Inspiring Futures: how creativity and culture benefits people in the criminal justice system

Arts Council England,
22 May 2024, England

How and why is creativity within criminal justice settings so impactful for individuals, communities, and society? Inspiring Futures is the first research of its kind to capture just how diverse, complex, and transformative its benefits can be. Led by IPSO The National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance (NCJAA), the project joined arts in criminal justice organisations and the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Criminology to deliver an innovative arts programme in prisons and probation settings. Partners included many organisations supported by the Arts Council, including Koestler Arts, Geese Theatre, and Clean Break to name a few. 

The research, funded by Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Economic and Social Research Council, took a deep dive into how creativity can benefit participants, as well as their families, staff working with them, and creative facilitators. It also looks at how creative organisations, practitioners, and criminal justice staff can make the most of these positive outcomes, laying the groundwork for future initiatives.