Home Affairs Select Committee

Home Affairs Select Committee

During their inquiry into the government’s approach to crime prevention, a recently released Prison Council member challenged the Home Affairs Select Committee to look around them and take stock of the fact that young offenders, the group they were debating and intending to reach as a result of their consultation, were entirely absent from the consultation exercise, which instead focused on policymakers and service providers.

Keith Vaz MP therefore challenged User Voice to bring a group of young offenders to give evidence to the Committee about their experiences.

The seven young offenders who gave evidence were referred to around 20 times in the final report. One of the main difficulties expressed by the Committee was the lack of availability of reliable evidence in this field and it therefore welcomed User Voice’s involvement and agreed with the importance of dialogue between policy makers and the service users themselves in making decisions about services.

The conclusions and recommendations of their report stated:

We understand that the Government often faces pressure to respond to crime concerns immediately, but Ministers should still ensure that interventions are properly scoped, piloted and evaluated. In doing this they should take account of the experiences of victims and offenders, such as the organisation User Voice set up by former offenders for this precise purpose.

The Government’s Approach to Crime Prevention, Home Affairs Select Committee, Tenth Report, Session 09/10, published March 2010.