Newsletters are a key part of the communications infrastructure at Acacia Prison

Acacia Prison Newsletters

Acacia Prison Newsletters

BACKGROUND

Based on a background of positive results with Serco Custodial in the UK, GDA were asked to provide communications solutions for Acacia Prison in Western Australia.

As one of Australia’s flagship prison’s, Acacia is currently undergoing an expansion to offer approximately 1400 places.

BRIEF

To maintain their reputation as a centre of excellence and innovation, it is vital that Acacia maintains frequent contact with all stakeholders, both existing and potential, particularly during this time of growth.

After initial consultation with the prison, GDA advised that more frequent contact with stakeholders was needed to complement and supplement the annual report, keeping stakeholders abreast of successes, new developments and the changes taking place.

SOLUTION

A custodial environment operates 24/7 to extremely high levels of performance.

With stakeholders spanning prisoners, families and friends, staff, the Western Australian Department of Corrective Services (DCS), external delivery partners and Serco’s global operation, a vast amount of information is generated.

GDA have provided an infrastructure which sits unobtrusively within the contract to catch and collate this information as and when it occurs.

We then ensure that the contents of each newsletter fit within the ongoing 12 month communication strategy for the contract which is developed from the ongoing strategies and performance objectives of:

  • DCS
  • Serco Custodial
  • Third party external stakeholders

BENEFIT

The newsletter has been highly praised by both Acacia Prison, DCS, Serco and staff and third party stakeholders.

It functions both as a communication tool to maintain awareness of ongoing achievements quarterly, and as a management tool to keep staff constantly informed.

In addition, it also provides positive sales collateral for both Serco Custodial in Asia Pacific and internationally within new business development.

 

“I’m on the plane back home and just read your incredible newsletter…

It’s probably the best internal employee newsletter I’ve seen because it:

  • Genuinely thanks employees for their efforts in creating the success of the previous year.
  • Tells employees that their views count by connecting Health and Safety with a concern for individual’s well-being and by actively seeking employee views – “If you have any ideas for new ventures don’t keep them to yourself…you don’t have to have a fully formed plan or how this will work…And don’t be put off when we start to ask a few questions!”.
  • Shows Acacia employees how they are collectively undertaking meaningful work via stories that illustrate positive client outcomes – for example, the story of the prisoner who was a pot washer who became an apprentice chef, and the incredible lead story on Acacia’s medical centre and its journey to maintain its Australian General Practice accreditation (something no other prison in Australia even has).
  • Gives people a heads up around potential changes: in this case to the prison security department as well as the review of Acacia’s performance measures.
  • Shows people how Acacia is making a difference to the local community by donating products made by prisoners to worthy causes such as Ridding for the Disabled.”

Nova Franklin. Head of Engagement and Change – Serco Asia Pacific

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