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Joint justice for rehabilitation

29 June 2011

Nacro, Working Links and Sodexo Justice Services launch the Community Justice Partnership alongside their first public sector strategic collaborator

Three major providers of criminal justice services have today joined forces, alongside their first public sector strategic collaborator, to create a new consortium to help deliver the government’s plans to reduce re-offending through a rehabilitation revolution.

The Community Justice Partnership has been launched today by rehabilitative justice services provider Sodexo Justice Services; rehabilitation and ex-offender employment experts Working Links; and crime reduction charity Nacro. The Community Justice Partnership already has its first public sector strategic alliance – Essex Probation Trust – with new partners to be announced soon. As the first of its kind in the justice sphere, the Community Justice Partnership is an exciting new vehicle for the transformation of criminal justice services.

The criminal justice system is set to undergo fundamental change following Breaking the Cycle, the government’s sentencing and rehabilitation green paper. The Ministry of Justice recently announced that in both custody and, for the first time, in the community it will no longer deliver rehabilitation services directly without testing whether the private or voluntary sector or a combination of all three sectors can deliver them more efficiently and effectively. The government will also embed payment by results into the criminal justice system, leaving providers with less prescription and restriction about how they should deliver, but more focus instead on getting the right outcomes: reducing reoffending and offending; increasing public confidence and value for money in services; and preventing more victims of crime.

The three organisations have created the Community Justice Partnership in response to the government’s challenge, with the new consortium pooling their expertise and resources to compete for a share of the prison, probation, and other services being tendered from June 2011.

The Community Justice Partnership will harness the shared values and goals of each organisation to deliver a fresh and innovative approach, delivering at large scale and through new collaborations with the public sector. Beginning with Essex Probation Trust, the Community Justice Partnership will be joining forces with public sector bodies across England and Wales to help provide better services for less cost.

The new arrangement combines Sodexo Justice Services’ expertise in rehabilitative offender management, with Working Links’ passion for helping the hardest to help change their lives and get into sustainable employment, and Nacro’s extensive experience of providing crime prevention, offender management and resettlement services to individuals in communities across England and Wales and at every stage of the criminal justice system. This new approach – together with the expertise and experience of new public sector collaborators of whom Essex Probation Trust are the very first – will deliver a more effective and efficient system, supporting offenders’ rehabilitation at every stage and offering real value for money.

The Community Justice Partnership will provide the national coverage required to meet the government’s ambitious goals, the expertise to reduce crime and its associated costs, and the scale to do so at considerable pace.

Kevin Lockyer, Nacro’s Services Director said:

“We are combining strengths across all three organisations to drive innovation and deliver cost-effective services in a way that builds public confidence. In forming a partnership with Sodexo and Working Links we are bringing together three like-minded organisations who have a common understanding of the problem. We share an absolute commitment to finding new ways of reducing reoffending.”

Debbie Ryan, Director of Justice Services at Working Links, said:

“We are delighted to be part of such an innovative group. We share the government’s commitment to reducing reoffending. We believe employment, training and education are vital features to a life away from crime and through our partnership with Sodexo Justice Services and Nacro – and the public sector – we can provide the support that will break the cycle of offending.”

Roger Hill, Director of Community and Partnerships for Sodexo Justice Services, said:

“We are very pleased to be announcing today this innovative and exciting collaboration, in response to the government’s plans to revolutionise rehabilitation and service delivery in the criminal justice system. Sodexo Justice Services’ mission is to change lives for the better. In joining forces this way with Nacro, Working Links, and with public sector partners too, we are combining our expertise and resources in order to deliver this mission in new ways, with all sectors, and on a new scale.”

Mary Archer, Chief Executive of Essex Probation Trust, said:

“We are excited to be creating today this strategic alliance with the Community Justice Partnership as their first ever public sector collaborator. Together, we can respond uniquely to the government’s calls for revolutionising rehabilitation, and deliver justice services in an unprecedented way, unhindered by previous restrictive divides between the sectors.”

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