User Voice - Only Offenders Can Stop Re-Offending

Exciting New Through The Gate Pilots Supported By The Cabinet Office And Nesta

We are really excited to announce that with the support of the Cabinet Office’s Centre for Social Action and Nesta, User Voice will be piloting our Council model Through the Gate in 3 regions of England.

Our vision has always been to operate Councils through the gate, so that Council members can be recruited, trained and elected in prison and continue this role and further development on release, getting peer support through the gate.

This vision is even more applicable in light of the Coalition Government’s plans under Transforming Rehabilitation,  in which every prisoner will spend at least the last 3 months of their sentence in a prison in the area into which they will be released, receiving through the gate support.

Support from the Cabinet Office has now enabled us to pilot this approach for the first time and represents an exciting time to evaluate this joined up model.

Cabinet Office’s Centre for Social Action

In April 2013 the Cabinet Office launched the Centre for Social Action with the goal of encouraging people to make a difference through social action. 

As part of the Centre for Social Action, the Cabinet Office has awarded a grant to Nesta to manage the Centre for Social Action Innovation Fund

Through the programme, Nesta will provide financial and non-financial support to help grow the impact and reach of innovations that mobilise people's energy and talents to help each other, working alongside public services.

User Voice’s Council model

The Council model provides a structured and effective means by which prisoners and other criminal justice service users can voice collective problems and solutions and provides a reference point for the design, delivery and evaluation of new and existing policies, procedures and services. 

The model distils the myriad of issues into general themes, rather than personal issues, in a democratic process. 

The model is flexible enough to adapt according to an individual prison (Prison Councils) or community (Service User Councils) environment.