The probation service rolls out its national strategy
In 2021, the Probation Service became responsible for delivering "unpaid work" programmes across England and Wales. They made the brilliant decision to vision map their vision, giving them a powerful new tool for communicating it to staff at all levels, and across all regions.
When the Probation Service of England and Wales became responsible for the management of the Unpaid Work Requirement (formerly known as community service) it faced the significant challenge in effectively translating the vision created at central HQ into action all over the country.
Critical to their success was the effective management of regional Community Payback Teams, who run the unpaid work programmes to which offenders contribute as part of their rehabilitation.
Given the public visibility and critical importance of managing this complex process correctly, the training and preparation of probation officers across the country was a top priority for the team at HMPPS (His Majesty's Prison and Probation Service).
“Community sentences are highly complex," explains Lin Orman, Performance Improvement Manager at HMPPS. "There are 12 requirements that can be given of which unpaid work is just one. So, when we’re training new probation officers, it’s information overload."
HMPPS have called on Scriberia on a number of occasions (including on the creation of this vision map of the prison service, which has been hard at work for them since 2017). So, it felt natural to them to take a visual approach to capturing and documenting the 12-month journey of an offender carrying out unpaid work - a vision map would allow them to create a clear and accessible guide for staff that outlined every step.
“With a vision map it's so much easier for them to grasp how it works and what they need to do than a whole page of bullet points. It’s a fantastic training tool.”
Lin Orman, Performance Improvement Manager, HMPPS
Our illustrators held a workshop with the key stakeholders to capture the information to display; from risk assessments to safeguarding measures and performance reviews.
Once finalised, the map was distributed to each regional office for probation officers to either directly implement or adapt according to local needs. It was then integrated into the onboarding process for new staff members.
"We’ve shared it with judges and magistrates who sentence people to unpaid work... The feedback is that they have found it incredibly useful in understanding the post-court journey these offenders take."
In some regional offices the map has taken centre stage on the wall and has been used as a communication tool with the courts.
“We’ve shared it with some of the judges and the magistrates who sentenced people to unpaid work because they really want to understand what goes on once people leave court. And the feedback is that they have found it incredibly useful in understanding the post-court journey these offenders take,” adds Lin.
"We’re really conscious of how we present information now and know that if we get it right, then the regional offices will have the right tools to use to be successful."
Externally, the map has served as a blueprint for local authorities to follow for their Immediate Justice scheme - a new initiative to combat antisocial behaviour.
Lin says: “Local authorities have approached us to ask how we operate unpaid work. So we use the map with them to help them understand the journey and the steps that need to be taken to ensure safety for everyone.”
The project has helped the team shape how they present and distribute information and understand the importance and power of visual communication.
“At headquarters, we’re really conscious of how we present information now and know that if we get it right, then the regional offices will have the right tools to use to be successful. In an ideal world we’d have one for the other 11 types of requirements too!"