Who better to understand what works and what needs to change than those who have been through the criminal justice system themselves?

Our lived experience groups provide a powerful platform for individuals who have lived through the cycle of crisis and crime to provide honest feedback to those in power and drive the transformative changes that are desperately needed. We work hand in hand with influential stakeholders at local and national levels to ensure that lived experience becomes the bedrock of policy and practice.

Who can become
one of our members?

Our work focuses on people who have been through the ‘revolving door’ of crisis and crime. This is characterised by:

  • Repeat contact with the criminal justice system, such as with the police, courts, prison or probation
  • For low-level crimes such as petty theft or minor drug offences
  • Driven by unmet health and social needs, such as mental-ill health, problems with drugs and alcohol, poverty, domestic abuse, homelessness, discrimination, care experience or neurodiversity

Do you think this describes you, or someone you know? Contact Natalia natalia.thomas-jikiemi@revolving-doors.org.uk or use our contact form to find out how you can get involved.

Why become a member?

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Contribute to real-world change

Revolving Doors partners with key stakeholders within the criminal justice system, providing a platform for individuals with lived experience to drive meaningful reform. From engaging with parliamentary committees to shaping groundbreaking policies with the Ministry of Justice, partnering with the NHS to pioneer innovative services, or embarking on exciting research, we make sure that our members’ voices reach every corner of influence.

Develop valuable skills

We offer a diverse range of free training programmes and workshops, covering areas such as public speaking, self-care, and peer research. Our training initiatives are co-designed and delivered by fellow lived experience members, ensuring that they cater to the specific needs and aspirations of our members.

Get rewarded for your expertise

We deeply value the time and skills of our members. Any work carried out with us is paid.

Unlock new opportunities

Our Lived Experience Groups often serve as a stepping stone to professional opportunities in the criminal justice system and beyond. Some of our previous members have successfully transitioned into permanent roles within the Probation Service or NHS England.

A friendly atmosphere

We provide safe and positive environments for people who have lived through similarly challenging experiences to come together and make change happen. There are plenty of informal opportunities to socialise with peers – such as coffee and chats and wellbeing sessions.

What our members say

“I’ve done so many things with Revolving Doors. I’ve been to the House of Parliament, I’ve met with MPs, I’ve walked into a police station without handcuffs on… If you had told me that 5 years ago, I wouldn’t have believed it.”

“It’s lifted my confidence, and it’s absolutely turned my life around. We were written off by the system … and look how far we’ve come now.”


What’s on

Becoming a lived experience member with us could look like joining one of the projects or groups listed below, but there are plenty of other ways to get involved. Get in touch to learn more.

Lived Experience Team (LET) National and South-East

If you have had repeat contact with the criminal justice system, driven by unmet health and social needs like poverty, problems with drugs and alcohol or mental-ill health, you could help us improve healthcare in the criminal justice system. Our Lived Experience Team (LET) works with the NHS Health & Justice team to influence how health services are designed within the criminal justice system and ensure people get the healthcare they need, from police custody to prison release. We are currently recruiting for both our National LET and our South-East LET, so you could either be influencing change nationally or locally – or both! Contact us for more information.

Health & Justice: take part in our LGBTQ+ focus group

If you identify as LGBTQ+ and have experience of the criminal justice system, you could inform the development of non-custodial services as part of our work with NHS Health & Justice by joining one of our focus groups. Your participation would contribute to making healthcare more inclusive and responsive to LGBTQ+ needs within the justice system, and could lead to other opportunities with us. Contact us for more information.

Greater Manchester Combined Authority project

If you are based in Greater Manchester and have had recent contact with the criminal justice system, you could help us improve services for people in prison and on probation in the region. We are working with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) to feed lived experience insight into the design and delivery of a comprehensive rehabilitative service, making sure that it really addresses the needs of those using it.  Contact us for more information.

Regional forums

We believe in the power of local expertise, which is why we hold various regional forums to influence systems and services locally. Whether you’re from the Midlands, South or North of England, you can join one of our regional forums and help us influence criminal justice practices at ground-level, collaborating with key decision-makers in your region. Contact us for more information.

National Expert Citizens Group

The National Expert Citizens Group (NECG) is a representative group for people who face multiple disadvantage across England – a combination of experiences of homelessness, mental-ill health, problems with drugs and alcohol, the criminal justice system, neurodiversity or domestic abuse. The NECG connects people with lived experience with decision-makers, from key Government departments to parliamentary committees, to ensure services and policies are accessible, effective and shaped by those directly affected. We welcome referrals from organisations working with those who experience multiple disadvantage. Contact us for more information.

Neurodiversity Forum

Our Neurodiversity Forum is made up of neurodivergent people who have been through the cycle of crisis and crime. They have been influencing key partners, from the Ministry of Justice to NHS England, to develop solutions that recognise and address the specific challenges faced by neurodivergent people within the criminal justice system. If you are neurodivergent yourself – which may include ADHD, dyslexia, autism, dyspraxia, dyslexia, learning difficulties, etc – you could also use your voice to build a more inclusive system. Contact us for more information.

Women’s Forum

Women going through the criminal justice system face distinct needs and challenges. This is why we run a women-only, empowering space for women who have been through the cycle of crisis and crime to be catalysts for change. By joining our Women’s Forum, you could ensure that women’s experiences are heard, from Parliament to key decision-makers at the Ministry of Justice and beyond. Contact us for more information.

“The Women’s Forum is a safe space, for women, by women. We know we can tell our stories and won’t be judged.”

Lived experience member

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Get in touch

Interested in recommending a lived experience member to us? We’re always looking for partners who can refer new members to us. Get in touch using the contact form below.

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