A North East group of charities has made it through to the next stage in a bid to manage thousands of the region's offenders.
The Northern Inclusion Consortium says that it can offer offenders a tailored service that runs from prison right through to settlement in the community.
The Government hopes that outsourcing the management of offenders may help cut reoffending rates.
But critics say that charities and companies may end up 'diluting' the service.
A prison campaigner argues that outsourcing the management of offenders to charities and businesses could mean that prison services 'are diluted'.
Andrew Neilson, from the Howard League for Penal Reform, says that the Probation Service is doing a good job with the offenders it does manage.
Steve Ellis spent years of his life in a cycle of heroin addiction and crime.
He explains how easy it is to fall into that trap.
He is now a fine art student at Leeds College of Art, partly due to the help offered to him by the Northern Inclusion Consortium.
Five North East charities have teamed up to try win a contract to manage thousands of the region's offenders.
Groundwork North East & Cumbria, DISC, Mental Health Concern, Changing Lives and Spectrum Community Health say they can turn around the lives of offenders.
The Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has outlined proposals for what should be done about prisoners' right to vote.
Under a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights, Britain must remove its blanket ban on prisoners voting by tomorrow (November 23rd).
A special committee is being set up to consider the idea.
The three proposals put forward by the Justice Secretary are as follows:
Prisoners who have been sentenced for less than four years could have the right to vote
The right to vote could be limited to those serving prison sentences for six months or less
MPs could restate the current position - that is that no one serving time in prison has the right to vote
The right to vote might be seen to be a human right by the European Court of Human Rights, but giving the right to vote to prisoners is proving to be a controversial issue.
Those who have been victims of crime, like Theresa Cave whose son Chris was stabbed to death, do not believe that prisoners have the right to make their voice heard.
Under current legislation, people serving time in prison do not have the right to vote - but this is in question after the European Court on Human Rights ruled that Britain must remove its blanket ban on prisoners voting by Friday 23rd November.
The Prime Minister has said that he does not agree with the principle of prisoners having the right to vote, but MPs are being told to look again at giving prisoners the vote.
Under European law, the right to vote is seen as a human right, so Britain's ban on votes for inmates is illegal.
But, some of those who have been victims of crime say that by granting those in prison the chance to vote it marks the start of another battle to make their voices heard.
To read more on this story, you can have a look at our national coverage.