ENHANCING THE REHABILITATION SERVICE FOR PEOPLE ON PROBATION
To increase the financial literacy of
People on Probation by enhancing the Finance, Benefit and Debt service provided by Catch 22 to further reduce re-offending rates in the UK
METHODS & TOOLS
Prototype & Testing
In the UK 55% of offenders are recalled from probation.Often, people on probation find it difficult to get their finances in order & are unaware of the services in place to help them. This inevitably leads to an increased likelihood of re-offending.
Catch22, a not-for-profit social business that designs and delivers public services to people on probation in the UK, with a focus on building resilience within communities. The Finance, Benefit and Debt service is a two year pilot program by Catch 22 delivering finance, benefit & debt related advice, support, guidance, information, signposting & advocacy to reduce re-offending. Over a 10-week period, we worked closely with prison leavers, probation staff, and members of catch 22 to uncover new insights that can support the FBD service.
Most recalls are preventable, which represents an important goal for all parties involved as it can significantly impact a Person on Probation's future prospects and mental health, deteriorates resettlement outcomes for probation services and is expensive for the Ministry of Justice.MoJ provides rehabilitation and reintegration services to people on probation through its partners, one of which is Catch22.
Who are our stakeholders?
Our three primary stakeholders are
* People on Probation - POP
* Financial and Wellbeing Advisors - FWAs
* Probation Practitioners - PP
However, we realised that the relation and conduct between these three stakeholders is highly systemic and rooted in legal bindings, which is not possible for us to change
What happens when a person is on probation?
Once an offender is sentenced to prison, they serve half their sentence in Custody. Post the service, They are let out into the society for reintegration and serve the other half of their sentence doing community service or a job. This phase is called Probation.
POP need to abide to certain rules set out by the MoJ which includes and is not limited to regular check in by the PP, attending educational programs, inability to travel etc.
In this relationship, if the POP feels that they need any kind of finance, benefit or debt related assistance or if the PP feels that POP needs help in the same context.
The POP then gets referred to the service, and is assigned to a Financial Well being advisor who calls him to setup as soon as they get notifiedthe PP refers the POP to FBD with a set of goals that the PP feels is necessary for the POP to achieve by the end of the FBD service.
FBD then has its first touchpoint with POP and they finalise the details for their first meeting. Post this call, an introduction pack is sent to the POP with a few legal documents for them to sign.
The initial assessment (IA) is conducted in the first meeting to gauge the existing financial knowledge and burden of the POP. Based on the results of the IA, together with the goals set out by the PP, a personalised action plan is created. This action plan is then followed for the next many weeks.
Once the advisory sessions are done, another final assessment is done to check the progress of the POP and the end of service report is drafted.
We analysed the journey map, understood the entire system and empthazied with 3 people on probation and 4 advisors to understand their day to day lives, interactions and potential areas of intervention.
After 4 weeks of primary and desk research, we found three gaps for improvement
We arrived at our insights..
Invisibility of Value: Advertising material is ineffective, and fails to engage and communicate the value of the service, leading to decreased visibility for FBD and those in need of its services.
Invisibility of Information: The Initial Assessment purpose is a vague, scattered process, and difficult language makes it challenging for Advisors to navigate meetings and engage effectively with POP.
Invisibility of Distance Travelled: Action Plans in academic settings have been ineffective for POP's growth if their progress is not shown from custody to probation.
Portfolio of Interventions
To address these areas which we uncovered from our insights, we came up with a portfolio of interventions:
1. Marketing material
we realised that advertising is ineffective and fails to communicate the value which has led to poor engagement
What already exists
Marketing flyers within custody
An introduction pack thats been sent to the POP before the initial assessment
What is lacking
An efficient way of communicating service value
Engaging language & visuals
We proposed is an enhanced marketing scheme where communication touch points will continue throughout their journey which we divided into 3 phases
2. Integrated Digital Tool
In our primary research, when we interviewed FWAs, they expressed displeasure at the fact that they have to do quite a bit of admin and paperwork. They also need to travel to far-off places to meet the POP for their advisory sessions and even then, the problem of disengagement is prominent.
From this, we realised that FWAs don’t have much time and engaged in non-advisory work with scattered documents.
User survey questionnaire on a tool called the PowerApp
Repository of all the paperwork
We proposed to make the PowerApp's potential visible & accessible so that we can integrate everything into a one-stop tool for FBD.
3. Reframed action plan
Based on our insights, it’s clear that pops don’t see the value in the service. We also felt that is mainly because they don’t have visibility on how far they have come or how achieving their goal will have a long term impact on their life
What already exists
Outcomes and goals defined by the PP
Results of the service user questionnaire
PP’s case notes
What is lacking
Visible progress to the POP
Inability for the POP to have any say in the outcomes and goals
Non-integration of the learnings into real life
We proposed to add another data point in the action plan which relates to habit creation. A habit corresponding to each outcome will enable the POP to see their progress in real time and ensure that the learnings are lifelong
After our ideation stage, our portfolio of interventions was proposed to our client. They were impressed with all the ideas we proposed but felt the need for our second intervention to be developed further.
Our second intervention also matched fit into our speed scope and scale of continuing this project hence we decided to develop it.
Focusing on the chosen problem area
The service is struggling to engage with users effectively.
The initial part of the service is often scattered, complex & time consuming.
FWAs don't have the necessary tools to help them navigate through initial meetings seamlessly
To test our hypothesis we conducted our workshop with a plan- a combination of three factors
1. Our Research
Few Principles we established:
a. Trust: Promote Transparency in our objectives in order to have truthful responses & ask for their consent.
b. Safety: Create a comfortable space for them by avoiding prison and school settings.
c. Co-design: Asking them to create their own versions of our proposal to incorporate their styles & perspectives into our final outcome.
d. Power: Promote freedom of choice in what activities they want to participate in and in what way.
e. Hope: Communicate the broader issue being addresses & how their contributions will help people on probation.
a. To understand the language style that is most comfortable for POPS
b. To understand the language barriers to create a more effective & agree communication between FWAs and POPs
c. To identify the delivery method that works best to communicate the information and maintain value
Conversation with FWAs…..
a. Identify gaps where they can save time
b. Understand what can & cannot be modified in the process
c. Gain feedback for the structure of the digital tool
Second set of Insights
Based on bother workshops we condensed our research into few more insights
After our workshops with POP and FWAs, we landed on three insights pertaining to our solution on integrated digital tool and revamping the language used.
💡 Agreed Language: We confirmed that a mix of clear verbal and written language along with visual aids is the best method to deliver information, leading to improved engagement & understanding.
💡 Flexibility and timing: We found that the elements in the initial assessment have to be accessible at any point in the process. Certain documents have to be revisited to be reminded of boundaries & expectations. Also, the use of the tool can extend to the end of service as a way to measure progress.
💡 Efficiency: Resources for the Initial Assessment are often scattered, the purpose is vague, non-engaging & admin work is time consuming. Self assessment system in questionnaire doesn't provide space for accurate responses, restricting FWA from drafting effective action plans
How are we creating value?
Next steps & Conclusion
We are currently in partnership with the client to deploy the product. This will be an ongoing process and amendments will be made based on constant feedback
This intervention does not directly increase referrals or reduce re-offending in the short term
We started off our project with an ethos of increasing the visibility of POP and to express their needs and FWA to engage.
We know the current re offending rates are high and this is having a huge impact on the entire country.
In an ideal world, we imagine our portfolio of interventions being implemented as the start of the domino effect which will contribute to the bigger picture of reducing the re offending rates.