Developing from the National Association of Discharged Prisoners’ Aid Societies, NACRO was founded in 1966 as the National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders. It rapidly developed into the biggest criminal justice-related charity in England and Wales and in the 1970s and 1980s was frequently involved in high-level policy discussions with the British government, particularly with the Home Office which has responsibility for prisons and probation services.
The organisation dropped the acronym format of its name in 1999 to become Nacro, although the media continue to erroneously refer to it as the National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders.
Nacro's vision is a safer society where everyone belongs, human rights are respected and preventing crime means tackling social exclusion and re-integrating those who offend.
Today, Nacro is one of the largest charities in the UK. Turnover in 2004-5 was £59million, and their annual report claims that: "In the last year, we trained 10,000 learners, housed 3,000 tenants, advised 20,000 helpline enquirers, helped 10,000 prisoners, and worked with 11,000 young people."
The organisation currently runs in excess of one thousand programmes across England and Wales, working with young offenders, prisoners, ex-offenders, homeless people and other 'disadvantaged' groups. It has a sizeable policy team at its headquarters and is often to be found in the media commenting on recent criminal justice news stories.
Nacro's headquarters are in Vauxhall, south London (chief executive, directors, and policy, fundraising and communications departments) and Birmingham (administrative departments including IT, finance and human resources).