative Director of Learning and Participation at the Southbank Centre; and Andrew Dickinson, Governor at HMP Wealstun. Taking place from 6 - 8.30pm, the lecture and panel debate will be followed by a performance and a drinks reception. Click here for more information.

An update on our Creativity on the Ground series

We have now enjoyed blog posts from Rideout's Saul Hewish on their Talent4 conference, Sarah Atter on the practitioner/participant relationship, and Diane Parker on Dance Movement Psychotherapy in the Criminal Justice System. On Thursday 2nd October, we'll be hearing from Arthur MacTaggart before we hold a live Q&A on Twitter with him on Friday 3rd October, 3 - 4pm. You can join in using #ArtsCJS. Click here to visit the National Alliance for Arts in Criminal Justice's blog

Have you got something for the next newsletter?

The next newsletter will be sent on Thursday 30th October. Please email with anything you would like included in the next newsletter by Thursday 23rd October.

Events and training

Free drama project for male ex-offenders

7th October 2014 | Whitechapel | Free

Shifting Point is a free drama project for male ex-offenders which aims to support their resettlement. Through artistically investigating themes of home, belonging and returning, the project seeks to rebuild a sense of connectedness to participants' local communities. Participants will learn and practice drama and storytelling techniques, leading to a devised performance. The course will run from 6.30 - 9pm on Tuesday evenings starting on 7th October. For further information, contact Sarah by emailing

Synergy Theatre Project ten session course
13th October 2014 | London | Free

Synergy Theatre Project will be offering a free ten session course in film making for ex-prisoners. Over five weeks, participants will learn how to storyboard and shoot and edit a short film. The project will finish with a screening of the film. There is no previous experience required, just a commitment and a willingness to give it a go. The course starts on 13th October, and will run on Mondays and Tuesdays, 6.30 - 9pm. For more information, please email or telephone 020 3668 6730. The deadline for applications is Wednesday 1st October. 

Arts Development UK Conference: Arts for Life

16th -17th October 2014 | Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay | £17 - £99

The programme for the annual Arts Development UK (ADUK) conference has now been confirmed. The event will offer a mixture of keynote presentations, breakouts, study tours, skills and knowledge exchanges and discussion groups. Delegates can pick and mix from different talks and workshops across the two days, and can participate in information takeaway case study sessions as well as facilitated open forums for debate and discussion. Click here for more information

Love Arts conversation

21st - 22nd October 2014 | Leeds City Centre | £60 - £100

This conference, part of the Love Arts Festival, is taking place in Leeds City Centre across two days in October. The idea is to get delegates talking about creativity and mental health, with structured conversations and workshops that will encourage participants to use creativity to aid mental wellbeing. Speakers and attendees will include mental health service users, NHS staff, arts organisations, academics, charities, artists and more. Click here for further information

No Man's Land: a Ribcaged production

11th November 2014 | Clitheroe | £10 - £12

Stephanie McKervill's new play 'No Man's Land' is the tale of the Dick, Kerr's Ladies, a women's football team from Preston that started in the Great War. They were extremely popular, became hugely successful, broke records and even played internationally with thousands of people coming to watch every match. 'No Man's Land' has its world premiere at Cloudspotting Festival on Saturday 2nd August, and has also been performed at Lowther Pavilion. Click here for more information

Inside prison radio 2014

20th November 2014 | Southbank Centre, London | £50 - £70 + VAT

In partnership with the Koestler Trust and the Radio Academy, the Prison Radio Association's seventh annual training event will take place at the Southbank Centre in London. Highlights will include the experiences of former prisoners who have benefitted from prison radio; a masterclass on creating inspirational content; how to conduct the perfect interview; and the chance to celebrate the best of prison radio with the National Prison Radio Awards. The day will offer the opportunity to share your experiences with prison radio practitioners from across the country. Click here to book a place.

Criminal Justice: Supporting Ex-Offenders

9th December 2014 | London | £90 - £125

This one day course aims to provide participants with a greater understanding of how the Criminal Justice System operates and the implications that this has for the homelessness sector. The course is suitable for new frontline staff or experienced professionals who want to update their skills. The course will help you understand that offending behaviour should be seen as a specific need that should be met, how the homelessness and criminal justice sectors can work together, and the roles and responsibilities of homelessness sector staff working with clients in custody and on community sentences. Click here for more information.

