Partnership working in prisons
A prison Partnership Agreement has been developed to support collaborative working between the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) and third sector organisations delivering independently funded services in Scottish prisons. Click here to download a blank copy of the ‘Partnership Agreement’.
What is the purpose of the Partnership Agreements?
The purpose of the Partnership Agreement is to:
- provide a structured set of questions to prompt discussion about potential new services
- capture the agreed actions from both SPS and the external partner in relation to what is required to deliver the service successfully (having this in place can be particularly important when staff move on to new roles)
- improve data collection to inform the design and delivery of services across the prison estate
- give funders confidence to fund services where there is an identified need for the service.
When should the Partnership Agreements be used?
This Partnership Agreement applies to third sector organisations that are seeking to deliver services in prisons which are independently funded (i.e. are not funded by the SPS or other statutory bodies). The Partnership Agreement needs to be fully completed where a third sector organisation has secured funding to deliver services for those in and leaving SPS’s care.
The Partnership Agreements do not apply to:
- Services that are procured by SPS
- Services that are procured by other statutory bodies
- Prison Visitor Centres (Third Sector organisations that are located within Prison Visitor Centres and delivering services across the secure line should complete a Partnership Agreement)
- Services that are not delivered by third sector organisations.
These services are commonly funded by the delivery organisation or by independent trusts and foundations. The funding landscape is complex and may require different approaches, depending on individual funder’s requirements. Please click here to read SPS’s corporate position on working with the third sector under different funding arrangements.
Who should complete the Partnership Agreements?
The Partnership Agreements should be completed with inputs from both the third sector organisation and the Head of Offender Outcomes for the relevant prison.
Resources to support the use of the Agreements
The following resources have been developed to support the use of the Agreements:
- Review documentation
- Information Sharing Agreement Template
- Consent form Template
If you have any questions about the Packs, please contact us.
Background to the development of the Partnership Agreements
Phase 1: CJVSF collaborated with The Robertson Trust and statutory bodies to develop the Partnership Agreements and the first version of the Agreements (also known as the Partnership Model Framework Agreements or ‘Partnership Packs’) were launched in 2011.
Phase 2: The Partnership Agreements were evaluated in 2013. A range of stakeholders (including voluntary sector providers, SPS staff and independent funders) provided feedback to the independent evaluator which was helpful for establishing what was working well and where improvements could be made.
The evaluation found that, “Overall the key message from this review is positive: the partnership packs process is viewed across all stakeholder groups as an important development bringing clear added value to the relationship between SPS and third sector organisations. It is also welcomed by key funding agencies”. The evaluation also identified a need to improve the consistency of the use of the packs across the prison estate and to support the consistency of the quality of the completed packs by developing a new monitoring and review framework for future partnership pack use.
CJVSF and our Partnership Development Initiative partners worked together over the summer of 2013 to further develop the Partnership Agreements in line with the evaluation feedback received from stakeholders. The revised Partnership Agreements for developing prison-based services were launched at a partnership event at SPS College in November 2013.
Phase 3: Following further testing of the Agreements , and a survey of third sector providers and feedback from Heads of Offender Outcomes, a more streamlined version was introduced in 2015.
Phase 4: A review of the use of the Partnership Agreements was carried out in 2017 and a further updated version was launched in May 2018.