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Unilink Technology Services, part of The Unilink Group, has won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Innovation


Unilink receives this prestigious award for the development of outstanding, innovative products which help prisons to become more rehabilitative.  Unilink’s secure email service allows messages to be sent to and from prisons rapidly, while ensuring that security requirements are maintained.  This works with Unilink’s prisoner self-service system that enables messages to be delivered securely to and from prisoners through biometric kiosks and in-cell devices.

The Group’s Founder and CEO Francis Toye said:  “Unilink is delighted and honoured to receive this award.  It is for a product and service that is proven to help with the rehabilitation of prisoners by bringing them closer to their friends and families and the support to help reduce reoffending.  I want to thank our customers, the friends and family or prisoners, the over one hundred prisons we work with and I must not forget the staff, without whom this excellent service would not have been possible”.

That this software makes prisons safer and more rehabilitative has been shown by an independent study into prisoner self-service by Prof. Cynthia McDougall of the University of York, which concluded that there was a significant effect of giving prisoners more responsibility through self-service.  The software is used in every privately run prison in the UK and some public prisons and in addition Unilink has just won a $2.5 million AUD contract to supply equivalent systems in Australia.

Email-a-prisoner, which helps family and friends communicate easily with prisoners to maintain relationships that are key to reducing reoffending, has also been awarded ‘Best Citizen App’ and has also been recognised with the award of the overall 2015 Digital Leader.

About Unilink:  The Unilink Group comprises four operating companies and has also offices in Australia, South Africa and the Netherlands in addition to the UK.  The company is privately owned and focussed upon developing innovative technology for niche markets.

Unilink is a world leader in prisoner self-service and offender management software.  This has been demonstrated through independent evidence from York University which shows that the software contributes significantly towards rehabilitation in the prisons in the UK where it is operating today.

Unilink was established in 1994. The Unilink Group now employs 65 staff across four operating companies specialising in the Justice Sector. It is an award winning UK medium sized company with multiple awards for Innovation (2011) and in 2015 won two awards as the overall UK Digital Leader as well as the best Citizen Services application for “email a prisoner”. Unilink is currently active in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Europe.

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Comments from customers and partners:

To all the good people of Unilink Technology: – I just wanted to extend my heart-felt congratulations on winning the Queens Award.  You provide a wonderful service.  Thank you thank you thank you! Juliet

Congratulations on your award. I look forward to the further roll out of the reply service, kiosks and in cell access. I understand that services have to be invited to tender, but to initiate the process there has to be a perceived need and potential solution. Keep up the good work and yes I know this email goes to tech support but you are vital part of the service that makes it viable. Sue Donoghue

Many congratulations on receiving this honour. Your achievement of it is richly deserved – very well done! Jerry Petherick, Managing Director G4S

Congratulations for your award and best wishes! Tiago Cardoso Leitão, IPS_Innovative Prison Systems

Congratulations! This is fantastic – what an achievement, Tony, a2b print solutions

Many congratulations to everyone on receiving the Queen’s Award for Enterprise and Innovation.   I am delighted to hear it, and the award is well deserved. Prof. Cynthia McDougall, OBE, Ph.D. University of York

Many congratulations! Service we had from Paul & Dave was exceptional so well deserved. Carolyn Bramall, CTU, HMP Manchester

Congratulations, I also saw this on LinkedIn earlier today as well, quite an accomplishment. Also please share my congrats to Zaneta and Francis. Fred Ramon

Congratulations Unilink! Aarron Hoy, UPS Ltd.

CONGRATULATIONS to everyone – very pleased for you guys 🙂 🙂 Alex Deane, Managing Director & Head of Public Affairs UK, Strategic Communications, FTI Consulting

Well done sirs!! Nigel Cook, Lead ICT Administrator, HMP Yarl’s Wood

On behalf of ICPA I would like to congratulate Unilink on their award.  Beth Johnston, ICPA

Congratulations guys.  Well done, a great achievement. Andrew Beck, Deputy Managing Director & Director of Operations, Justice and Health – Serco Asia Pacific

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