Norfolk Business Awards 2018

Norwich tech firm Prison Voicemail praised by academics for helping strengthen family ties

PUBLISHED: 16:49 30 August 2017 | UPDATED: 17:02 30 August 2017

Prison Voicemail founders Kieran Ball, left, and Alex Redston. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Prison Voicemail founders Kieran Ball, left, and Alex Redston. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2017

The work of a Future50 tech company which connects prisoners and their families has been endorsed by academics, who found it helps to cut reoffending and strengthens relationships.

Prison Voicemail allows offenders and their loved ones to stay in touch through recorded messages, and helps to tackle the problem of accessing a phone to call home. The technology is already in use in 100 prisons across the UK and has more than 4,000 users on both sides of the prison walls.

Lauren Mumby and Prof Todd Hogue from the University of Lincoln found that 63% of prisoners who responded said it helped them behave better in prison, while 83% of families and 93% of prisoners said their relationships were better because of Prison Voicemail.

Kieran Ball and Alex Redston, co-founders of the Norwich-based company, said they were “delighted”, and would conduct more research on technology, family ties and prisoner wellbeing.

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