August 6, 2020

Hull TV: Thinking Differently about Prison Communications

Tony Oliver
HMP Hull

Governing a large, complex prison brings many challenges, not least how best to communicate with your staff, prisoners and of course other stakeholders in ways that are effective, accessible and operate both ways. By that I mean that those groups, not only receive information, key messages etc., but also have a way of communicating back to me and the Senior Leadership Team.

I was fortunate to have an executive coach, as part of the 10 Prisons Project (seeking, amongst other things, to improve leadership capability) and it was my coach (massive shout out to Angela Sabin) who encouraged me to think differently about impactful communication.

Being involved with an NHS funded project around the same time, looking at accessible information for prisoners in our care many of whom, as we know, have poor literacy levels, also helped shaped thinking and practices locally.

And so HTV (Hull TV) was born!! A way of piping a whole range of visual information, live or recorded, into prisoner cells and staff offices!

I couldn’t have achieved any of this without my fantastic Staff Officer (another 10PP benefit) and the Design & Printing Workshop team (Jorge and a group of talented prisoners). HTV has been massively important through the COVID-19 pandemic to keep prisoners and staff updated and to keep prisoners occupied during unprecedented regime restrictions.

One of the key elements (I would say this wouldn’t I) is my access to all staff and prisoners through my weekly vlog which goes into more detail about this highly effective, impactful and well received communication media #TeamHull @HMPHull

I hope you enjoy this video, so you can see how we bring the magic to life!

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