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Professional development in arts and criminal justice settings

The National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance (NCJAA) Professional Mentoring Scheme provides our network with opportunities to develop professional skills and knowledge in the field of arts and criminal justice through a one-to-one mentoring relationship.

The scheme matches new and emerging practitioners who want to learn more and develop their career in arts and criminal justice with experts working in the field. The mentors can provide a range of specialist guidance and support on using arts within the criminal justice system:

  • Professional guidance and ideas on career development – support and advice on the direction your career is taking
  • Networking opportunities – the chance to meet other professionals working in arts and criminal justice
  • Advice on training and professional development – support and advice around finding training opportunities and ways to develop your practice
  • Information on relevant events – find out about events and opportunities within the arts and criminal justice sector
  • Advice on running arts projects/programmes and organisations – support with specifics such as fundraising, evaluating and making the case for your arts project.

Former mentees have gone on to form their own arts organisation, secure funding for new projects and take up volunteering opportunities in prisons.

The Mentoring and Befriending Foundation toolkit and expert advice was used to develop the programme.

How to apply

Dates and further details about the next round of the mentoring scheme will be publicised soon. In the meantime, you can find out more about the scheme and eligibility in our information pack (details may be subject to change for the next round).

You can also get in touch using the below form to register your interest for the mentoring scheme and let us know to get in touch when details are available.

We welcome applications from potential mentors throughout the year. If you are interested in supporting the professional development of someone in the early stages of their career in arts and criminal justice, please get in touch at info@artsincriminaljustice.org.uk 

My mentor has been amazing. They have a huge knowledge base and the match has been perfect. I feel very lucky to be part of this programme.”

“My mentor has given me plenty of ideas concerning funding. She also set me up with her colleagues for a more detailed discussion which included strategy and sources.”
Former mentees

It is rewarding for me to meet and talk to someone with such energy and passion in what she does. I have wondered how to help her as she has huge experience already in so many areas. I continue to realise that being able to listen while someone ‘thinks outside their brain’ is very valuable.”

“It made me realise that these kinds of relationships are very important to have, we need to share and support as much as we can for the benefit of everyone.”
Former mentors

Who can apply

The scheme does not aim to support vulnerable people, but to provide professional guidance relating to careers within arts and criminal justice settings. Koestler Arts runs an arts mentoring scheme designed to support people with experience of the criminal justice system with their interest in the arts. Find out more here

This scheme is not aimed at undergraduates or people who have recently graduated. For students, artists and others who are interested in working in the sector, but do not have enough experience or time to take part in the mentoring scheme, the NCJAA has many other resources:

Please contact info@artsincriminaljustice.org.uk for more information on different avenues of support.


Register your interest for and get updates on the NCJAA mentoring scheme

    Image courtesy of Dance United archive