Communicating the way forward for offender management

This Way Out

This Way Out

Background

HMP & YOI Doncaster is leading the field in the reduction of recidivism with its unique approach to offender management.

A category B local remand prison, Doncaster focuses on prisoners with sentences of 12 months or less. Reoffending rates for this category of offender are high, yet due to the short nature of their sentences, historically they have not had the support needed to help them move away from crime after release.

The new model at Doncaster is prisoner-centric and a quantum leap in the methodology that traditionally underpins the way 
reducing reoffending is dealt with in prison. Delivered through partnership, Doncaster works in collaboration with Catch22, and other key strategic and local delivery partners, to create a structure that provides continuity of support for offenders both pre and post release.

Brief

For any radical change in approach to perform to its maximum potential, it must be clearly communicated to all. All involved must understand accurately the part they play and how to engage with the approach as effectively as possible. Central to this is the need for a clear, consistent and easy-to-recognise identity and definition.

GDA were briefed to create a brand for the reducing reoffending approach that would:

  • Facilitate delivery through a growing network of partners, providing them with the tools and framework needed to introduce and communicate the model to others
  • Raise and maintain awareness with a wide range of audiences from a grass-roots level of prisoners and staff, through delivery partners and up to those that influence and lead opinion
  • Encourage all stakeholders to engage wherever possible and so, through increased participation, enhance the strategy’s potential for success
  • Position the model being delivered at Doncaster as the solution of choice for reducing reoffending in the UK

Solution

Before embarking on the brand’s creation and definition, GDA undertook a series of branding workshops with a cross section of stakeholders to capture:

  • Initial and desired understanding and perceptions
  • Key characteristics and principles of the reducing reoffending model
  • Potential misconceptions and threats

GDA then used this insight to create the brand – This Way Out.

‘How to stop released offenders returning to crime?’  This Way Out conveys that the model at HMP & YOI Doncaster is the ultimate solution to breaking the cycle of reoffending and answers that question – it is the way out.

It provides a direction not only for prisoners themselves, but a way out for society also.

Once the brand had been created and defined, we produced a Style Guide to ensure that it is accurately and consistently applied and replicated by all involved; building brand strength through clarity and repetition.

Benefit

The effectiveness of staff/case manager and prisoner relationships sits at the heart of Doncaster’s approach. It relies on openness, honesty and trust from all involved. The very act of engaging staff and other stakeholders in the branding process was essential and served to raise the profile of the reducing reoffending model within the prison. It helped to identify teams who were not yet fully engaged and reinforced that each and every member of staff has a role to play in its successful delivery.

Following the branding workshops, HMP & YOI Doncaster introduced a staff forum to encourage the open discussion initiated by the workshops to continue. This regular forum enables questions to be raised and addressed by management and peers alike.

The This Way Out brand supports the approach at HMP & YOI Doncaster as it evolves and became more than just a strategy, to a prison-wide approach that impacts on everything they do.

The brand is the foundation for an ongoing communication plan that is enabling HMP & YOI Doncaster to: engage effectively with all of its existing stakeholders, forge links with new partners and promote the great strides that are being taken in the reduction of recidivism.

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