A snapshot from the North East: The voluntary sector working in criminal justice
In August 2013 Clinks and VONNE formed a partnership to better support the voluntary sector working in criminal justice and community safety across the North East. As one of our first actions, we undertook a mapping exercise to ascertain what services the voluntary sector is providing, and what support they need to thrive.
What we uncovered was a dynamic, wide ranging and vibrant voluntary sector that is delivering important services across a number of areas which we know support desistance from crime. Of the 54 organisations surveyed we counted 7,814 employed staff and 15,469 volunteers to support the delivery of services to around 243,000 services users. This shows the contribution the sector makes to improve community safety, support people to turn away from crime and support victims in local communities.
88% of organisations provide wrap around support in the community and almost all support those that have been sentenced to a custodial sentence of 12 months or less. This makes clear the potential role for the sector in the Transforming Rehabilitation agenda.
We have made a number of recommendations which we will be taking forward in the forthcoming months:
- Access to income needs to be prioritised
- Invest in effective partnerships and collaboration
- Police and crime commissioners in the North East need a clear strategy and structure for engaging the voluntary sector
- Ensure effective communication and information sharing with the voluntary sector