Novus / The Manchester College

​​Working to Improve Offender Learning and Employment

What is the need?

The Policy Evaluation and Research Unit (PERU) at Manchester Metropolitan University is working in partnership with Novus, The Manchester College’s new, not-for-profit social enterprise charity that focuses on offender learning and employment.

Both PERU and Novus believe passionately that robust research and evaluation evidence has an important role to play in shaping effective and innovative policy and practice in the criminal justice system.

What are we doing?

Over the next three years PERU will work with Novus to:

Evaluate a range of its interventions;
Undertake research to better understand the needs of offenders and the factors that influence their employment prospects;
Review existing research evidence from the UK and around the world to identify promising new approaches; and
Work with staff across Novus to ensure that evidence is translated into practice

What will be the outcomes?

The first two elements of the programme are a Rapid Evidence Assessment on Offender Learning and a Realist Review of Offender Learning. These are two different approaches to evaluating what we know about what works in offender learning. The two different review methodologies will give us different kinds of answers and are also a chance to to directly compare how two different review methodologies, grounded in different social science paradigms compare when applied to the same basic review question.

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