Regional Lived Experience Forums
The forums are for people who have had repeat contact with the criminal justice system for mainly low-level crimes. This group have faced multiple disadvantages such as childhood trauma, mental-ill health, problematic substance use, domestic abuse and homelessness and the forums are a place where people can use difficult experiences to contribute to something positive.
The forums are a creative environment where people with lived experience can influence services and decision makers to make concrete changes to services. We want those with lived experience to speak truth to power and for decision makers to understand the reality of how the criminal justice system affects people’s lives.
Revolving Doors’ work is rooted in our forums and we have seen huge strategic impact from this. Our “Short-sighted, Short Sentence” campaign, tackling the use of short prison sentences, came directly from our forum: members identified the issue, influenced solutions and shaped the way we communicated the campaign. In the months ahead the forums are focusing on their vision for the future of probation services, how they can and should change to improve outcomes.
Quotes from forum members
"The forums are good fact-finding places and they help people to express their opinions. You can also make links in these places; you never know who you'll meet.”
“I enjoy the forums because l can vent my old frustrations at the prison system which l couldn't as a prisoner for fear of repercussions. Plus, it gives hope of change.”
National Women's Forum
We recognise that women's experience of the revolving door is significantly different from that of men. Our women’s forum is a place where women come together to discuss those experiences, using them to shape and influence the design of women’s criminal justice services.
Feedback from the women's forum members:
The East Midlands Panel
The East Midlands Panel is a group of 12 people with lived experience who work with NHS England “Health & Justice” East Midlands Team to ensure lived experience is embedded into all its commissioning activities. The panel participates in the commissioning of healthcare services in the secure estate - from the Health Needs Assessment, designing service specifications, market stimulation events, reviewing bids, shortlisting potential healthcare providers and selecting the best provider to run the service. The panel also holds regular meetings (online using Zoom), helps the NHS with staff recruitment & training and showcases their work through conferences, summits and films.
- Have you experienced healthcare in the criminal justice system in the Midlands?
- Are you interested in a volunteer role to develop your skills and gain experience? • Could your knowledge improve healthcare in the criminal justice system? •
- Can you commit to roughly one or two days volunteering a month?
If so, please get in touch because the East Mids Lived Experience Panel could be the perfect opportunity for you!
The National Lived Experience Team
The national Lived Experience Team (LET) also includes 12 members with lived experience but takes a broader perspective on healthcare across the justice system. The LET works with NHS England’s “Health & Justice” national team to assist in the creation, design, and implementation of healthcare services across the secure estate in England. As well as contributing to consultations and pilots, the LET provides feedback into four non-custodial healthcare programmes:
- Community Sentence Treatment Requirement (CSTRs)
- Healthcare in Courts – currently being designed and commissioned
- Reconnect – ‘through the gate’ healthcare currently being designed
- Inclusive Workforce Programme (IWP)
LET members were particularly instrumental in the design, implementation and roll-out of Liaison and Diversion. They championed the need for peer support within the service and persuaded commissioners and the national Programme Board to include it in the model. And with success! Liaison and Diversion has now been fully rolled out and paid Peer Support roles are being commissioned and integrated into all the services across England.