Tell us how you’ve been doing through our ninth annual State of the sector survey.
This is your opportunity to share your experiences and help us to influence decision makers on your behalf. Each and every response to this survey will form the basis of an in-depth report, published at the end of the year, helping us to understand the experiences, opportunities, and challenges for organisations working to support people in contact with the criminal justice system and their families as we move past the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. The survey takes about 20-25 minutes, and you can respond here.
Here are just four reasons why your response is crucial:
1. To understand the current landscape of the criminal justice voluntary sector
We have seen how organisations adapted their service provision to continue to support people while working within the public health measures and restrictions in place during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. Last year’s report highlighted how voluntary sector organisations responded with flexibility and innovation to continue to support people in the criminal justice system, and that emergency grant funding helped organisations to adapt their services and plugged gaps in income.
Each and every response to the survey helps us to build the most up to date picture of the voluntary sector, capturing the depth and diversity of your work. This helps us to influence key decision makers on your behalf.
2. To collect the robust evidence we need to influence for change
State of the sector reports have long been a valued source of information by decision makers and officials. We launched our 2021 report back in April, with an event bringing together the voluntary sector, funders, and officials from HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) and the Ministry of Justice to explore its key findings. We also use the report in our day-to-day work to identify priorities for our influencing, and we frequently reference the data in evidence submissions to the government and Parliament.
For example, the evidence gathered as part of previous State of the sector reports has supported us to work with officials to develop HMPPS’s approach to grant funding for the voluntary sector. Most recently, this has seen HMPPS launch their draft process for awarding Probation Service grants and take feedback from the sector.
Each response to our survey will help us to update this vital source of data. We work alongside researchers from the National Council of Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) to help ensure our data is robust, but we need your responses to ensure it remains a representative, authoritative, and trusted source of information.
3. To take a close look at the financial sustainability of the sector in this critical time
Last year’s survey saw organisations raise concerns that the availability of emergency funding during the height of the pandemic would reduce the available funding in subsequent years. This, coupled with soaring inflation, risks creating a challenging economic environment for the sector. So, we want to explore how organisations are managing in these difficult circumstances, to understand the challenges that lie ahead, enabling us to best support and represent the sector with decision makers.
The criminal justice voluntary sector is diverse: from small and specialist organisations, all the way through to large national organisations, supporting and maintaining the sector’s breadth and expertise is vital. We need your responses to accurately reflect the experience of the whole sector. This is why several questions this year focus on organisations’ finances and financial sustainability. As such, it can be helpful to have your financial information for 2021-22 available when completing the survey.
4. To celebrate the work of the sector
While parts of the survey look to explore the challenges the sector is facing, and will need to overcome, in the months and years ahead, we know the sector has a huge number of successes every week. For instance, our 2021 survey found the sector is leading the way in lived-experience involvement, and we heard many examples of good practice, innovation, and successful hard work that we were delighted to share in the report. As much as anything, we use this research to promote and celebrate the great strengths, diversity, and dynamism of the sector. The more voices contributing to the research, the more there will be to celebrate.
Please respond to the survey here, by the end of Monday 8 August. It takes about 20 minutes, and you can return to your answers using the same link. Please contact me, Franklin Barrington, Policy Officer, Clinks, firstname.lastname@example.org, for any questions about the survey or accessibility requirements.