PERU is working with Interserve / Purple Futures to develop new, more personalised ways of working with service users in the criminal justice system. Interserve, supported by PERU has embarked on a ‘personalisation’ project to develop, pilot and evaluate more innovative approaches to personalised ways of working with service users, promoting positive life choices, tackling root causes of lifestyle problems, and building personal capacity and resilience. This works draws on ‘desistance research’ and the Good Lives Model as well as a series of publications by PERU staff which have explored practical approaches to implementing personalisation in the criminal justice system and how to commission personalised services.

What is the need?

Interserve / Purple Futures is committed to co-designing personalised rehabilitative support packages with service users that both enables them to change and delivers the sentence. Such an approach offers an intensive service that maximises service user direction and integration into local communities.

What are we doing?

A project team has been established by Interserve/Purple Futures to develop, test and pilot different approaches to Personalisation. PERU is working closely with this team with a particular focus on evaluation and PERU’s Chris Fox is also part of the project steering group.

A review of relevant research and previous projects was undertaken and five concepts linked to personalisation were identified for further development and testing in one of more of Interserve’s Community Rehabilitation Companies. To test how these concepts we worked with Interserve to set up small-scale ‘proof of concept’ tests. PERU designed and supported their evaluation. The five concepts tested in 2017 were as follows:

1. Introduction of person centred practice, including a new approach to co-production with service users.
2. Choice and control promotion through use of an enabling personal fund, with a simple administrative process, to support the service user achieve specific goals and outcomes as part of a personal plan.
3. Personal enabling fund for women held by a supply chain provider for women service users to enable the service to provide more flexible and personalised support.
4. Co-produced projects with service users to develop their own services / enterprises with an enabling shared grant.
5. Navigation and Access to Community Networks through community capacity building to offer more choice in community and accessing community services.

From these initial tests or small-scale pilots a single, larger pilot has been developed and it is being implemented and evaluated during 2018. PERU will be designing and undertaking the evaluation.

What will be the outcomes?

A number of ‘Proof of concept’ pilots took place in different sites during 2017. PERU supported the evaluation of them and reporting on their progress. Two evaluation reports from this phase of the work can be downloaded at the bottom of this page. Results from three of the pilots have been published in the European Sociological Review.

We have now taken the learning from these pilots and are working with Interserve to undertake a larger pilot in one site. This second pilot is part of a larger, pan-European project on co-creating public services, COSIE (

What are the timescales?

This project commenced in 2016 and is expected to run for at least 2 years.

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