Since being founded in February 2009 and running our first Prison Council pilots in HMP Isle of Wight, User Voice has grown significantly, gaining recognition as a leading ex-offender led charity promoting the voice of people in the criminal justice system.
In this time we have…
- Grown to employing over 30 staff, nearly 85% of whom are ex-offenders
- Worked with over 5,000 people in and around the criminal justice system
- Grown to represent the voices of around 15% of people in prisons and currently on probation
- Secured 100% major contract retention
All of this has been during a period of economic downturn, unprecedented public sector cuts and significant ongoing criminal justice reforms, especially to the probation service.
This is because decision makers and service providers are increasingly seeing the benefit of listening to service users, offenders and ex-offenders, in order to make services better and reduce spending.
In fact we think it's the only real innovation left.
That’s why we are working in probation areas across the country (London, Northumbria, Kent, Essex, Cumbria, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Merseyside), in prisons that cater for both young and adult prisoners and people on short and long term sentences (Maidstone, Aylesbury, Rye Hill, Wolds, Birmingham and Buckley Hall) and youth offending teams (Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Leeds, Bradford, Stoke and Somerset) establishing our Council model.
And in this time we worked with some of the most important decision makers in the Ministry of Justice, Youth Justice Board, Office of the Children’s Commissioner, College of Social Work and Department of Health, to name a few.
We couldn’t have done this without the support of many people and organisations. They are too long to list here but you know who you are.
More important are the people with convictions, giving up their time, to make a positive impact on rehabilitation services, supporting others like them in their process of change and ultimately becoming more active citizens.
That’s what we are all about and we hope you will continue to support us to give more people the opportunity to come back into society as positive role models for others.