Projects involving Criminal Justice are at the forefront of what we do at the Institute for Community Research and Development.
Sounding Out is a project for ex-prisoners designed to support them post-release, through a combination of music production, live performances, and paid training placements. Sounding Out focused on creating new music as a band, showcasing their performers centre-stage at high profile gigs. Sounding Out is run by the Irene Taylor Trust who want to enrich the lives of prisoners at every stage of their journey through the criminal justice system and back into the community.
In a bid to examine the impact Sounding Out has had on its participants, the Institute for Community Research and Development evaluated the programme throughout 2018. The full report can be found embedded below.
Birmingham Youth Offending Service’s music programme is a programme for young people to get involved in making, editing and performing their own music. Participants attend sessions at a professional music studio, with highly trained and experienced staff. The project exists to develop the creative, expressive & musical ability of the young people, improve their skills and confidence, and increase their compliance with their sentence.
Making for Change Fashion Training and Manufacturing Workshop is a partnership between HM Prison Service and London College of Fashion. Making for Change takes an innovative approach in prison, linked to improving the engagement of women in prison industries by providing training in fashion production skills and accrediting participants with industry-recognised qualifications.
The evaluation was led by Professor Laura Caulfield, with Kerry Curtis and Ella Simpson at Bath Spa University. Data was collected to assess both if and how the project had an impact, and also to identify any barriers to success. The research team gathered observational, focus group, and interview data with Making for Change participants, staff, and stakeholders at HMP Downview.
In 2018, Public Art Producer Artichoke invited women and girls to come together to celebrate the centenary of the Representation of the People Act, which gave the first British women the right to vote. Over one hundred women artists had been commissioned to produce banners which formed part of the artwork. Historically, Holloway Prison was always associated with the suffrage movement, with many of the final residents of Holloway now occupying HMP Downview. For London College of Fashion and artist Lucy Orta, it only made sense for HMP Downview to also contribute to the procession’s project as part of its unified voice, as they collaborated to produce a banner for the Processions project.
The ICRD’s Director Professor Laura Caulfield worked as a consultant for London College of Fashion, helping to support their involvement and evaluation of the processions programme.