How are charities influencing change in the prison system?

In this, the first of two discussion papers, we focus on charities’ role in influencing change in the prison system. We share our early findings from conversations across the sector with policymakers, parliamentarians charities and funders. And we propose a framework for thinking about how charities bring about change.

Beyond bars: NPC's criminal justice programme

We want people in prison to have access to the services they need, and for the prison system to be humane and effective at rehabilitation.

Charities are crucial to making this vision a reality.

But many feel locked out of influencing policy to change the system. Many are also struggling to access prisoners to deliver vital services.

Meanwhile, independent funders—whose contribution is vital—are losing confidence that their input will make a difference.

Our criminal justice programme of work looks at how charities are influencing change and delivering services in prison despite a difficult climate, and the role that independent funding plays to enable both.


This paper is designed to share insights and spark discussion. Your insights could shape future research on this topic. So if you have any thoughts, we’d love to hear from you.

More from us on charities and criminal justice