Our work in the Criminal Justice sector

Tuesday 17th October 2023 by Caroline Masundire
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Our work in the Criminal Justice sector

We work with Violence Reduction Units, the NHS in England and Scotland, Combined Authorities, Housing Associations, and national and local charities in understanding what causes people to be at risk of becoming perpetrators and victims of crime, and what works in supporting prevention and early intervention. In this blog we are highlighting some of our work in the criminal justice sector including several research, evaluations and grants programmes we have delivered using an intersectional, trauma, gendered and culturally informed approach.

Children and young people

Much of our work focuses on children and young people and we use the cradle to career framework to help us better understand the systemic challenges and transition points that can affect their experiences and outcomes. Our work for the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Partnership has looked at issues affecting young people through several lenses, including neurodiversity, transition points and inequality of realising aspirations. 

Managing both the Young Londoners Fund and Stronger Futures Programme for London’s Mayor has also given us great insight on the range of support that can be provided through schools and the voluntary sector in helping vulnerable young people. The Stronger Futures Programme is in its second year of funding and is also looking at testing new innovations in working with young people at risk.

Gendered approaches

We have conducted several evaluations testing approaches to support victims of different forms of abuse. We supported Surviving Economic Abuse to evaluate their training programme for frontline workers and their latest report Seen yet sidelined – Surviving Economic Abuse shows the compounding impact of coercive behaviour on victim survivors. We are helping GEMAP in Glasgow to evaluate their project supporting the women’s sector to providing training and support on economic abuse and direct advice to women who have experienced economic abuse. We are also working with CHK Foundation as their learning partner for a collaborative mentoring and peer support programme in the South West of England that is helping women and girls who are at risk of becoming involved with the criminal justice system.

Place based integration

Developing place-based approaches to addressing anti-social behaviour and crime can be an effective way of bringing services, systems and thinking together to improve communities. 

We are delivering a three-year process and impact evaluation of the SARA project which is being delivered in partnership with Sunderland City Council, Public Health, and a range of providers across Sunderland. SARA is an innovative approach to community policing through raising aspirations in residents and increasing community pride and responsibility. The project will culminate in an evaluation of the return on investment from the programme over its five years of operation.

Resilience in the VCSE sector

We care about building a resilient Voluntary Community and Social Eenterprise sector to support prevention and early intervention. 

The Stronger Futures Programme we have been delivering for the London VRU is a great example of how to deliver culturally appropriate capacity building support. Smaller minority-led organisations face greater difficulty in securing funding and support for their work, yet they are the most trusted in their community and have the reach and connections to help young people that other services miss. Working with Action for Race Equality in designing and delivering accessible support has been critical, as has been the commitment of the VRU to make the grant making processes inclusive and proportionate.

The VCSE sector plays a critical part in the prevention agenda and combining the use of both grants and capacity building support to help build resilience in minority led organisations so that they can deliver services could ultimately lead to less crime, improved outcomes for communities and our young people.

Meet some of our expert team 

Michael Theodorou, Assistant Director

“In our work we’ve learned that communication is key: listening to community projects and moving away from application forms to inform decision making and build communities of learning. Enabling projects to build and own relationships with peers to improve collaborative working, referral pathways and shared resources is critical.”

Contact Michael Theodorou for grant management services at Michael.theodorou@rocketsciencelab.co.uk

Tracey Price-Allan, Research Manager

“Through my research journey to date, I have learned that people who are involved in the criminal justice system have often experienced complex, challenging life circumstances. They’re often the people that society has most let down. I’m motivated to work with practitioners and policy makers to improve ‘the system’ and contribute to better outcomes for all.”

Contact Tracey Price-Allan for work across Scotland at tracey.price-allan@rocketsciencelab.co.uk

James Ward, Assistant Director

“I have an appreciation of the complexity of both the systems people operate in and the solutions to preventing violence, as well as an appreciation of the passion and commitment people who work in the sector bring. I admire the sector’s commitment to place based approaches and continuous improvement, learning what works for people and communities.”

Contact James Ward for work across England at james.ward@rocketsciencelab.co.uk