Reforms in the Criminal Justice System

It was announced in summer 2018 that Community Rehabilitation Company contracts would end and that MoJ would consult on a new model for probation. Clinks represented the voluntary sector in the Probation review programme as it developed.

After a range of consultation events and roundtables with the sector as the programme was developed the consultation response was published in May 2019 announcing offender management would be reunified under the National Probation Service. It was further announced that unpaid work and accredited programmes previously to be contracted out to probation delivery partners would also be delivered by NPS  on the basis that in the context of COVID19, this will be more flexible and stable.

In addition a Dynamic Framework for the commissioning of rehabilitation and resettlement services was launched with a welcome commitment to the role of the voluntary sector in providing rehabilitation and resettlement services. Advice was provided to MoJ and HMPPS on how this commitment can become a reality.



Following the initial launch of the new system, Mybe Awards was appointed by THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR JUSTICE to provide delivery of education, employment and training programmes to the value of £1M with opportunity to widen this appointment further to other delivery programmes as well as to increase the financial cap above £1M to accommodate growth.


Mybe Awards in the Criminal Justice System

MYBE Awards provides learning and development programmes to accredited standards for people affected by criminal justice, at level 2, 3 and 4 vocational qualification levels.

Our learning offer covers low, medium and high complexity learners and we have a proven track record of delivering vocational learning and development programmes to these types of learners including in employer workplace placements. Learning is delivered in a mix of blended and digital learning resources tailored to each individual.

We use four dimensional vocational learning because:

  • Learners use scenario based methods to self-assess complexities; carry out decision making and to calculate their personal learner support needs to achieve learning outcomes.
  • Tutor/assessors use education tools to identify the learner’s state of motivation at any point. This enables preventative engagement when a drop out crisis is likely and to trigger helping arrangements.
  • Our learning model uses a profile of the complexity of learner support needed to enable each individual’s to progress to achievement.
  • Our personalised assessment in the learning approach differentiates this model from other types of learner approaches and has been tested to work consistently with non-traditional learners.

Our model is effective and grounded in the workplace providing a powerful incentive to learn and accrue benefits toward sustainable employment. 

The mix of digital and blended learning, lived experience peer mentoring and close working links with employment is empowering.

Mybe is a registered main apprenticeship provider with significant employer links across multiple employments sectors which we utilise in the learning approach. 


Case study: Learning in a Prison Setting

This short case study demonstrates that a great deal can be achieved if the learning approach is learner/client centred, includes a lived experience in the learning, and is delivered within a framework of compliance, cooperation and collaboration in the delivery setting. This short study was a high security prison with an absolute priority on security, surveillance and intelligence making learner engagement very difficult.

A representative sample of residents in the high security jail were self-selected for a level 3 – 36 credit qualification leading to the appointment of a prisoner-led delivery team, working with other residents in a role that contributed significantly to planning a career in custody (well before the resettlement stage).

Seven prisoners were trained and supported over a nine month period. They included two foreign nationals, and a mix of well and less well educated individuals from main and vulnerable wing locations.

Some carried emotional issues that they had not previously divulged particularly because of their setting.

Two learners also possessed protected characteristics defined by the Equality Act 2010. All learners were assessed to be in the high-risk prisoner category.

All learners achieved a full level 3-36 credit qualification from OCN London through teamwork, peer and individual learning, tutorial input and distance learning.  

The cohort of learners demonstrated measurable mind-set transformations, motivation to help others, professional delivery of services often to the most hard to engage or behaviourally difficult residents and avoided relapsing pitfalls.

The learners addressed their own progression to actively move more purposefully through the prison system.

A part of this group continue to engage with Mybe Awards through correspondence providing feedback on learning content and design concepts aimed at improving the futures of criminal justice clients.


Case study: Learning in a Criminal Justice Setting

29 prisoners were trained as peer mentors in a category C prison to accredited level 2 standards, in accord with best practices in peer mentoring in a Criminal Justice setting identified in an academic literature study.

The cohort of learners included those with experience (but not qualified) and those new to peer mentoring. Learners were enrolled from main and vulnerable locations in the prison where their roles included supporting desistance in substance use and violence reduction as well as providing workplace support industrial roles.

Core elements of learning focused on converting experience into expertise. All 29 residents achieved a full level 2 qualification from OCN London. Their evidence performance was identified by OCN London as of a very high standard.

The learning was experience based, delivered in the workplace or residential blocks with an emphasis on vocational on the job learning not classroom based. The lived experience of learners was pivotal in encouraging acceptance from peers. All learners demonstrated a renewed purpose during and on course completion illustrated by a snapshot of observed practice below:

On the wing Dave gets on good with the staff and is the go to guy for both the staff and inmates, there’s never a dull moment for Dave. He’s helping out and supporting two guys who are self-harming, one of them is manipulating Dave to get vapes by saying he’s ran out and will cut up if he doesn’t get any. Dave knows he’s being manipulated and is worried as when this guy does cut up it is usually serious. 

Dave (the learner) shared this information in his supervisory session culminating in further upskilling for handling behavioural difficulties, as well as leading to the intervention of professional staff to address behavioural issues described in the illustration. This scenario along with a multitude of other peer mentoring encounters was discussed in learner group support sessions encouraging peer support and standardised practice.

Notably, this course is transferable to a community setting.