Using strategic design to create the world’s best prison

The Criminal Sanctions Agency and Senate Properties are working on a project to shape the prison of the future. The idea behind the design project is to ensure that prisoners will be better equipped to lead a crime-free life once they are released. On a global scale, the way in which this project combines placing focus on the customer and effect with the simulation of operational processes, is unique.

What would be the qualities of the world’s best prison?

It would certainly need to be the kind of prison that releases prisoners who are motivated and who are also capable of facing the world and leading a crime-free life.

The world’s best prison, a learning environment for a crime-free life, is currently being developed in Hämeenlinna. Scheduled to open in 2020, the new women’s prison is being designed based on the the premise of functionality and operational culture. It means that effective services and operations need to be designed first, followed by supportive space solutions. Everything has been validated and modelled in advance in order to ensure that the planned operations and facilities are efficient and the allocated resources are adequate.

Senate Properties is behind the vision of developing the innovative strategic design. Project Manager, Anne Sundqvist, Senior Adviser at Senate Properties, worked with Pasi Kaitila from its partner, Workspace, to put together a multi-sector team of specialists and determine the required specialist services in order to assist the Criminal Sanctions Agency. Particular thanks for initiating the project should go to Pauli Nieminen, Performance Management Director at the Criminal Sanctions Agency. He had the courage to start something entirely new. An open mind and trust in experts led to a great result.

Developing the operations of a new prison has been a remarkable joint effort involving various sectors, and a unique demonstration of combined expertise. Senate Properties and Workspace were responsible for the strategic design, component coordination and overall management. Juha Eskelinen of Melkior Oy was responsible for defining the impact objectives, indicators and economic criteria that were used as guidelines in service development. Kati Nurminen and her company, Kopla Helsinki Oy (now Marketing Clinic), were responsible for customer insight and service design. Led by Vesa Paju, Delfoi Oy carried out extensive work in describing the new service and production processes and validating the solutions through simulation.

The entire process involved close cooperation with Criminal Sanctions Agency experts and Hämeenlinna prison. Development, planning and participation involved more than 100 people from prisoners to employees and from service providers to a multitude of partners.

The Criminal Sanctions Agency will use the results of the work across the country. Since the start of 2018, the Criminal Sanctions Agency has used the Hämeenlinna prison model to define service maps for all its prisons.

Its goal is to build prisons that aim to set prisoners up for a crime-free life. This means releasing prisoners in good shape and ensuring they are equipped with the necessary skills and abilities to settle and find their place in society. It is not just about services, it is about a comprehensive rehabilitation culture and interaction with regard to human dignity.

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