Families of prisoners want “In”

Written by Francis Toye, CEO Unilink

A survey before and after the vote shows drastic shift in opinions towards Brexit

Unilink – a world leader in prisoners self-service and offender management asked the users about their view on Brexit before and after the vote

  • 42% of the surveyed declared that they want UK to Remain in the EU a year after the vote, as opposed to 25% before 23rd June 2016
  • Only 37% of the people want UK to Leave now, while in 2016 before the referendum 44% wanted out of EU
  • Before 30% were uncertain but today only 20% say that they do not know

Friends and family of offenders serving time in British prisons want UK to remain part of the European Union. This shows a survey on pre and post Brexit vote opinions carried out among people who are in a regular contact with inmates. Unilink, which is the world leader in prisoner self-service and offender management, carried out the survey.

One of the Unilink’s services is Email-a-Prisoner which helps inmates stay in touch with their loved ones, proven to lower the chances of re-offending. The service operates in 98% of all UK prisons for over nine years and delivers over a million messages per year. Unilink asked its users – the friends and family of prisoners- on their view on Brexit just before the Referendum and now a year after the official results are known.

As prisoners are not able to vote in the UK, this result, through immediate contact with loved ones, could be argued to reflect a proportion of the views of those in prison, giving a possible insight into how they may have voted had they been able. This demonstrating the impact of prison technology in increasing prisoners’ feeling of inclusion and participation in society.

































42% want UK to remain part of the European Union, only 37% want the country to leave the union and 20% are uncertain. A year earlier the situation was much different – only 25% wanted Britain to stay in EU, 44% supported Brexit and 30% said they do not know. This shows a drastic shift in opinions among the surveyed.

80% of the interviewed participants are female. The majority of them – 40% are in the age group between 25 and 39 years, followed by 40 to 60 years old with average earnings of less than £20,000 per annum.

Unilink’s secure email service allows messages to be sent to and from prisons rapidly, while ensuring that security requirements are maintained.  This works with Unilink’s prisoner self-service system that enables messages to be delivered securely to and from prisoners through biometric kiosks, in-cell devices and tablets.

Email-a-prisoner, which helps family and friends communicate easily with prisoners to maintain relationships that are key to reducing reoffending, has also been awarded ‘Best Citizen App’ and has also been recognised with the award of the overall 2015 Digital Leader.  In 2016 Unilink won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation. 

What Unilink’s customers say about Queen’s Award Winning Email a Prisoner:

“I find both email-a-prisoner and the secure payment service fantastic. I mainly use the email system and at HMP Kilmarnock my partner was able to reply which was a great way of keeping in contact. More Scottish prisons should have the reply service as it promotes family contact and also gives longer serving prisoners an insight into modern technology!” (LM, Ayrshire)

“I found this service fantastic as we could correspond with each other very easily and quickly and Kilmarnock had the reply service which helped me hugely as I suffer from depression and we could email each other back and forward and it was more private that speaking on a phone. 

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