The Criminal Justice System is overseen by the Ministry of Justice with delivery by a wide range of organisations including Police and Crime Commissioners, Police Forces, HM Courts and Tribunal Service, and HM Prisons and Probation Service.
The private sector is increasingly being used to support the system with services like the operation of prisons, detention centres and custody suites, prisoner and detainee escorting, offender learning and education, offender supervision in the community, and electronic monitoring.
Common questions our bid writers prepare in justice bids include:
- Security – physical and procedural
- Project and programme management
- Health, safety and welfare
- Procurement (e.g. of vehicles)
- Facilities management (e.g. maintenance of a prison or detention centre)
- IT systems (design, build, and integration)
- Staff training and management
- TUPE transfer
- Logistics planning
- Education and activities
- Visits and access to legal advice
- Management of risks and issues
- Contingency Planning
- Stakeholder management and communications
- Quality management
- Sustainability, including environmental matters, and compliance with the Social Value Act
Our approach to Justice Bid Writing
We adopt a flexible approach to preparing these types of bids as each one is different and our clients have different requirements.
For large and complex bids, we typically produce and agree with you a bid plan at the start of the project that includes bid phases, key deliverables and milestones.
They are likely to include:
- Holding an initial workshop with those people in your company who will have an input into the bid so that we all understand the nature of the bid, your strategy, key milestones and deadlines.
- Identifying subject matter experts – those people in your company who hold the information we need to prepare the tender.
- Creating a storyboard for each question – that is an outline of the content, win themes and evidence – by interviewing the subject matter experts and holding workshops.
- Producing a first draft of the responses to each question for review by the subject matter experts to check for factual accuracy. These are sometimes called Amber Reviews.
- Identifying from the narrative opportunity to enhance the bid by providing diagrams, graphs and other forms of visual evidence.
- Refining the responses following feedback from the Amber Reviews ahead of presenting the draft bid to a wider team within your company who will be responsible for approving its content. These are sometimes called Red Reviews.
- Final polishing of the narrative ahead of a final sign-off by your management team and its submission to you client (Gold Reviews).
For smaller bids, we will work with you to agree a ‘light touch’ approach that meets your requirements.
Our experience in Justice Bid Writing
The following provides an overview of the types of justice bids we have supported.
Prisoner and detainee escorting bids have exacting requirements with a focus on security and welfare
Prisoner and detainee escorting bid writing
Prisoners and detainee escorting involves the transport of people held in custody by the police, the courts or immigration and customs authorities between one place and another. For example, a prisoner may need to be taken to court for trial, moved from a police station to a detention centre, or, in the case of an immigration detainee, taken to the airport for deportation. Prisoner and detainee welfare is paramount, as is security. For larger contracts like the Ministry of Justice’s Prisoner Escort and Custody Services (PECS), the logistics involved to move upwards of 2,000 people every day is immense.
We have successfully helped clients to prepare prisoner and detainee escorting bids. Requirements were exacting and clients benefited from the extensive experience we have of the justice sectors to help test their solution, develop a compelling narrative, and demonstrate compliance.
Operation of prisons and detention centres bid writing
Prisons and detention centres are often large and complex places, where strong management and rigorous procedures are necessary to keep them safe and secure for staff and prisoners/detainees. The facilities work within a framework of legislation and expectations set out by statutory inspection bodies and can be audited without notice at any time to assess how well they are performing.
A number of the UK’s prisons are run entirely by the private sector while others use contractors for key services like facilities management, the delivery of education and rehabilitation activities, and catering. There is an increasing focus on outcomes that reduce re-offending rates.
We have supported clients to prepare bids for prisons and detention centres for the last 5 years and have successfully helped them to translate their service and innovation ideas into winning narrative.
Prison are complex facilities where the Government is increasingly using outcomes to measure their success at reducing reoffending
Offender management involves supervising people convicted by the courts in the community to help them address their offending behaviour
Offender management / probation services bid writing
Offender management involves working with people convicted by the courts to help them turn their lives around and address their offending behaviours. At the same time, the service provides the courts with assurance that punishments have been completed and the public with assurance they are being kept safe. Most offender management work is community based but increasingly companies and charities are working in prisons to help offenders prepare for their release. This ‘through the gate’ work provides prisoners with continuity of support once they leave custody.
We have prepared bids for larger clients wanting to run the Government’s Community Rehabilitation Companies, as well as smaller organisations providing support to targeted groups of offenders like women, those without permanent accommodation or who have drug and alcohol dependency issues.
Electronic monitoring bid writing
Electronic monitoring is increasingly being used by Government to track offenders released into the community. Monitoring can include an ability to know where a person is in ‘real time’ through to ensuring they abide with the terms of a curfew, and providing an auditable record of their movements.
Electronic monitoring bids are complex as they rely on the integration of technology (electronic monitoring tags, mapping software, and mobile connectivity). At the same time, the logistics requires detailed planning so that the contract can react quickly to deploy field officers across the country in response to the needs of the courts and the behaviour of offenders.
Our electronic monitoring experience includes working with the client to help assure their operational solution and then preparing the bid narrative that demonstrated to the Ministry of Justice and Home Office how their service would provide the necessary standards and assurance.
Electronic monitoring is increasingly being used by Government to manage offenders in the community using technology that locates them in ‘real time’
Our bid writers have successfully helped clients tender for contracts to operate custody suites with the police, Border Force, Immigration Enforcement and the Courts.
Operation of custody suites bid writing
Different agencies require custody suites to hold people pending or during investigation. They include the police, Border Force, and Immigration Enforcement. HM Courts and Tribunal Service also have custody suites to hold prisoners remanded in custody while they are on trial. In some instances, detainees may only be held for a few hours. Others hold people for several days pending transfer to another facility. Detainee needs are very diverse and staff may have little information about the individual to tailor the care provided and manage the risks. Language may also be an issue.
Our bid writers have worked with clients to prepare their bids for the operation and maintenance of custody suites on behalf of Border Force, Immigration Enforcement, and the police. The success of those bids was an ability to demonstrate a balance between security, risk assessment, welfare and logistical planning while highlighting the benefits to the agencies of an innovative approach to the service.