June 8, 2020

Bringing Lived Experience into Criminal Justice Interventions: Co-creating Digital Media

Jason Morris

On 30th June, I will be delivering a workshop on 'Co-creating animation' as part of InsightsOnline.

Over the last couple of years, I’ve been fortunate enough to work on projects to co-produce Complementary Digital Media (CDM) for behaviour change interventions in HMPPS. Through this work, I’ve explored how co-production can uncover and give permanence to the valued voices of lived experience with the potential to change interventions for the better.

Recently, it's been a real pleasure to collaborate with colleagues at Merseyside and Cheshire, and Greater Manchester CRCs. Rob Ferguson (one of the experts-by-experience on the project) has written an insightful blog giving some great insights into this area of work http://www.russellwebster.com/rob-ferguson/.

Rob’s insights highlight that that the business case now seems stronger than ever for interventions to integrate blended learning modes where media is used during in-person and remote contacts with service users (as well as self-directed learning between sessions). I am really keen to help build the capability of criminal justice professionals to co-create digital media to reach their audience in new ways. I’m keen to promote the potential of digital media as a vehicle to put service user voices and stories at the heart of services.

I have written about my CDM approach with Dr Victoria Knight in a paper setting out the following CDM design principles:

■ purpose – everyone involved in making and testing a CDM asset must understand its aims, objectives, and how it will be used;

rich and multifaceted – each CDM asset will bring together a range of modalities;

■ clarity – concepts/skills should use visuals and text to elucidate key components;

accessibility – information should be presented in plain English, and when needed in easy read;

■ involvement – service users should be involved in CDM development as early and frequently as possible; and

authenticity – media should genuinely sell the benefits of skills in a relatable way

In our paper, we also talk about digital platforms that are already available in custody and community criminal justice settings. We have begun using these platforms to enable access to CDM:

■ The in-cell HUB delivered by HMPPS Digital Studio on laptops available to every prisoner at two HMPPS prisons.

The Virtual Campus provides a service user-facing e-learning platform available in every prison education department.

A number of private companies offering secure software and tablet solutions which can host CDM in both custody and community settings.

■ WayOutTV (currently available in 47 prisons) also provides a platform that has broadcasted CDM content to reach a broader prison audience.

Experts-by-experience like Rob are essential to helping the transition to more digitally enabled ways of delivering services in criminal justice settings. There is a real opportunity for prison and probation providers to employ more of these experts to ensure the design and delivery of services is responsive to the needs of their peers.

I hope you can join me at my workshop and I look forward to showing you how to make your very own co-created animation!


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