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Unlocking Potential (Archived)

"I hope that this report will be of value to all those who are able to involve offenders, former offenders and their families in developing the policies and services that affect them. I hope that they will read it and think about how they can act upon it, so that we can unlock the potential to create a safer and more inclusive society." (Rob Allen, Clinks Chair, 2006-2010)

Throughout the prison, probation and court services, in government departments and voluntary organisations, thousands of people work hard to do what they can to bring about successful rehabilitation and resettlement of offenders.Yet there is one group of people whose insights, energies and commitment could contribute a great deal more to this task. Arguably, they hold a key to unlocking much of the potential for more effective ways of reintegrating people in conflict with the law. That group is offenders, former offenders, and their families.

When treating people with mental health problems and dependency on alcohol and drugs, it is commonplace to listen to the views of individuals and groups with experience of using the services designed to help.Yet when it comes to offenders, there is a reluctance to make use of this consumer perspective. It is as if a criminal conviction removes a person’s right to have their insights taken seriously or their efforts utilised. 

There are some welcome signs that this is beginning to change and this report details several examples of good practice.

Read the report here.

Published: 2008

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