Prison Leavers Innovation Challenge

How to become part of innovative action to reduce the impact of crime on society.

Prison Leavers Innovation Challenge

The Prison Leavers Innovation Challenge

The Ministry of Justice is calling on all innovators who can support people leaving prison to apply for Government funding of up to £350,000 to develop and test their solutions.

The Prison Leavers Project aims to develop innovative new solutions to break the cycle of reoffending. The project has three distinct strands: national, cross-sector teams testing new ways to address the issues that can drive reoffending; a grant fund for local leaders and agencies to test shared approaches to reduce re-offending causing crime locally, and the Innovation Challenge.

This challenge aims to harness innovation from the tech sector to develop new technological tools and solutions that will help prison leavers stay on the straight and narrow, reducing the harms associated with crime.

Phases Explained

The Prison Leavers Innovation Challenge will be run as a two-phased Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition.

Phase 1

Up to 10 selected companies will receive Government funding of up to £25,000 to prototype their solution, culminating in a closed pitch day.

Phase 2

Up to 4 selected companies will receive Government funding of up to £350,000, as well as mentorship support, to develop their solution and design a Pilot. Once set up, companies will run their pilots in ‘steady state’ for 1 year.

The specific requirements and more details on the contractual specifications can be found in the Supplier guidance (updated 10 May) (PDF, 111KB, 7 pages).

Prison Leaver needs and context associated with each challenge statement in the Additional challenge context pack (PDF, 296KB, 15 pages)

Companies are asked to submit an expression of interest form and to attend an interview.

Challenge statements

We use challenge statements to communicate the problems we are asking the market to solve. We frame each problem as an open question or statement in order to attract innovators and a wide range of solutions. Find out more about Prison Leaver needs and context associated with each challenge statement in the Additional challenge context pack (PDF, 296KB, 15 pages)

Challenge 1 – Goal tracking

Building a positive, non-criminal identity is a key step in prison leavers’ desistance from crime. So how can we enable prison leavers to track their goals, reflect on progress, and bring about positive behavioural change, either alone or with mentors?

Challenge 2 – Day of release appointments

Prison leavers’ engagement with key organisations on their day of release builds ongoing relationships with services that steer them away from reoffending. So how can we inform, coordinate, and update relevant stakeholders of a prisoner’s day of release details and key appointments?

Challenge 3 – Data store

Lack of access to key documents and data such as ID, birth certificates and 5-year housing history prevents prison leavers from accessing jobs, housing and banking, increasing their likelihood of committing crime. So how can we enable prison leavers to collect, control and share their data with relevant stakeholders?

Challenge 4 – Family relationships

Families are an important part of creating a positive environment that contributes to a prison leavers’ desistance from crime. So how can we support families to strengthen and sustain their relationships with prison leavers to reduce reoffending after release?

Challenge 5 – Social groups

Building new, positive community ties stops prison leavers engaging with old criminal networks after release, risking a relapse to criminal activity. So how can we connect prison leavers with relevant and beneficial social & peer-to-peer support groups?

Challenge 6 – Learning difficulties and disabilities

Crucial information relating to conditions of release and services can be challenging for prison leavers with Learning Difficulties and Disabilities to fully understand, increasing the chances of reoffending. So how can we assist probation officers to manage prison leavers with Learning Difficulties and Disabilities?

Submit a question and FAQs

New questions and responses will be added to the Frequently Asked Questions page each week until the end of the application window.

Keep informed

Sign up to receive updates on the Prison Leavers Innovation Challenge.

Forms are managed by our delivery partner for the Prison Leavers Innovation Challenge, PUBLIC. Any information collected is used only for the stated purpose and will not be shared or stored by unrelated third parties.

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