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Very little is provided to new prisoners in the UK prison system that is either a) consistent, or b) strategically designed to address and support their mental and emotional state in a way that reduces violence, depression and non-compliance.
Therefore, a goal was set to create a powerful tool that would be cheap to produce, easy to implement and have a high take-up and engagement rate by new prisoners. Something they would keep and read, not be inclined to lose and also keep as a reference. It would seek to have an unthreatening name, not be overwhelming and speak to them about where they are at. In addition, thought must be given to the layout and cadence in order to support them going through it in an engaged fashion.
Ultimately, it should aim to lay a strong foundation for mitigating some of the traumatic effects of first time incarceration, whilst supporting key fundamental aspects of the prison system.
In response to the above need, The New Prisoner Welcome Booklet was designed.
This booklet is now being used in various prisons across the UK with very beneficial results. In addition, the source file below can be customized and adapted for prisons all over the world.
Download the Welcome Booklet
The initial primary goals of introducing the booklet would be to produce statistically significant and positive results on the following measurables after a 3 month:
Increase the number of new prisoners achieving ‘enhanced’ status by more than 5%
Decrease the number of new prisoners receiving negative ‘IEP’ by more than 5%
Decrease the number of new prisoners starting anti-depressant medication by 5%
Decrease the number of violent incidents on staff and/or other prisoners by 5%
In addition, and on a longer-term basis, the rate of reoffending / time between offences should also be measured as it has large implications for society as well as the cost benefit analysis.
COST BENEFIT ASSESSMENT:
The average cost per prisoner to the UK taxpayer is currently estimated at £40,000 a year.
Therefore, if this booklet helps just one prisoner in a way that keeps them from coming back to prison, it pays for 200,000 booklets.
This increases greatly if we take into account the initial police and court costs. There would also be annual cost savings of £230 for each prisoner who is able to cope better without anti-depressant medication.
In addition, reduction on violence to staff (or other prisoners) would have highly beneficial effects in terms of both morale, order and Government Inspectorate reports.
OVERVIEW & OBJECTIVES OF NEW PRISONER WELCOME BOOKLET
The following is a breakdown of the New Prisoner Welcome Booklet in more detail, together with the aims and objectives of each section.
The booklet consists of 9 parts:
Format & Logistics:
• Suggested size: For UK – A4 folded to A5. For US – Letter folded to booklet size.
• Suggested or approximate number of pages – 28
• Finish: full colour
• Approximate cost per unit in volume: 15 pence.
“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”
This initiative is also supported by The ‘Chrysalis Programme’. This is a separate and established initiative set up by David Apparicio, Justice of the Peace (Magistrate), and who’s values and ideas overlap with that of the booklets creator. A collaboration between the two has now been established. (For further details see www.chrysalisprogramme.com )