Time Well Spent: a practical guide to active citizenship and volunteering in prison

time well spent

This report builds on evidence from a survey of prisons across England and Wales and visits to active citizenship schemes. It shows that volunteering opportunities enable prisoners to exercise responsibility and make a contribution to society. It profiles good practice and provides prison staff with practical guidelines about how to make active citizenship work, including how to manage any risks involved.

...rehabilitation, the change from taker to giver, harm causer to contributor, is a noble aspiration for criminal justice – because though it may indeed bring benefit to the wrongdoer in the short term – in the long term it will make communities and neighbourhoods safer places to live.
Erwin James

Main recommendations

•Government should acknowledge the contribution that volunteering and active citizenship can play in rehabilitation, developing work in prison and the wider concept of the ‘Big Society’.
•The Prison Service should produce and implement quality standards for active citizenship, encouraging prisons to expand on the opportunities available.
•Prisons should do more to involve officers in the development of volunteering and active citizenship.
•Prisons should identify policies which inhibit the exercise of responsibility by prisoners, and revise the policies as required.


Maggie Atkinson, Children's Commissioner for England, welcomes Time Well Spent

lord woolf, david ahern, kathy biggar

Get the Flash Player to see this player.