Design considerations for a digital service to support prison leavers

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People leaving prison experience significant challenges upon release. Due to limited funding, only a small proportion of prison leavers receive specialist reintegration support to help them return to the community. Those who receive support have better outcomes across a range of domains and are less likely to be reincarcerated. This study sought to understand how digital services, such as smartphone-based applications, can provide a low-cost, scalable option to extend reintegration support to a broader cohort. To ascertain this, interviews and workshops were conducted with people with lived experience of prison, program staff from a leading community service organisation (CSO) that provides reintegration services, and policy and operational staff from an Australian state's Department of Justice (DOJ). It was found that digital services have the potential to help prison leavers find and access relevant services, coordinate their own support, and establish supportive peer networks. This paper outlines the critical design considerations that such a service should encompass, including that it must recognise the diverse needs of prison leavers and embed self-determination.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2022 ACM Designing Interactive Systems Conference
EditorsRohit Ashok Khot, Penny Sweetser, Marianna Obrist
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781450393584
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventDesigning Interactive Systems 2022 - Online, Australia
Duration: 13 Jun 202217 Jun 2022 (Proceedings) (Website)


ConferenceDesigning Interactive Systems 2022
Abbreviated titleDIS 2022
Internet address


  • design justice
  • digital justice
  • justice
  • prison leavers
  • prisoners
  • reintegration
  • Sensitive HCI

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