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Jailbrake weekend

Mar 22, 2010

from their website:

Jailbrake is a competition to find and support great ideas that could break the cycle of youth offending using simple web and mobile tools. Whether that’s about helping more young people access services and support, or giving them a way of staying safe.

We’re looking for people who have an idea about how to slow down and stop the cycle of youth offending – whether you’re part of a youth offending team, a service user, police officer or a member of a local community – with people who can make their ideas idea a reality.

....From January to March 2010, we ran a call for ideas to find great new ideas to slow down and stop the cycle of youth offending using simple web and mobile tools.

A grand total of 50 very early stage ideas were submitted to Jailbrake and we chose just six that we saw the greatest potential to build at the Jailbrake weekend, 26th-28th March 2010.

So here are our six ideas:


An automated reminder service using text messages to help young people keep track of order restrictions, meetings, appointments and other commitments. MyPA would help a young person manage their time with YOTs or other people supporting them and could offer tailored ‘nudges’ (for example reminders of appointments the night before) and also more detailed advice (perhaps public transport information). For young people with chaotic lives, it could help them manage their time, commitments and relationships with supporting services....

Phone a friend

A mobile-based system for providing peer-to-peer crisis support for vulnerable young people who want help getting out of situations where they feel they might caught up in criminal behaviour and don’t feel they have anyone else they can talk to. The service will be staffed by young people who have a history of contact with the criminal justice system....

Lost and Found

A mobile text system to connect young people to services and support. Users are asked “What have you lost?” and can respond with pre-set answers covering different issues e.g. “I’ve lost my head” (mental health) and “I’ve lost my job” (employment & training). Users input part of their postcode and get a customised Google-map of all the relevant services around them with information on opening hours, contact details and so forth....

Common Ground

This is an idea to provide a safe secure space online for offenders and victims of crime to engage in dialogue in a restorative fashion. These discussions would also give the perspective of both parties to the wider public, transforming their perceptions of young people in trouble with the law. The web-based system would aid existing restorative justice processes or all cases where the victim and the offender want to have a channel of communication....

Service Signposter

Finding accommodation for ex-offenders is particularly challenging. Service Signposter is a tool to help young ex-offenders find a place to live by better matching up housing providers with those supporting a young person through a web-based platform.... It could be a place for housing providers to post details of availability and suitability of accommodation and for the people supporting an ex-offender to look up a suitable place for them to stay. There could even be a way for young people to rate the accommodation and provide feedback.


An application that helps ex-offenders identify and communicate their talents and skills beyond those gained from formal qualifications, creating an online profile or CV that enables them to access a pool of job opportunities. The interface is designed using familiar social network language such as “create a profile”, “applications” and “quiz” to engage the user. The system takes this information and translates it into a list of skills and abilities in a language that can be used to write a personal profile (compatible with traditional careers planning)....

Check out their website.

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Paul Crosland
Paul Crosland says:
Mar 31, 2010 12:46 PM

As the main presenter of the "Safe Ground" project that was awarded first prize by the panel (youth justice board, prison reform trust, police improvement agency & foyer housing foundation), I'm trying now to collect further practioner/public feedback on the radical(?) idea that won the competition. What do you think of an on-line way for Restorative Practitioners to mediate/moderate text messages/ phone messages / video clips between victims and offenders?

Michael Omogrosso
Michael Omogrosso says:
Apr 03, 2010 03:29 PM

Virtual reality (and relating on-line is a virtual presence) is becoming more real that virtual--that is we are spending more time on-line than face to face. Its greatest advantage for the victim, who IMHO should be the primary focus, is a very safe place from which to make contact with the offender. The more victims can feel safe, the more victims are likely to step up to the restorative Justice plate and that can increase the number of offenders who can make genuine restitution of the harm they caused.

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