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Clinks State of the Sector 2023

Clinks State of the Sector 2023

Clinks State of the Sector 2023

State of the Sector 2023 is live! The criminal justice voluntary sector has been mapped out, highlighting the changes over the past year.

Clinks’ role is to support, promote and represent the voluntary sector working in the criminal justice system. Our annual State of the Sector research, produced in partnership with NCVO, is a free resource evidencing what our members and sector are experiencing and the impact on their service users.

State of the Sector 2023 explores the landscape of the criminal justice voluntary sector as it responds to a year of reduction of funding and resources for many.

We have summarised key findings we think are relevant to you as an Arts and Criminal Justice subscriber:

Arts Organisations

  • 31% of survey respondents delivered arts-based provision in 2022-23, with 56% considering themselves specialists who primarily deliver creative work in the criminal justice system
  • The most common forms of arts-based activities were visual arts, creative writing or storytelling, and music
  • Arts activities were delivered in a range of settings with the most common being prisons, other community settings/groups, and arts/cultural settings
  • Most arts activities were delivered to groups, with 62% working with groups of two to 10 people, and 56% working with groups of 11 to 50 people.
  • 46% of respondents said the number of people per session or activity had increased in 2022-23, compared to the previous year.

Challenging Operating Environment

  • Continuing the trend seen for many years in this research, organisations face increasing numbers of new service users, with a greater level, complexity, and urgency of need
  • 81% of arts organisations said running costs had increased, compared to the previous year, with 61% saying they had increased significantly
  • Whilst many organisations responded to this by working more flexibly with their clients, increasing partnership working, and sourcing more funding, many also said staff were taking on larger caseloads.

Contract and Grant Funding

  • 61% of arts organisations said they delivered services under contract or sub-contract
  • Respondents were positive about their experiences of grant funding, particularly from charitable trusts and foundations, but slightly less so about government grants.
  • Organisations were broadly negative about their experience of contract funding, which are almost always commissioned by the government or statutory bodies.
  • More than eight-in-ten survey respondents applied for a grant from a charitable trust or foundation, with just over half applying for a government grant.

Cautious Confidence about Financial Sustainability

  • Organisations were broadly confident about their financial sustainability over the next two years, with 50% of arts organisations saying they were confident, but in focus groups, organisations qualified this optimism
  • In focus groups, voluntary organisations said whilst they were confident their organisation would still be delivering services in two years, there was uncertainty as to the scale and capacity of this service delivery.

Our pledge to you 

The sector’s resilience is incredible; organisations continue to support people who need it most. The NCJAA will continue working to make sure we support you. Over the coming year, Clinks and the NCJAA will continue to advocate for the sector. We will share learning and offer opportunities for connection, providing a platform for the sector to come together to highlight issues that matter to organisations and the people they work with.

Read State of the Sector 2023

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