Co-producing Justice: International Social Economy Network Programme Report

Beth Weaver, Stephen Osborne, Michael Roy, Sarah Soppitt, Elizabeth Docherty, Paul Morris, Tom Jackson, Pauline Graham, Jayne Chappell

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Abstract

While the significance of employment to desistance (giving up crime) is well established, there are multifarious obstacles to people with convictions accessing and sustaining work. Social enterprises are businesses that trade for a social purpose, rather than for the enrichment of shareholders or owners. It has been shown that social enterprise and cooperative structures of employment can circumnavigate some of the systemic obstacles to employment, such as criminal records and employer discrimination that people routinely encounter. Yet, one in six people in the UK have a criminal conviction; a large proportion of people are, therefore, affected by the impacts that contact with the justice system has on access to employment and, relatedly, opportunities to move on from offending. The House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee (2016) recognise that employment significantly reduces reoffending and can lead to other outcomes that can reduce reoffending (e.g. financial security and stable accommodation). The Scottish Government (2016) has recently co-produced, with the social enterprise sector, a ten-year Strategy to encourage the further development of the sector and contribute to an overarching ‘inclusive growth’ agenda, demonstrating considerable appetite for an evidence-informed approach for this demographic. Despite this, not only are such structures providing paid work a rarity in the UK justice system, the potential of social enterprises and co-operatives in this context has hardly been explored. Recent research (Roy et al., 2017; Weaver 2016; forthcoming) provides important evidence to suggest their potential to support desistance, recovery and integration; this project sought to build on this by exploring approaches to their implementation, connecting a range of multi-disciplinary international and local experts who can differently contribute towards their realisation. By combining these largely disconnected strands of research, siloed within specific disciplines, our aim has been to advance a more coherent interdisciplinary theorizing and exploration of the interactions, synergies and distinctions in these disciplinary fields and to influence the direction of future research, policy and practice in justice contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationGlasgow
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019

Keywords

  • social enterprises
  • cooperatives
  • work generation
  • employment
  • social integration
  • criminal convictions

Projects

Prizes

HaSS Faculty Impact Prize for Outstanding Impact for Society

Weaver, Beth (Recipient), 2019

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Activities

  • 3 Organiser of special symposia

Coproducing Justice: Transferring the Learning into Action: Towards a Scottish Approach

Beth Weaver (Organiser)

25 Feb 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganiser of special symposia

Coproducing Justice: International Perspectives: Lessons from Home and Abroad

Beth Weaver (Organiser)

17 Dec 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganiser of special symposia

Coproducing Justice: What and Why? Exploring the Different Forms, Structures, Values and Effects of WISEs and Social Cooperatives

Beth Weaver (Organiser)

26 Oct 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganiser of special symposia

Cite this

Weaver, B., Osborne, S., Roy, M., Soppitt, S., Docherty, E., Morris, P., Jackson, T., Graham, P., & Chappell, J. (2019). Co-producing Justice: International Social Economy Network Programme Report.