Helping HMPPS to improve prisoner services

We helped digital teams at Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Services (HMPPS) to improve the long-term maintainability of services.

The project

HMPPS Digital, within the Ministry of Justice, is responsible for digital and technology services covering prisons, probation and youth justice. They needed us to help support teams who were responsible for providing services to prison staff, offenders in custody and offenders’ families.

Our approach

Working with the team that operates the prisoner money service, we identified gaps in documentation and helped to fill them, so that code would be easier to maintain and would pose less risk in future. The documentation we worked on covered standard incident reporting, monitoring and procedures for new joiners, as well as other important areas. 

For the team working on prison visits and offender management, we helped them to prioritise workloads so they were spread more evenly across the team and did not overload individuals. By continually learning with the team, we helped to improve retrospectives so they educated the entire team about safety checks. In addition, we collectively boosted collaboration between teams in London and those based at the digital studio in Sheffield.

“For prisoners and their families, the service decreased processing times by 80% thereby getting money to prisoners in a faster, cheaper and more efficient way.”

From “No more cash, cheques or postal orders for prisoners” in the Inside Time National Newspaper for Prisoners & Detainees

The results

Our work with HMPPS Digital has reduced risk and improved processes, so code is easier to maintain and teams are well-positioned to continuously improve it in future. Furthermore, as our involvement occurred when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, we were able to build on the work we had done to improve collaboration by helping teams to transition to fully remote work.

send money to someone in prison laptop

“Improved technology will make it easier for our people to do their jobs more efficiently. We want to provide better access to information to help staff make better decisions and improve outcomes.”

HMPPS Business Strategy, November 2019

The results

  • Increased collaboration between teams
  • Surfaced psychological safety for team health
  • Transitioned team to fully remote
  • Improved documentation
  • Codebase easier to maintain
  • Reduced risk in future

Want to know more?
Get in touch!

Ian Southward

Client Director

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