Prison Service signs deal with Unilink to set up workshop at HMP Littlehey to supply other institutions
One3One Solutions, the commercial arm of Prison Industries part of the Ministry of Justice, has signed a contract with technology company Unilink to open the first kiosk assembly workshop in a British prison.
They are setting up the workshop at HMP Littlehey to provide kiosks for other prisons around the country.
It follows a trial in which six volunteer prisoners received 25 hours training then manufactured five kiosks, which met the quality requirements of the Prison Service.
Unilink’s kiosks are installed in 26 prisons in England and Wales, wall or floor mounted and specifically designed for high security environments. The touch screens are resistant to attack, flames, water; and the metal cases have no ligature points.
Prisoners log on to the kiosk using their fingerprint and can submit requests to staff and receive responses, check their account balances, order their meals from a menu, shop, arrange visits and access FAQs amongst other things. This frees prison officers’ time from administration and gives more responsibility to the prisoners to deal with the things that matter most to them.
“Setting up the kiosk assembly workshop in HMP Littlehey was an easy choice,” said Lance Harris, commercial business manager at One3One Solutions, directorate of rehabilitation and assurance at HMPPS. “This is a category C prison, that holds convicted male prisoners for mid to long term sentences.
“The establishment has a very well-equipped workshop facility and prides itself with the intricate electrical work that it has been producing for years for private companies. The offenders here normally have previous work experiences, the majority of them have been in employment and have the required work ethic.
“Manufacturing the consoles is very intricate work. The prisoners enjoy doing it and they find it rewarding.”
The offenders work around six hours a day and are getting paid a weekly wage in line with the prison policy. Harris added that they could receive certification from an accredited body as part of equipping them with skills for their rehabilitation.
Unilink said that demand for the kiosks is growing and it will be able to provide employment to more prisoners, and possibly to extend to another workshop in a female prison.
The company operates another small kiosk assembly workshop in Adelaide, Australia.
Image: Kathy Ellis of Unilink and Lance Harris