HMP Parc, part of the G4S prison estate, is widely regarded as a centre of excellence for innovation and practice. ignition has previously provided training in both Motivational Interviewing (MI) and MI-informed Investigative Interviewing techniques to the prison over a decade ago.
With the re-organisation of the prison estate in England and Wales, and the emphasis on Integrated Offender Management, new attention has focussed on the need to engage prisoners who have ‘dropped out’ of sentence planning or are resistant to accessing the programmes available.
Sarah Francis, Senior Operations Manager (Interventions) identified that while some quality engagement work did occur, HMP Parc wanted to establish a clear and consistent model and skills set for promoting such engagement and facilitating change, commenting:
“With Integrated Offender management and the Every Contact Matters agenda, offender engagement in custody has really come back into focus in relation to sentence planning and risk assessment at Parc. Ignitions ideas about ‘Motivational Interaction’ and the vision to take motivational work ’out of the box’ so that it isn’t perceived as something that can only be done within offending behaviour programmes, is something that really resonates with what we want to achieve at Parc in terms of embedding motivational approaches in everyday interactions between prisoners and staff”.
In November 2014 ignition delivered two days of core MI training to a wide variety of prison staff tasked with working with resistance and promoting ‘change thinking’. An interetsing note is that staff saw MI as providing the unifying framework needed to underpin earlier training in Restorative Justice. This 2 day input will be followed by a third, skill development day in ealry 2015. Sarah said:
“The 2 day foundation training was professionally delivered and engaging despite the content being quite intense. Staff from all backgrounds were able to relate to the material and saw the benefit of applying the approaches to their everyday interactions with individuals. I am excited about our plans to bring MI practices into the very heart of offender engagement at Parc and Ignition have helped to forge out a path by which this can be achieved through their enthusiastic and knowledgeable training. Integration of MI principles into our Initial Officer Training Course is a definite goal for 2015 as is continuing to upskill specialised groups of staff”.
This case study will be updated as the contract progresses.