Interserve presentation at inaugural conference

23 March 2017

A TEAM of experts will be discussing the innovative work Interserve’s justice business is implementing at a prestigious conference hosted in Belgium.

Kim Thornden-Edwards, director of Rehabilitation and Professional Practice, is leading the group of five women who will be attending the inaugural International Correctional Research Symposium.

The team will be delivering a presentation and workshop focusing on the company’s Personalisation pilots. They will also be discussing research and evaluation methods and talking about the practical impact that the pilots – which are still in an early stage – are having in the company’s five Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs).

Daniella Sinagoga, head of performance at Interserve Justice; Jenny Archer-Power from Cheshire & Greater Manchester CRC and Kirsty Corkhill from Humberside Lincolnshire and North Yorkshire CRC, who are both leading pilots; and personalisation expert Caroline Marsh will also be attending the conference; which is being hosted in Ghent.

Kim said: “I am delighted about the chance to share our early experience, to discuss our research methodology and to learn from the other participants at the event.

“It will give us a unique opportunity to develop our thinking about how we apply and evaluate personalisation in our CRCs and to showcase the exciting work that we are undertaking.”

Personalisation encourages people on probation to take more responsibility for their own rehabilitation and integration into local communities. It moves away from a more traditional and less effective ‘one size fits all’ approach.

Interserve’s aim is to work with service users to develop solutions that enable them to achieve their goals as well as ensure that the sentence of the court is delivered. Interserve is working with Professor Chris Fox from Manchester Metropolitan University to support a rigorous evaluation. The aim is to generate evidence about what methods are most effective, and Interserve’s justice business is piloting a range of concepts over the next few months.

Caroline, Personalisation project lead, said: “The main objective is to give people on probation as much choice and control as possible to develop a package of support that works for them to stop them from re-offending.

“We want service users to make the most of what is available to them locally and encourage them to access key support services.

“This means designing rehabilitative support packages with service users – not for them. This enables them to make personal change.

“We will be sharing early progress on implementation at the conference and talking about our innovative approach to researching and evaluating its impact on our service users.”

The two-day symposium is backed by the International Corrections and Prisons Association (ICPA) and brings together experts from across the globe.

Kirsty, who is delivering a Personalisation pilot in HLNY CRC, said: “Although the pilot is at the early stages of implementation, we have interviewed staff managing the pilot, and reviewed early interviews with staff and service users engaged in the pilot to gather some insights into emerging findings and early experiences.

“This tells us that staff are enthusiastic about the benefits that Personalisation can bring, and service users are welcoming the approach, but we are very much aware that embedding new approaches takes time and that numerous barriers must be overcome if we are to be truly successful.

“Nevertheless, events like this are an important way for us to test our implementation approach, research and evaluation methods and to invite feedback.”

The event starts on March 27th.