Evidence and outcomes resources: People in the criminal justice system

We have sourced some helpful links for organisations working with people who are in the criminal justice system. You may find these useful in planning and carrying out your outcomes data collection, or in understanding the evidence base for your model. The advice includes:

  • Existing research and evidence in your sector to help you establish what evidence already exists. This will help you understand the extent to which you need to collect outcomes data yourself, or how rigorous your methodology needs to be.
  • Existing outcomes frameworks and data collection tools developed by academics or leading charities in the field. The benefit of using an existing framework or measure is that you don’t have to spend time and money developing your own, and you can be more confident in the quality. The downside is that it is not tailored to your organisation, so some outcomes or data collection tools may not be suitable for your context or the people you work with.

Please note that these resources were not identified through an exhaustive review.

Research and evidence

Resource Description
Clinks’ evidence library The online evidence library is designed to support voluntary organisations working in the criminal justice system with access to evidence about a range of activities and interventions (Clinks).


What works to reduce reoffending: A summary of the evidence An evidence review into what works to reduce reoffending (Scottish Government, 2015)


Justice data lab Programme using government data on re-offending to help organisations assess the impact of their work and develop an understanding of effective rehabilitation (NPC and Ministry of Justice, 2015).


Breaking reoffending cycles in the criminal justice system A systems map and report outlining the key factors that influence reoffending rates for people in the criminal justice system, with the aim of identifying places that practitioners and funders can intervene to bring about long-term change in the system (NPC, 2021).


Frameworks and data collection tools



‘Off the shelf’ tools This document provides an overview of off-the-shelf tools useful for voluntary sector organisations working with offenders and ex-offenders. (Clinks and NPC)


The MOPAC youth outcomes framework Tool to support those working in the youth justice sector to identify and measure intended outcomes. Includes a ‘menu’ of outcomes and measurement tools which organisations can select from (Project Oracle and MOPAC, 2016).


Developing a toolkit to measure intermediate outcomes to reduce reoffending from arts and mentoring interventions A framework for measuring the outcomes of mentoring or arts interventions for offenders (Ministry of Justice, 2019). This framework is being updated in 2022.



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These webpages have been adapted from the Inspiring Impact programme, which ran from 2011 until early 2022 and supported voluntary organisations to improve their impact practice. More information about the Inspiring Impact programme.