Unlocking credit unions: developing partnerships between credit unions and criminal justice agencies

Document type
Bath, Chris; Jones, Paul
Date of publication
1 January 2013
Resettlement, Offenders, Criminal Justice Services, Poverty Alleviation Welfare Benefits and Financial Inclusion
Social welfare
Material type

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This report is based on a research study into the benefits, barriers and strategic options for credit unions in the development of financial services for people in the criminal justice system in England and Wales. It identifies how credit unions, prisons, probation and other agencies can work together to support the reduction of re-offending. The report explores the experience of credit unions and prisons in establishing effective partnerships. Partnership operation and practice was variable but common themes emerged from case studies, an online survey and interviews. Establishing effective partnerships between credit unions and prisons typically depended upon various factors, including: the commitment of both the credit union and prison at a senior level; a high level of good will and trust between prison and credit union staff; the development of robust and mutually agreed procedures; active support from prison staff with credit union promotion, applications and account opening procedures; and the support of the prison finance department.

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