Measuring our impact
As you will have heard, Make Justice Work will be coming to an end in June following four years of intensive campaigning.
These last four years have been an incredible journey in which we have focussed on demonstrating the futility of short term sentences in reducing re-offending; the effectiveness of robust community sentences as alternatives to custody; what victims really think about community sentences; the need for diverting particular groups such as those with mental health problems, substance misuse problems, and non-violent women offenders, from short term prison sentences; and highlighting the risks that Payment by Results present in undermining community sentences.
In addition to raising awareness around these core issues and the evidence that supports them, we have been interested in understanding the impact that a campaign, such as ours, can have in such a challenging sector. What are the best mechanisms for change? What impact does social media have in spreading the message? How do you get your message heard above the rest? How do you work collaboratively with others in the sector to add weight to the message? What are the best ways to contact policy makers, practitioners, politicians, press, etc.?
To help us understand the impact of our work and the campaign, we have commissioned an independent consultant (Stephen Boyce) to carry out an evaluation. It would be impossible for Stephen to interview all of the people and organisations that we have met along our journey, so we have created a short survey. I hope you will take 10 minutes to complete it and give us your honest opinion (all responses will be anonymous). All responses will inform the final evaluation which will then be published as our final report in June.
What have we done well? What should we have done differently? And possibly, most important of all, what needs further exploration and work?