Leading change on the inside

How do you get high-flying, socially conscious graduates to consider a career in the prison service – at the time, the least glamorous, least appreciated and most misunderstood public service of all?

Unlocked is a charity, based on the hugely successful TeachFirst model, that combines an accelerated graduate pathway into the prison service with an opportunity to study a funded master’s degree. The aim was bring more and higher-calibre individuals into the service to begin to address the monstrous expense and corrosive impact of prisoner reoffending.

It was a tough sell, but we visited prisons, interviewed prisoners, officers and prison governors, and built up a compelling narrative around the impact that thoughtful, switched-on prison officers can have. We developed a brand and a suite of assets including film and website that supported Unlocked’s launch, driving applications, turning scepticism to enthusiasm and catapulting Unlocked into The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers.