Clinks is launching an updated Clinks Thinks. This sets out our principles, ambitions and recommendations, developed in consultation with our members and specialist networks.
Read on to find out more about how we developed Clinks Thinks, and how it can benefit your influencing work.
What is Clinks Thinks?
Clinks Thinks sets out our key principles, ambitions and recommendations, developed in consultation with voluntary sector organisations and in line with our vision, mission, and objectives. These principles and recommendations are rooted in evidence and expertise; they are the foundation upon which we influence government, funders, and other key stakeholders on behalf of voluntary organisations working in criminal justice.
We want Clinks Thinks to represent the views of the sector while presenting an ambitious vision of a better criminal justice system. At the same time, we want to bring members along with us, so that you will be able to use Clinks Thinks to support your policy work so that we bring about change together.
Our CEO, Anne Fox, has outlined what Clinks Thinks is in this video
What is in it?
Clinks Thinks sets out the core principles which underpin our work to inform and influence criminal justice policy. They reflect the key issues raised by our members and are the main issues on which Clinks advocates for change.
Those principles are underscored by our ambitions.
Recognise the role of the voluntary sector in supporting people in the criminal justice system to realise their potential
- Strengthen the sector’s voice
- Ensure the voluntary sector is sustainable.
Ensure criminal justice services have strong foundations
- Make all services person-centred
- Join up services
- Involve people with lived experience at all levels.
Understand and meet the needs of people in contact with the criminal justice system
- Reduce the prison population
- Tackle racism
- Prevent the imprisonment of children
- Deliver an effective approach for young adults
- Improve health and wellbeing
- Support people to maintain and develop family and other significant relationships
- Implement an effective approach for women
- Encourage creativity and inspiration.
Recommendations to achieve each ambition are directed to government and to the voluntary sector.
The information included in Clinks Thinks is a summary of our position. You can read detailed policy briefings, consultation responses, and reports on the publications page of our website, along with evidence on effective practice.
How did we do it?
We published the first Clinks Thinks back in 2017, so the messages and language needed updating to reflect the considerable changes to the policy landscape since then. To do this, we surveyed members and other stakeholders. Bringing Clinks staff along with us on the journey was key, so we consulted with all Clinks staff and trustees.
We then sought the expertise of different groups to test and refine the principles, supported by communications consultant Liz Kearsley. The groups consulted included the Clinks member advisory forum, and our thematic networks.
Finally, we tested the document with decision makers to understand how the messages would land. We received feedback from officials at the Ministry of Justice and experts in the criminal justice sector.
How can you use Clinks Thinks?
We encourage central, national and local government to use Clinks Thinks as a resource as it strives for sensible policies to improve the criminal justice system.
We hope these principles and ambitions will help funders and commissioners to make decisions about what to fund or commission as well as how to fund.
Most importantly, we want our members and the wider voluntary sector to utilise these recommendations, whether they are expanding into new areas, looking to improve their offering for a specific group of people, or campaigning for change.
Explore the Clinks Thinks webpage to find out more about the core principles that underpin Clinks’ policy and influencing work.
Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the webpage to access other resources to strengthen your influencing work.
Launch focus & beyond
Clinks Thinks will launch with an initial focus on Implementing an effective approach for women, followed by looking at the steps needed to reduce the size of the prison population.
We have spent the past few months meeting with voluntary organisations and listening to the changes they want to see in the criminal justice sector. Keep an eye on Clinks' comms channels for our upcoming video interviews where we hear from the sector; starting this week with 'early intervention for women'.
Over the next few months and beyond, we will continue to home in on specific areas of the system - with a focus on our ambitions - providing policymakers with evidence on what works and what can be done to build an effective system. In the New Year, we will be exploring how the voluntary sector can help tackle racial disparities across the criminal justice system. Stay tuned as Clinks Thinks evolves and get in touch to contribute and with any questions!
Spread the word
A huge thank you to the many people who made Clinks Thinks possible - Clinks staff and trustees, past and present, our member advisory forum, thematic networks, as well as the wider sector and officials. Thank you to all of those who generously offered their time and expertise. This work was kindly funded by the Lloyds Bank Foundation, through the Stronger voice project, a three-year project funded by the Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales that ran between 2020 and 2023. Stronger Voice resources include recordings and case studies covering influencing strategy and techniques that will support you to develop your influencing work and create change on the issues that matter to you.
Finally, this is a living document. Share your thoughts on socials using #ClinksThinks. If you want to engage with us on any of the policy priorities, tell us what we have missed, or suggest what needs to change, get in touch with the Clinks' influencing and communications team.