Criminal Justice

Through its Criminal Justice Programme, Barrow Cadbury Trust’s principal aim is to strengthen the evidence base for structural and practical change for young adults and women that will support rehabilitation and desistance from crime. All projects funded by the Trust in this programme will be expected to include a perspective on gender and race, and seek to enable the voices of those directly affected to be heard.

Programme theory of change

The criminal justice system was, and remains, principally designed to respond to crimes committed by men. Although a separate approach to children has been successfully developed over time, the system still fails to adequately account for the distinct needs and contexts of other groups in society, such as young adults, women, those from Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities. Changes are needed in policy and practice. To achieve this, a better evidence base of where the system is failing, and what can be done to change it, is required. By funding and disseminating research, policy and good practice, and by campaigning with others for change, the Trust seeks to influence the organisations that comprise the criminal justice system to implement the evidence, improve the way that services are designed, and support it to achieve better social and economic outcomes.

To date we have:

  • Developed a robust case, and advocated for, a more effective approach to young adults at all stages of the criminal justice system. This has been achieved through research, pilot projects and work to support practitioners and policy makers.  This programme of work is set out fully on the Transition to Adulthood (T2A) website;
  • Engaged with initiatives that shine a light on the additional challenges faced by women involved (or at risk of involvement) in the criminal justice system; and
  • Contributed to projects that highlight the over-representation of people from BAME (Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority) and Muslim communities at all stages of the criminal justice system, challenging policy-makers to do more to address this growing trend.

Our objectives for the next five years are:

  • Supporting for the Trust’s T2A initiative, seeking to further develop the evidence base for effective, distinct approaches for young adults throughout the criminal justice system, from point of arrest to prison resettlement and deepen its growing impact across England and Wales;
  • Generating and supporting initiatives that focus on gender and race within a criminal justice context: Initiatives that focus on the distinct needs of girls and women involved in crime, with an emphasis on early intervention, and further work to highlight and address the disproportionate over-representation of young BAME and Muslim people at all stages of the criminal justice system;
  • Amplifying the voices of people with direct experience of the criminal justice system who are less frequently heard and listened to by decision-makers; and
  • Supporting projects that shine a light on the parts of the system that are infrequently scrutinised, contentious, unacknowledged or about which little is known.

Funding priorities for 2017

  • Policy and research projects to support the ongoing development of the T2A evidence base, with a particular emphasis on promoting practical improvements at the policing, courts and probation stages of the ‘T2A Pathway’;
  • Policy and research projects that highlight specific challenges faced by young adults involved in crime (such as leaving care, employment and housing);
  • Pilot projects or research that focus on the distinct needs of young adult women involved in the criminal justice system (as opposed to men, girls and older women);
  • Projects that specifically aim to amplify the voices of young adults and/or women involved in the criminal justice system to be heard by policy makers, commissioners and service leaders; and
  • Projects that specifically seek to address the over-representation of young black and/or Muslim people involved in crime.

Funding in Birmingham

The Barrow Cadbury Trust has strong historic links to Birmingham and the surrounding area. Within its criminal justice programme the Trust will seek to support projects in the city, in particular:

  • Projects that support leadership capacity within key voluntary sector organisations to enable them to more readily speak truth to power;
  • Initiatives that bring together policy-makers, practitioners and the voluntary sector to promote good practice within the criminal justice system; and
  • Projects that specifically aim to amplify the voices of young adults and/or women from Birmingham who are involved in the criminal justice system to be heard by policy makers, commissioners and service leaders in the city or on a national level.

Making an application

If you think the work you are looking for support for fits Barrow Cadbury Trust’s Criminal Justice programme objectives, criteria and theory of change please complete an enquiry form.  We will aim to respond to your enquiry within 10 working days.

Please only fill in an application form if you have already discussed your project with us and we have asked you to complete a full application.


Key Contacts

Max Rutherford

Criminal Justice Programme Manager
Contact Me