Prison and probation evidence resource

Evidence-based information and guidance for individuals and organisations working with people in the care of prison and probation services.

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About this resource

Who it is for

This resource is designed to help you use evidence to decide how you work with people in the care of prison and probation services.

It is designed to help make evidence-informed decisions to improve services and help reduce reoffending.

This information can be used by anyone with an interest in understanding and applying the evidence base including:

  • providers of prison and probation services
  • organisations such as local government, health and social care
  • voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations working in prison and probation
  • practitioners and families supporting people in prison and probation
  • service users

What it does

The evidence resource summarises:

  • the available evidence base and what it says
  • how good the evidence is, so you know how confident you can be in what it says
  • what it means for you as an organisation, practitioner, or individual

Links to evidence sources and further reading are included where available.

Types of content

This resource is in development and will be added to and updated over time. The resources cover a wide range of areas, including:

  • offending behaviour programmes
  • how to achieve better outcomes for different groups of people – such women convicted of crime, young adult males, BAME people
  • wider issues like safety in prison, family support
  • approaches like mentoring and peer support, restorative justice
  • activities like education in prison, risk assessment, recall to prison, and release on temporary license

Note: each page summarises the available evidence base and is informed by independent academic peer review. It does not represent Ministry of Justice or Government policy.

Needs and characteristics of people in prison and on probation

Offender management


Ways of working and partnerships

Supporting rehabilitation

Published 15 May 2019
Last updated 22 October 2020 + show all updates
  1. Survey link added.

  2. First published.