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    Hassockfield Secure Training Centre

    Hassockfield Secure Training Centre (STC) has implemented a bespoke telephone communications system with the support of technology experts at Unify Business Solutions.

    The system enables young people to maintain regular contact with loved ones, whilst delivering a safe and calm custodial environment. 

     

    The Challenge

    Hassockfield STC cares for young people aged between 12 and 17 who are either awaiting trial or serving sentences. 

    For young people serving a custodial sentence, access to a telephone is extremely important. Regular contact with family, carers and loved ones has a significant and positive impact on a young person’s well-being during time spent apart and subsequent resettlement. As a result, having a well managed communications system can play a significant role in maintaining a calm and settled environment.

    Unify began working with Hassockfield in 2012 to develop an innovative telephone system that would manage and monitor communications with the outside world.

    The solution

    Working closely with Hassockfield, Unify developed a customised, industry leading solution that delivers the highest levels of security and control. 

    The telephone system enables calls to be made from, or transferred to, the young persons’ bedroom where individuals can communicate in the privacy of their room. 

    An individual PIN system enables controls and restrictions that include pre-authorised number lists, time of day, and talk time. Security measures also include a lockdown function for immediate disablement.

    At Hassockfield the system is set up to give each young person credits for a pre-agreed amount of talk time. Users here do not incur a cost however it is possible to charge users for the amount of talk time used at a fully adjustable rate.

    The telephone system is linked to the incentive and privilege scheme operating at Hassockfield. Talk time can be extended as a benefit or reward for good behaviour, or reduced to a minimum when necessary. 

    The outcome

    Hassockfield has an innovative and secure telephone system with a range of bespoke features. The system is flexible and robust, with extensive capabilities to manage and monitor call data. 

    Staff have reported a calmer environment with less conflict and bullying. This has been attributed to users having the opportunity to communicate openly in the privacy of their bedroom. 

    The telephone system has enabled staff to better manage communications and record and monitor calls, maximising security and protecting the young people in their care.

    Going forward

    The telephone system has an extensive range of features that can be routinely adapted and developed to maintain the security and safety of the Centre.

    Additional innovations can include setting up trigger words when recording telephone conversations. Examples of how this can be used include preventing attempts to bring contraband substances or items into the Centre, detecting issues around self harm or bullying, and enabling the Centre to maximise the care offered to residents. 

     

    Steve Hewer, director at Hassockfield STC

    “The phone system is a fantastic innovation with a wide range of benefits, measures and controls. 

    “When people are released from custody one of the main things that stops them from reoffending and aids resettlement, alongside further education and work, is the family contact they have maintained. The telephone system allows us to manage and maintain this family contact.

    “It is a fantastic system as we can easily log in and extend phone time for individuals, giving them benefits and reward good behaviour. By directly linking to the incentive and privileges scheme we run in the Centre it offers an additional benefit to us.”