|This article relies on references to primary sources. (April 2009)|
The Central Discharged Prisoners' Aid Society (Incorporated) was formed in December 1924. It was renamed the National Association of Discharged Prisoners' Aid Societies (Incorporated) in October 1960, and the National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (NACRO) in March 1966. It developed into the biggest criminal justice-related charity in England and Wales and in the 1970s and 1980s it became involved in policy discussions with the British Government, particularly with the Home Office, which has responsibility for prisons and probation services. Since 2011, its strategy has focused on extending its high-level influence at government level, with commissioners, policy makers and practitioners, and increasing its partnership work.
In 1999 the organisation officially became Nacro, the crime reduction charity.
Nacro is the leading crime reduction charity in England and Wales. In 2010 it helped over 73,000 people and reached many others through its work with local, regional and national partners. It has a team of 1,500 staff and volunteers providing services in 300 communities across the country, and uses practical methods of reducing crime in communities and change lives for the better.
Nacro’s work focuses on three areas – before, while and after people are in trouble:
- Crime prevention and early intervention – stopping young people getting into trouble by running services which steer them away from crime, teach them new skills and create new opportunities.
- Offender management – working with people in prison, on post-release licences and on community sentences, challenging them to stop offending and equipping them with skills and opportunities so they can move away from crime and give something positive back to their communities.
- Resettlement – helping offenders cope after serving a prison sentence so they can settle back into the community, find somewhere to live and access education, training or a job.
Achievements and performance
in 2010/11 over 73,000 people used its services.
- Over 24,000 children and young people were steered away from crime and into new opportunities through preventative services
- Nacro provided a resettlement service to over 19,000 prisoners in prisons in England and Wales
- 68% of all its housing clients moved on successfully into their own home. 77.5% of those clients receiving floating support were successful in establishing and maintaining independent living
- Over 25,000 people contacted Nacro’s Resettlement Plus Helpline for advice, mostly about disclosing a criminal conviction.
The charity aims to influence Government policy on crime reduction and to work with government and other policy makers to reform the criminal justice system. In 2010 it ran a campaign called Change the Record which successfully argued for changes to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and to the process for carrying out Criminal Records Bureau checks.
Queen Elizabeth II is the Patron of Nacro. The President is Lord Dholakia, and the Chair is Matthew Litobarski, former President, Global Supply Chain, Cadbury Schweppes plc and volunteer mentor for Trail-Blazers.
The current Chief Executive is Paul McDowell, formerly governor of HMP Brixton.
- Official website
- Nacro's Charity Commission page
- Nacro's Response to the Ministry of Justice's Proposals to Toughen up Community Sentences "Nacro's Response to the Ministry of Justice's Proposals to Toughen up Community Sentences". Community Justice Portal. 8 August 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
- Catalogue of the Nacro archives, held at the Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick