Unilink’s self-service – a game changer

The self-service kiosks were a game changer for us in this journey
Pia Sinha – Governor – HMP Liverpool

HMP Liverpool is a category B local prison that serves the Merseyside area.

It was last inspected in September 2017, at which time it held around 1,150 prisoners. That inspection found that conditions had deteriorated from a previous poor inspection in 2015. In 2015 the judgement had been that the treatment and conditions of prisoners was ‘not sufficiently good’ in all four of the healthy prison tests. By the time of the 2017 inspection, there had been no improvements, and judgement had deteriorated to the lowest possible result, poor.

The troubling inspection led to the unprecedented decision by the Parliamentary Justice Select Committee to hold an evidence-based session on the findings of the inspection. This led to a new governor being appointed, prisoners were reduced by 450 - 500 prisoners and an extensive refurbishment too place.
As part of the refurbishment, electronic kiosks with self-service software solution were introduced. These are produced and implemented by Unilink.

The use of electronic kiosks had vastly improved various activities. Prisoners were positive about their access to the kiosks which enabled them to ‘get things done’ much more effectively than in the past.

Amongst other things, the electronic kiosk system allowed prisoners more regular and speedy contact with their offender supervisor. Prisoners could now choose their meals, book visits and submit applications using these electronic kiosks which afforded them some welcome control over their daily lives. Prisoners were also able to use the electronic kiosk system to transfer pay to their phone credit on the day of receipt, which again was very positive.

The impact of these and other measures have been dramatic. The latest inspection found that 49 out of 72 recommendations made in 2017 had been fully achieved, and a further four partially achieved. This is an exceptionally high achievement rate and is particularly creditable in light of the dire situation at the prison only two years before.