Web design and branding helping people who have recently left prison find support services.
Client — Prisoner Support Network
The Prisoner Support Network approached our class to help improve access to their network of services providers. The Network is entirely run by past offenders, and aims to reduce recidivism rates; over 45% of Irish prisoners released have re-offended within three years.
Key considerations for this project were a sensitivity and understanding of the experiences of those who have been to prison. It was a priority to be aware and sensitive to cultural and personal differences. High illiteracy levels in prison populations were also important to consider, as were touchpoints. The inherent quality of prisons, isolation, makes spreading information on services difficult.
From my research I believed heavily pictographic communication would be incoherent to both literate and non-literate people, so I instead focused on making the text simple; breaking it down into smaller chunks, and revealing information gradually.
To first get the word out, posters and leaflets were designed. As there are few touchpoints available, focus was put upon these to make a lasting impact. The Prisoner Support Network holds talks within most prisons around Ireland, and hand out leaflets which are usually left behind. The newly designed leaflets have the most important information separated with guides around them at a bookmark size, to nudge the prisoner to at least rip out and keep the most vital information.
Computer literacy rates are lower among people who have been to prison, and smartphones are the most common method to access the internet among ex-prisoners. A focus was put on an interface well equipped for small screens, and methods to instruct users. I discovered it may be possible for posters to be put up beside phones in prisons; designing the leaflets, posters and mobile touchpoints concurrently, the printed matter inform how to use the website by having the same structure and featuring the main interactable element of the website.