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Programme Lead, Building Futures – Prison Reform Trust

Prison Reform Trust

Can you be the person to liberate the voice, insight and talent of long-term prisoners? Join the Prison Reform Trust as Programme Lead on the Building Futures programme.

  • Location: London but with significant UK travel and potential for flexible working arrangements
  • Salary: £48,996 - £52,000

About the role

In 1968, there were only 168 people serving sentences of 10 years in custody – now there are over 18,500.

We want to understand what this means for the people serving these sentences, the families and friends left behind, and the system that is responsible for their care. Then we want to make a difference – to the way of life in prison for people serving very long sentences and to their ability to build a future in the community to which almost all will return.

The Building Futures will be an innovative prisoner-led project. It will give long term prisoners the opportunity and skills to influence the policies and practices that affect them, and to build the bridges between prison and community on which their futures depend.

As its Programme Lead, you will spearhead the shaping, development and delivery of this new five-year programme. You will put prisoners, families and prison staff at the heart of the work, developing a leadership group of prison champions to drive the programme and co-produce sustainable solutions.

Who we're looking for

If you are here we guess you have the courage to see beyond the offences people have committed and to champion their human rights. The role requires both professional and personal resilience to lead uncomfortable debate. But that’s not all you need to bring.

This is a role that will rely on your exceptional communication skills and your ability to build trust and listen to people serving long-term sentences.

Given the programme’s focus and methodology, lived experience of prison would represent a particularly valuable asset, but you might also be someone with experience of working within the criminal or broader social justice space. What matters to us is a strong empathetic understanding of the environment you will be working in and the people whose potential sits at the heart of this programme for change.

With strong project planning skills, you will have the ability and proven track record to take something from design to delivery. You will understand how to create a platform for others. You will be a team player, good at learning from and drawing on the talents of the people around you, and operate with integrity, humility and resilience.

You’ll have a supportive work environment and we’ll help you to truly flourish in this role.

If you are excited by this way of working, and you want to help bring about significant change, we would like to hear from you.

PRT is an equal opportunities employer. We don’t discriminate on the basis of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership and pregnancy and maternity.

We are serious about ensuring we have a diverse workforce which reflects the arena in which we work. We welcome applications from all who can meet the person specification, and particularly from those with lived experience of imprisonment or with an ethnic minority background.

For an informal conversation about the role please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

Philippa Fabry | philippa@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07772 902071

Michael Earnshaw | michael@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07494 595178

Closing date for applications: 9am, Monday 16th September

If you would like to know more about this role please contact Philippa Fabry

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Dear Candidate,

Thank you for your interest in this fantastic and important opportunity.

For nearly 20 years, prison sentences for serious crime have been getting much longer. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the legislation that has made that happen, for the people who live and work in our prisons it poses new challenges on an unprecedented scale. How can we make sense of life in prison when being released is such a distant prospect for many thousands of the people held there, and the families that they have left behind?

We believe that the only way to answer that question is to listen to the people living through these extraordinarily punishing sentences.

So we are looking for someone who can liberate the insight and talent of prisoners and place that at the forefront of this programme of work. They will also need exceptional gifts as a communicator and advocate, and be able to design and manage a five year programme alongside a diverse and talented team of colleagues at the Prison Reform Trust. They will need to be motivated to help people who have caused enormous harm and whose cause attracts little public sympathy.

In return, we offer the opportunity to make a difference in an aspect of public policy that goes to the heart of our values as a nation, and to be part of a dynamic, collegiate team with an enviable reputation built on sound evidence and first-class analysis.

Peter Dawson
Director

James Timpson OBE
Chair

Established as a knowledgeable, principled but pragmatic advocate for prison reform

Over nearly 40 years, Prison Reform Trust (PRT) has established its reputation as a knowledgeable, principled but pragmatic advocate for prison reform. We take no money from central government so that our freedom to say what needs to be said is always beyond question.

We work closely with the operational services and with officials, often quietly behind the scenes, as well as making the case for reform with politicians and the general public. In 2018, after 12 months of consultation, especially with prisoners, we published our five year strategic plan which sets out what we are like and what we want to achieve. Central to that plan is a determination to make our privileged access to decision makers and opinion formers more available to the people who live in prison.

The promotion of equality and human rights underpins our mission

Supported by a diverse board of trustees, the PRT team delivers a mix of long-term programmes and in-depth analysis alongside our signature brand of “principled opportunism”. The team contains a depth of knowledge and experience that allows it to respond quickly to the rapidly changing context of penal policy, but always grounded in our values and our knowledge of what has gone before. Our central aim is to improve conditions for the people who live in prison, and we believe that that can only be achieved by reducing our use of imprisonment overall. The promotion of equality and human rights underpins our mission.

Based in a single open plan office in Farringdon, our diverse team includes people from a wide variety of personal and professional backgrounds, including people who have lived and worked in prisons. We have no political affiliation, and work closely with many individuals and organisations across the statutory, voluntary and private sectors. We prize a willingness and ability to think objectively from a foundation of scrupulously sourced evidence, and we work as a team.

The Building Futures programme

This programme, with funding of just over £2.6m spread over five years, reflects PRT’s assessment that perhaps the greatest challenge facing our prisons for the foreseeable future is to adjust to the reality of many more people serving very long and indeterminate sentences. In 1968, there were only 168 people serving sentences that would guarantee at least 10 years in custody – now there are over 18,500. We have more people serving indeterminate sentences than any other European country – over 1 in 10 of our prison population.

Through an intensive phase of listening and research, this programme is designed first to understand the hugely varied characteristics and experience of people serving very long sentences. But ultimately its goal is to help those long term prisoners design and help implement an approach to incarceration which allows for a meaningful existence inside, while bridging the gap between them and the communities to which most will eventually return.

The funding for the programme will support a small core team of three, but will also enable key contributions from other parts of the PRT team on prisoner engagement, research and public relations, partnership arrangements for the rest of the UK, and the commissioning of specialist independent research and evaluation as required.

Photos courtesy of Andrew Aitchison photography.

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If you would like an informal conversation around the role, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

Philippa Fabry | philippa@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07772 902071

Michael Earnshaw | michael@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07494 595178

To apply, please submit a comprehensive CV and supporting statement (the supporting statement should be no more than 1,000 words) that clearly outlines your suitability for the role against the experience criteria in the person specification.

Please ensure that your application is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “Programme Lead, Building Futures, Prison Reform Trust” into the subject field.

The Prison Reform Trust is an equal opportunities employer. We don’t discriminate on the basis of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership and pregnancy and maternity.

We are serious about ensuring we have a diverse workforce which reflects the arena in which we work. We welcome applications from all who can meet the person specification, and particularly from those with lived experience of imprisonment or with an ethnic minority background.

Timetable

Closing date: 9am, Monday 16th September 2019
Interviews: Tuesday 1st & Wednesday 2nd October

Equal Opportunities Monitoring

Peridot and Prison Reform Trust are committed to promoting equality and diversity. To help us raise awareness and support a culture that is diverse and recognises and develops the potential of all, we need to appreciate the profile of candidates who apply for positions. We would therefore be most grateful if you would complete equality monitoring survey.

The information will be treated confidentially and anonymously and will help us to support our commitment to fair recruitment practice. All information provided will be held in the strictest confidence and will not be shared with anyone, in line with the new Data Protection Act 2018 launched on 25 May 2018. The information provided does not form part of the decision-making process and will not affect your application.

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