Expression of Interest

The South West Reducing Reoffending Partnership is seeking expressions of interest from organisations who are able to host a voluntary sector coordinator for 12 months commencing 1st October 2020.

The project will seek to strengthen the support services available to prisoners at HMP Exeter prior to their release; and improve engagement with services post release. The coordinator will develop essential transition links and provide support for prisoners returning to the South West.

Suitable organisations will be invited to a virtual interview in the week commencing 7th September. As funding is under £40,000 there will be a transparent but informal approach. The deadline for applications is 5pm 31st August.

For the Expression of Interest (EOI) form please email Amanda.Bennett@avonandsomerset.police.uk and for further details about the role please contact Amanda Sherriff Amanda.sherriff@clinks.org

Probation commissioning webinars

The Probation Dynamic Framework Commercial Team is hosting two webinars to talk through the different routes and opportunities available via the probation Dynamic Framework.

  • 20 August, 10.30am, online, free – bidding models (e.g. subcontracting, partnering and consortia)
  • 26 August, 10.30am, online, freemulti service category call-off competitions

The Framework has been designed to allow varied bidding models and the first webinar will help you decide which approach is most suitable for your organisation, then explain what you need to do next. The second webinar will explain what a multi-service category call-off involves and how to bid for these competitions. This session will be of particular interest to anyone interested in the personal wellbeing and women’s only services call-offs advertised for day one. Register by emailing ProbationDynamicFramework@justice.gov.uk

In addition, the Probation Dynamic Framework Commercial Team has published a video recording of its recent webinar on the e-sourcing platform for the probation Dynamic Framework. The webinar takes you through the e-sourcing platform and the documents that you are required to use when submitting a response for the Dynamic Framework. Watch it here

Supporting rehabilitation through creative arts

The Prisoner Learning Alliance has been hosting bi-weekly webinars exploring different aspects of prison education. Their next event is on 19 August, 2.30-3.30, online (free), with a focus is on supporting prisoner rehabilitation through creative arts. Sarah Hartley, Operational Lead for Creative Arts, Enrichment and Families at Novus will be talking about her approach to driving enrichment opportunities and how these align with a rehabilitative culture. Register here

Recordings of previous webinars are available on their website if you are interested.

Leaving prison in a pandemic

People who are being released from prison during the pandemic are entering an unrecognisable world. In a blog on the Clinks website, Amanda Sherriff, MEAM Partnerships Manager at Clinks, describes how services are responding to their needs.

Lockdown compounds what is already a hugely difficult time for people leaving prison. Services aren’t operating as usual and many people are finding it harder to access what they need. However, housing provision has, for most people, been easier to access than before the pandemic, with the government instructing local authorities to take an “everyone in” approach. But now there is less accommodation available compared to the early stages of the pandemic and only time will tell us how this will look in six months or a year. Read more here

Update on video calls in prisons from 5 August

In a guest blog for Clinks, Lucy Frazer QC MP, Minister of State at the Ministry of Justice, gives an update on the rollout of video calling in prisons, what’s involved in setting establishments up with this technology, and what prisoners and their friends and family can expect. Secure family video calls are now available at 64 prisons and young offender institutes across England and Wales.

She writes, “Whilst this current video call service is a temporary measure … we are considering a longer-term solution for video calls in line with Lord Farmer’s recommendations, focussing on those who do not receive face-to-face visits under normal circumstances.” Read the blog here

Various reports and announcements from the government around prisons

Links to several important reports, reviews and bulletins:

MoJ policy review around pregnant women & mothers in prison – Click here for details. –

Justice Select Committee report on the aging prison population Click here for details.

Justice Committee report on the response of MoJ and HMPPS to the impact of Covid-19 on prisons. Click here for details. 

Prison systems investment – £285m spending on courts and prisons (announced 30 June) Click here for details.

HMPPS is producing a weekly stats bulletin around COVID-19, released on Fridays at 9.30. Click here for details.

Donations of old digital devices

Belong is asking people to donate their old, unused digital devices, which it will redistribute to its mentees and people leaving prison. This will help prison leavers to access crucial services including Belong’s mentoring, restorative justice and creative therapy interventions remotely.

People in contact with the criminal justice system are more likely to be digitally excluded. During Covid-19, being able to access online services has become crucial for people leaving prison. Making a Universal Credit application and online banking all require access to the internet. Find out more here