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Reducing Reoffending Voucher

The Impact of Social Enterprise on Reducing Re-offending

Acumen Development Trust with Durham University

Researcher: Dr Faye Cosgrove and Prof Maggie O'Neil

This voucher used by the Acumen Development Trust (also a CASE studentship partner on a different field of operations) commissioned a literature review to form the basis of Acumen's engagement with the prison services with a brief to explore how they can develop innovative programmes to contribute to reductions in re-offending. The researchers provided an overview of national and international policy and practice which the client stated 'will contribute significantly to the discussions we are having with policy makers within the National Offender Management Service'. The relationship established through the voucher continues and the University has benefited not only through ever improved relations with one of the most high profile social enterprises in the Northeast of England, but through the joint work on re-offending. Professor Maggie O'Neill has continued research and networking on this topic. Dr Faye Cosgrove has gained valuable experience, recognition and publications from the voucher.

Following from the initial work funded by the voucher, the partnership decided to set up the Social Enterprise Research and innovation Foundation with funding from Durham University and Institute of Local Governance. This has led a number of other projects related to social enterprise as well as a national conference for 100 people and new research on developing social enterprise solutions to reoffending with funding from Durham Constabulary with a focus on employment opportunities.

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