For many years there has been a growing recognition from local authority agencies, partnerships, the Police and the Prison and Probation Services of the importance of the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) and the range of services they can provide in the Criminal Justice System (CJS).
VONNE, in partnership with Clinks, has developed a criminal justice network for voluntary sector organisations in the North East of England. The Local Development Officer for the North East, Natalie Maidment, has been seconded from VONNE to Clinks to work with the VCS, supporting its work to reduce crime, promote community safety, and reduce re-offending. The work focuses on the following areas:
- Influencing commissioners, including Police and Crime Commissioners, Community Rehabilitation Companies, the National Probation Service and prisons, to positively engage the voluntary sector.
- Ensuring the voluntary sector in the North East is kept up to date with changes to criminal justice policy and provide the opportunity for a North East voice in Clinks policy responses.
- Bringing together those working with people with multiple and complex needs to influence policy and practice around criminal justice, mental health, substance misuse and homelessness.
- Supporting people with multiple and complex needs through the development of Making Every Adult Matter (MEAM) approaches across the North East.
- Supporting the Big Lottery's Fulfilling Lives Project in the North East
- One to one support for organisations working in the Criminal Justice System
Communication and Signposting
- Directory of VCOs working in the CJS
- Key contacts and guide to the CJS
- Published briefings
- Case studies
- A monthly e-bulletin aimed at voluntary organisations in the North East working in the CJS, please follow this link to sign up.
Mapping the North East VCS working in Criminal Justice
In 2014 VONNE and Clinks undertook a mapping exercise to build a picture of the type, size and number of specialist criminal justice and community safety services being delivered by the voluntary sector in the North East. 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.
Download the report A snapshot from the North East: The voluntary sector working in criminal justice (PDF:11.0 MB).