Funding news

Strategy promotes working with vcs groups to strengthen justice system - 6 June 2008

A new Ministry of Justice (MoJ) strategy looks to build upon third sector relationships to deliver better public services. The MoJ already works with a number of third sector organisations and spends more than £100 million annually with the sector.

The Ministry of Justice provides many different public services, from the courts and tribunals, prison and probation services, to legal aid advice. This strategy underpins the department's commitment to engage with third sector groups, and recognises the important role the sector plays in developing social partnerships.

Justice Minister Bridget Prentice said:
"Voluntary organisations and community groups often provide a vital bridge between the public and the agencies which provide the services the public uses.

"We want the third sector to have the opportunity to contribute to improve both policy-making and public service delivery, to help us protect the public through better management of offenders, and to provide a range of pathways to justice

"With this strategy we support the Government's ambition to create an environment where the third sector can thrive and develop its contribution to Britain's society and economy." Following a public consultation earlier this year, the Third Sector Strategy was built around four common goals:
1. Enabling voice and campaigning - The third sector understands local communities and their needs, and that knowledge can be used to help shape services.
2. Strengthening communities - The sector can help tap into social capital that is available through mentoring and volunteering.
3. Transforming public services - Collaborative relationships between commissioners and the sector will improve the shape and delivery of public services.
4. Encouraging social enterprise - Supporting the right social enterprises, and the conditions for them to thrive, will encourage long term sustainability.

The Ministry of Justice and its agencies already work with the third sector in a number of ways, from volunteer services in prisons to delivering legal aid, and the new strategy will build on these existing strengths. The National Offender Management Service will also publish a third sector action plan to reduce re- offending shortly, which will feed into the overall strategy.

For more information go to: www.wired-gov.net (opens new window).