What has 2022 got in store for us?2022 looks set to be our busiest policy and campaigning year yet as we build on a successful 2021 which included: securing accommodation funding for prison leavers at risk of homelessness, an increased discharge grant and more progress in our ambition to significantly reduce Friday prison releases. As always, our work was driven, and will continue to be driven, by the views of our service users and staff across the country.
So where will we be focusing our attention in the year ahead?
In the short-term, we will continue pushing forward with our Learn Without Limits campaign, working towards an education system where every disadvantaged 16-19-year-old has the support that they need to achieve their potential. Find out more about our calls here.
We will look to build on the sector’s success in securing accommodation funding for prison leavers at risk of homelessness by lobbying the Government to set out a plan for long-term funding that doesn’t simply just delay homelessness by 12 weeks.
And we will be rethinking rehabilitation in prisons to ensure that they are focused on rehabilitation and resettlement so that people leave with the skills and support that they need to thrive. We’re going to concentrate on campaigning for services and support from the moment a person is sentenced, right through to release.
Longer-term campaigns for this year:
- Every child in custody leaves with the support and skills which set them on a pathway to a positive future: We will do this by setting a Gold Standard for education within the youth custody estate and working on reform, which is so desperately needed. Whilst the numbers of children sent to custody have reduced significantly over recent years, conditions in the youth estate are dreadful in many areas with high levels of violence, poor educational outcomes, and poor resettlement outcomes. The signs are clear that this Government doesn’t see Secure Schools as the only option for the future and we believe there is an opportunity to do a more detailed piece of work looking at what the future youth estate should look like to initiate longer-term thinking.
- The Value of supported housing: We want to get ahead of the debate and develop an ongoing campaign which showcases the individual, economic and societal benefits of supported housing.Housing is an integral part of Nacro; we are going to work with our staff and service users to centre the debate for continued supported housing funding around their needs, experiences and vision for the future of the sector.
- Support for ex-service personnel in the justice system: We have secured funding for a research and influencing project aimed at improving the identification of ex-military personnel in the justice system and as a result increasing their take up of support and associated outcomes.
We’re also going to spend more time in 2022 working with other organisations and partners on certain issues, including:
- Homelessness: Through the lenses of prison leavers and supported housing, but also adding our voice to more general campaigns.
- Inequality (on race, gender, LGBTQ+): Some of the big debates in criminal justice are around racial disproportionality and women in the justice system. We think we can best contribute to these debates by partnering with others, including with specialist black and minority ethnic or women’s charities, and adding our voice to these issues through our own specific campaigns (including housing for prison leavers) and highlighting the need for specific approaches. We are already part of wider coalitions and support other work in this area.
As Nacro heads into 2022, we’re going to continue ensuring that the views of our dedicated front-line staff and service users are at the heart of all we say. We look forward to another year of working collaboratively to make tangible, positive change.