Inside Out: Exploring the benefits of user involvement in justice services

Featherstone, West Midlands
Wednesday, 01 July 2015


10am - 4:00pm, 1st July 2015
HMP Oakwood            
Oaks Drive
West Midlands
WV10 7QD


All our conferences are delivered in various regions across the UK but with a National focus, they are relevant for delegates from across the country.   

We have come a long way since the days when someone with a criminal conviction was not allowed back into a prison. That is until some forward thinking Governors and Directors led the way, realised the benefits, understood the minimal risk involved with the correct people involved, and pushed these particular boundaries. Now this is common practice.

Individuals who have ‘walked the walk’ are rightly involved in many areas of justice previously out of reach to them, and the benefit of their knowledge and experience is increasingly recognised, even if not officially acknowledged.

We now see widespread user involvement in mentoring/buddying/peer advising/volunteering and included in the development and delivering of services, sitting on Boards and organisations such as User Voice and Unlock providing much needed information, opportunity and services for people with convictions by people who have also had experience of the system.

We do still have a long way to go to fully understand how we achieve good practice and services that are delivered ‘with’ an individual and not ‘to’ them. Getting the balance right is essential, we do not want an individual to feel ‘used’ and then tossed aside. As a sector, few employers have successfully found ways to employ people with convictions on any great scale. Most employers will point with great pride to the small numbers they do employ but is this enough? Why should they stand out because of their convictions? How can we support employers to increase levels of employment by professionalising those with convictions – providing them with industry recognised qualifications which harness their experience and motivation with the necessary professional accreditation which allows them to work alongside their colleagues as equals.

This conference will allow us to bring together practitioners, organisations, people who have been through the justice system and those who form the system, in the setting of a prison. We will explore how we can ensure user involvement at every stage in the development of services, maximise the benefits of user engagement/involvement, not just for the system but for the individual themselves and showcase examples where success has been achieved, so that we can all benefit from this learning and experience.

We will be asking: How do we get the balance right? How do we bring together people who have walked the walk and others to deliver services in an equal capacity? Are there any ‘no go’ areas where user involvement is not appropriate?

We will hear from participants who have a lot to say about this particular subject: people with conviction, academics looking at what evidence is out there, we will showcase examples of good practice and of course in true NoOffence! style, you will have the opportunity to input into the debate which will forge future thinking. Come and be part of this particular bigger and bolder conversation, leading the way for the future of justice services!



*50% off first 20 bookings*

Band 1

Students (full time only) - £50 +vat

Band 2 
Voluntary organisations less than 30 employees - £75 +vat

Band 3
Voluntary organisations more than 30 employees, public sector, and commercial sector with 1-3 employees - £110 +vat

Band 4
Commercial sector with more than 3 employees - £150 +vat


01777 700519

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