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User Voice’s Council Model: Only offenders can stop re-offending


User Voice is a charity seeking to improve outcomes for offenders and ex-offenders in the criminal justice system in the UK.

In this system, users (offenders and ex-offenders) are typically given a limited opportunity to be heard.  The User Voice Council Model aims to add value to the criminal justice system and improve its services by including service users in the design, delivery and evaluation of those services.

The specific aims of the Prison Council pilot at Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP) Isle of Wight included:

  • Increasing prisoner empowerment, connection and responsibility in relation to the services they count on such as healthcare, training, education and resettlement
  • Improving skills and personal development of prisoners through engagement - with a view to reduce reoffending by increasing prisoners’ feeling of  self-worth, confidence, and ability to negotiate and resolve conflicts. 
  • User Voice also sought to quash existing assumptions prevalent in the media that often prevent attempts to promote greater prisoner input and improved prison conditions. 
About this case study
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Jeff Ogden

Engagement Officer

Tel: 020 3137 7471


Frankie Hine-Hughes, project manager of Governance International, compiled this case study on 9 August 2011.

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