Arts and criminal justice news

New performance measures announced for adult learning providers

The Government has launched a consultation to outline and gain feedback on a new method of assessing the performance of further education and skill providers for adult learners aged 19 and over. The plans will see the eventual outcomes of adult learners as a performance measure for these institutions alongside the existing measures of academic or training achievement. There are, however, a number of practical measures that must be decided before the new proposals can measure performance accurately. The consultation will therefore help to influence how the measures will be implemented and responses are encouraged from all relevant stakeholder groups, including businesses, education and training providers, trade unions and learners. The deadline for responses is 10th October 2014. Click here for more information and to respond to the consultation.

The Cultural Value Project: mid-term report

The Cultural Value Project, a research initiative set up by the Arts and Humanities Research Council in the autumn of 2012 with the aim of investigating the value that the arts and culture bring to individuals and to society, has crossed its midpoint. They have released a short mid-term report reiterating the project's ambitions and aims and outlining the up-to-date developments and challenges still lying ahead for the project team. Click here to read the mid-term report

Prisoners' Education Trust: rehabilitative cultures

Prisoners' Education Trust is launching a new project training eight prisons to give learners a greater say in the education and rehabilitation on offer in their prisons. Empowering prisoners in this way through learner voice is a key part of the project. The project is funded through the NOMS Grants Funding Programme under the funding opportunity 'developing innovative approaches to building a rehabilitative culture with prisons' during the 2014 - 2015 financial year. The pilot project will train staff on the benefits of learner voice and how this supports the development of an effective learning and rehabilitative culture. Click here for more information

Geese Theatre Company is hiring a Development Officer and Communications Assistant

Two positions have become available in the administrative departments of Geese Theatre Company. Both are great opportunities to join the award winning theatre company, which supports people with experience of the Criminal Justice System. The part-time development officer will help develop the fundraising strategy, increasing income from Trusts and Foundations, and the Communications Assistant (paid intern) will join the team behind the scenes. This internship has been made possible by the Creative Employment Programme; an Arts Council England fund to support the creation of traineeships and paid internships for unemployed young people wanting to pursue a career in the arts and cultural sector. The deadline for both positions is 10am Monday 6th October. Click here for more information

How do we tackle the root causes of offending amoung young Muslims?

Jess Mullen, Clinks Senior Policy and Projects Officer and Local Development Team Manager, has blogged about attending the launch of the 'All we Are' project that aims to tackle the root causes of offending amongst young Muslim men. It has worked with them to create 'The Experiment', an art project that explores their position as the subjects of policy and practice interventions, and their feelings about survival, captivity and fate. Read Jess's blog here.

More in arts and criminal justice

  • Arts Council England have published an analysis of the second year of their strategic touring programme, which aims to get more great art and culture to people across the country.

Resources & publications

Safe Ground: Family Man evaluation

Safe Ground is keen to share its largest 'Family Man' evaluation to date, 'Out of my Comfort Zone', conducted by the Institute for Criminal Policy Research (ICPR). The study includes in depth interviews with programme graduates, their family supporters and delivery staff, alongside a Ministry of Justice reoffending study and a cost-benefit analysis. Safe Ground is a charity which was established in 1995 to work with men in the Criminal Justice System and the wider community. As part of its work, the organisation manages two prison programmes - 'Family Man' and 'Fathers Inside.' The evaluation was commissioned by Safe Ground in 2012 to examine the programme from the perspective of the students, their supporters and those who deliver the programme. Click here to read the full evaluation

Wellbeing in four policy areas

The UK has become a global leader by measuring national wellbeing. Yet, despite important advances, wellbeing evidence is not yet being widely used to inform policy. An inquiry, by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Wellbeing Economics, set out to demonstrate that this can be done. They did this through the lens of four specific policy areas, with a focus on how policy could enhance wellbeing without increasing public spending. Click here to read the report

Clinks' volunteering guides

Clinks' volunteering guides are designed to support organisations in their day-to-day work with offenders. The guides have been developed with the expertise of Volunteering England, Charities Evaluation Services, and the Mentoring and Befriending Foundation. Targeted at those who involve volunteers, or provide mentoring and befriending services to offenders and ex-offenders, these guides are designed to support any organisation whether they are already established or just setting up. Click here to download the guides.

This newsletter is written monthly by Kate Davey.

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Clinks manages the National Alliance for Arts in Criminal Justice and is the legally accountable body for all official National Alliance for Arts in Criminal Justice activity. Clinks is a registered charity registration no 1074546 and a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales no 3562176