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Digital Leaders 2015 Winner – Prison Technology Services, part of Unilink Group

We are proud to announce that we are The 2015 Digital Leaders 100 Winners!


UK SME Prison Technology Services, part of the Unilink Group, has been awarded not one but two prestigious Digital Leaders 100 awards at the tenth National Digital Award ceremony held last night:  Emailaprisoner, which helps family and friends communicate easily with prisoners to maintain relationships that are key to reducing reoffending, has been awarded ‘Best Citizen App’ and has also been recognised with the award of the overall 2015 Digital Leader.

Founded by Derek Jones, an ex-offender, and now part of Unilink, Emailaprisoner is an international success story operating through the UK, in the Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand.

The Group’s Founder and CEO Francis Toye said:  “This is fantastic news for an excellent team of people who give a brilliant service to over 250,000 users.  We are delighted by these awards and being acknowledged by such an esteemed panel.  We also had over 10,000 members of the public voting for us which goes to show how we are valued.  Over the last 14 years our committed team has developed services and products that radically improve the efficiency and rehabilitative potential of prisons.  This recognition is well deserved. The Justice Select Committee recently recommended that the government look into the cost benefits of self-service across the prison estate; if there is new investment in Justice we hope NOMS will now consider what already works well in the UK.”

Unilink Group designs and develops IT products and services to improve the operation of justice from offender management, to award winning services like emailaprisoner and secure payments as well as self-service kiosks and in-cell devices that can be used by prisons and probation to manage administrative tasks such as food ordering, appointment booking and education – saving hundreds of hours of staff time.  The technology is used across every private prison in the UK and internationally.

Craig Thompson, Director of Serco-run HMP Kilmarnock, said of the technology: “In Scotland we have pioneered the combination of two-way secure messaging from friends and family via kiosks and it has proved highly successful enabling prisoners to keep in better contact with friends and family.  It’s a fantastically innovative and reliable product backed up by excellent support”.

Unilink has built a solid reputation for its work with the private prison sector both in the UK and abroad, and is now used in every private prison in the UK.   Mike Conway of Sodexo told the Justice Committee that Unilink systems had significant benefits for prison operation: “Prison officers are freed up to concentrate on spending time with prisoners rather than sitting in a back-office dealing with one hundred and fifty canteen applications… they have been an invaluable element of innovation.”

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