Prison law is a dynamic field with over 350 pieces of non-statutory legislation continually subject to update. Our Prisoner Led Initiative (PLI) services focus on ensuring that all stakeholders can access up-to-date, accurate information and secure access to justice. We also seek to inform policymakers of the operational impacts of any policy and legislative changes.
Our PLI services are available to all public and private prisons within England and Wales. We welcome the opportunity to provide prison governors with a more detailed presentation and discussion around the work we undertake in partner establishments to increase prisoner engagement with sentence planning and progression.
We provide the YCG Citizen™ and Pathways™ Programmes to all YCG PLI prisons. Please contact Raff and the team using the link below to discuss bringing our PLI services to your establishment.
Information and Guidance
Our YCG Caseworkers are recruited within the prison community and go through a rigorous training programme to be fully competent in all aspects of prison law. They have access through our digital platform to our extensive knowledge base and Policy Frameworks, Prison Service Instructions and Prison Service Orders. Having access to such information and guidance and the underlying source materials is a significant advantage to prison staff and serving prisoners as it informs applications, allowing confidence, and transparency of decision-making.
Information and Decision-Making
We provide up-to-date technical and legal guidance on all aspects of prison life and sentence planning and progression. As prison law is constantly changing, we provide continual updates and guidance to residential and OMU staff as well as prisoners.
We produce a range of high quality, technically accurate information leaflets. These are available to all prisoners at participating establishments free of charge.
By impartially assisting all stakeholders, we are a trusted source of information, ensuring everyone can understand their rights as well as their responsibilities. This focus promotes best practice, assists with better communication, and ensures natural justice is seen to be at the heart of every decision.
Our guidance ensures that stakeholders can be confident that applications are relevant, and decisions are based on appropriate criteria.
We aim to ensure all our communication is Clear, Simple and Fair™
Our PLI services enable prisoners to take responsibility for their own sentence planning and progression. Given that most aspects of prison life, sentence planning and progression is addressed via the application process our YCG Caseworkers support all prisoners, especially those with literacy and communication needs.
This support ensures that applications are properly completed and correctly framed so that all eligibility criteria are met. This is particularly important in relation to decisions that affect sentence planning and progression as the eligibility criteria for Release on Temporary Licence (ROTL), Home Detention Curfew, HDC (more commonly known as “Tag”), and Recategorisation to a lower security category are technical applications requiring specialist input.
All of our services are designed to be aligned to current thinking at ministerial level. The current emphasis on breaking the cycle of reoffending is set out in the Prisons White Paper.
Access to justice
YCG Caseworkers support prisoners on arrival into participating establishments, ensuring they understand the importance of sentence planning and securing progression. This includes guidance on key milestones such as recategorisation and transfer to a lower security category prison and/or Release on Temporary Licence (ROTL) depend on establishing a reduction in risk.
We have adopted the Chrysalis Philosophy into our YCG Citizen™ Programme so that serving prisoners can understand the importance of taking responsibility for managing their lives.
Signposting to Specialist Services
We signpost prisoners to specialist services including accounting, legal and other professionals within participating establishments. We have established long-standing relationships collaborating with both the Criminal Cases Review Commission and the Prison Reform Trust.
The focus on ‘procedural justice’ in prisons since 2018 has meant that appropriately addressing complaints has gained greater significance through ensuring fair and transparent outcomes are fully understood. We support the delivery of a procedurally just complaints process by:
- Ensuring that all complaints reviewed by YCG Caseworkers are properly framed and set out with the relevant facts for decision-makers to consider.
- Assisting staff (where requested) with queries on the relevant criteria for decision-making.
- Providing feedback to Senior Management on the process using YCG Caseworker feedback and KPIs as well as recommending areas for improvement.
Our transparent approach helps to drive standards and achieve best practice.