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Nacro helps vulnerable people to change their lives and to reach their full potential by addressing social exclusion, inequality of opportunity and deprivation. It designs and delivers services that equip people with the skills, advice, attitude and support they need to move their lives on and to become a part of their community. Nacro's services cover education, housing, substance misuse treatment and the prevention of reoffending.
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. In 2015, in conjunction with Nacro's 50th anniversary year and to reflect the breadth of its work, it changed its name to Nacro: A social justice charity.
Nacro's services include:
- Education: Nacro provides pre-vocational and vocational programmes, problem-solving courses and employment preparation programmes for people who are stuck and can’t see a way forward. In addition to this, in 2015 Nacro established a partnership with Totton College.
- Housing: Nacro helps people find somewhere to live to give them the stability and support they need to acquire new skills and patterns of behaviour to turn their lives around and to connect to their communities.
- Justice: Nacro works with young and adult offenders in prisons and in the community. It offers a wide range of services for a variety of different client groups to support people to change their lives and to prevent and reduce crime and the risk of reoffending.
- Health: Nacro delivers community-based contracts across substance misuse services. Its largest contract is in Wolverhampton where it runs Recovery Near You, a consolidated and integrated drug and alcohol treatment service for young people and adults.
- A resettlement advice service providing specialist advice, training and consultancy to individuals, practitioners and employers on criminal records and disclosure issues. Nacro provides the UK's only national dedicated confidential public advice service for people with previous convictions.
Nacro also uses its knowledge of what works to reduce crime to help inform policy and shape practice. In line with this, the charity works closely with government and public and private sector partners, using experience on the ground to establish and pilot the best ways of addressing social exclusion.
Nacro is a regular contributor to government consultations and important debates on key subjects in the criminal justice sector.
In 2015 it emerged that Totton College in Southampton was in serious financial difficulties and was seeking a merger with another institution. In December 2015 Totton College became part of Nacro, with the aim of making Totton College a vocational centre of excellence. The college is currently headed by Derek Headrige, the Campus Principal.
The current Chief Executive is Jacob Tas, formerly of Action for Children and The Prince's Trust.
- "Thirty-nine jobs might go at Totton College, says Nacro". www.thirdsector.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-06-09.
- "SN06894 (PDF)" (PDF). House of Commons Library. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
- "Education vital to stop offending". Education Magazine. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
- "Totton College in Nacro crime reduction charity merger". BBC News.
- "Nacro fills empty homes in North Lincolnshire to help the homeless". Empty Homes. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
- "MOJ announces voluntary groups among preferred bidders in Transforming Rehabilitation programme". Third Sector. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
- "Recovery Near You". Aquarius. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
- "Wolverhampton Substance Misuse Service". recoverynearyou.org.uk.
- "A new deal on criminal records". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
- "Fears over release force some young people back to custody". Children and Young People Now. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
- "Chief Inspector of Prisons and Nacro give evidence on prisoner voting". parliament.uk. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
- "Troubled college to complete merger with charity". Romsey Advertiser. Retrieved 2016-06-09.
- "Appointments update 04 November". Perspective Publishing Limited. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
- "Nacro appoints Jacob Tas as its next chief executive". Third Sector. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
- 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