The charities announced in August that they had begun merger discussions and the decision was confirmed at an extraordinary general meeting of the Sova board on Monday night.
Under the merger, Sova will become a subsidiary of CRI. All of Sova’s 120 staff will transfer across as part of the deal and the Sova brand will be retained.
CRI, which has more than 2,000 employees and an expected income of £94m in 2012, works with individuals, families and communities affected by drugs, crime and homelessness. Sova uses volunteers to help people stay away from crime and is expected to have an income of about £3.5m for 2012. Sova’s annual income has dropped by almost 70 per cent since 2007, when it was £11m.
David Royce, chief executive of CRI, said that the merger should not be viewed as "an attempt at cost cutting" but instead was driven by CRI wanting to make better use of volunteers in its work – Sova works with about 450 active volunteers.
"The merger will bring together CRI staff and volunteers with Sova volunteers. It would have taken us a long time to train 450 volunteers and for them to undergo the proper checks," said Royce.
"The merger is about bringing together two organisations and amassing our capabilities so that we can do more good."
Randeep Kaur Kular, the outgoing chair of Sova, said in statement: "By joining forces Sova and CRI are creating a formidable partnership. Both our organisations have the experience and expertise to provide the best possible help and support to the people we serve while offering value to our commissioners."