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Local practice development

Arts in criminal justice
Local practice development

From October 2019, the National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance (NCJAA) embarked on a 12-month local practice development project to scope arts in criminal justice settings in the Buckinghamshire region. Funded by the Rothschild Foundation, the project explored models of good practice and fostered collaborative working in order to support the Foundation’s further investment in this area. The long-term aim was to inform sustainable models of delivery for quality arts in criminal justice across Buckinghamshire.

The NCJAA’s report What does success look like for arts in criminal justice settings? (2018) set out seven strategic recommendations to drive creative activity in criminal justice settings and calls for “investment in local partnerships that enable cultural pathways for people to continue to engage in arts and cultural activities both in and on their release from prison.” This project provided a timely opportunity to put this recommendation in to action and encourage effective local partnerships.

Through the project in the Buckinghamshire region, the NCJAA:

  • Reached out to key partners – such as prison governors, heads of learning and skills and local or specialist arts organisations
  • Scoped current arts activity in local prisons
  • Developed new and existing regional networks
  • Held a series of meetings and training events
  • Disseminated learning and best practice
  • Made investment recommendations to the Rothschild Foundation.

About the Rothschild Foundation

The Rothschild Foundation continues the philanthropic tradition of the Rothschild family and their longstanding support of the arts, heritage, environment and social welfare. Based at Waddesdon Manor, the Foundation operates two open grant programmes both focusing on Buckinghamshire. Collaboration is an important element of the Foundation’s work, and it engages with a wide variety of partners to develop activity for the benefit of its local community. The Rothschild Foundation continues its commitment to initiatives in criminal justice settings which support rehabilitation and desistance from crime.


Image courtesy of Paul Gent