Second Chance Education Project

Designing for dignity

second chance bg

In 2018, I worked with Dr. Miso Kim and a small team of international scholars to explore how the human value of dignity could be used as a principle of service design and systematically integrated into the design process. In particular, we focused on the service experience of formerly incarcerated students pursuing a college degree.

In 2018, I worked with a small team of international scholars to explore how the human value of dignity/indignity can be used as a principle of service design and systematically integrated into the design process. In particular, we focused on the service experience of formerly incarcerated students pursuing a college degree.

BACKGROUND

  • It has been proven that education is one of the most effective ways to help formerly incarcerated individuals reintegrate into society. However, support for these individuals in the current higher education system is rare, disjointed, and often discouraging
  • Education as a service is a fundamental way to support an individual’s sense of dignity & growth as an autonomous agent

METHODOLOGY

  • The team interviewed twelve stakeholders of prison education, including educators, tutors, counselors, reintegration service workers, and formerly incarcerated students using participatory methods (see below for examples)
  • Our team then used a service design approach combined with storytelling methods to propose design ideas

Participatory Interview Methods

I designed several participatory tools for facilitating interviews, using the storytelling framework of Campbell's Hero's Journey as a basic model for these activities.

1

The first participatory tool was the emotional journey map. Each participant was provided with a simplified version of the hero’s journey diagram and asked to use this model to narrate their experience. As they spoke, they then assigned emotion cards to each section.

The first participatory tool was the emotional journey map. Each participant was provided with a simplified version of the hero’s journey diagram and asked to use this model to narrate their experience. As they spoke, they then assigned emotion cards to each section.

Showing an emotional journey diagram

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The second participatory tool was the character association map, which inspired thoughtful comparisons and storytelling. The participants were given a printed grid of characters and asked to select the character that best represented them at a specific point in their lives. They were also asked to explain their reasoning once they selected a character.

character grid (1)

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The third participatory tool was ecosystem mapping. This activity uncovered key components of the participant's “ecosystem” during their reintegration to the community. The most important connections were added closer to the center and outlying elements were added within the outer rings.

ecology map

VISUAL MODELS

I designed an array of models to synthesize and visualize our research findings, including a journey map, stakeholder analysis, character association map, maps of barriers + success factors, and a map showing factors of dignity and indignity.

Territory Map

The education and re-entry process of an incarcerated individual is shown here in four main stages: education, transformation, reintegration, and contribution. With each stage, both autonomy and dignity increase, as demonstrated by the growing circles.  Each of the four stages also corresponds with Lennart Nordenfelt’s four notions of dignity, and four different stages of autonomy, which I modified from David Nunan’s model ‘Autonomy: levels of implementation.’

Screen Shot 2019-10-17 at 6.11.40 PM

Journey Map

This journey map displays the experience of current prison education programs. The very bottom splits up the journey into phases and shows corresponding emotions. There are various paths within each stage, as shown in the gray boxes.

Journey map (1)

Stakeholder Analysis + Character Association Map

The stakeholder analysis provides an overview of both the personal and operational stakeholders in prison education programs and shows how they are connected to one another.

The character association map was put together using the responses from the second participatory interviewing method and shows participants' emotions before being incarcerated, at the beginning /during /after their time in prison, and their hope for the future. Red and green colors indicate negative and positive emotions, respectively.

Stakeholder Map
Character Diagram

Barriers + Success Factors in Education & Key Factors to Reintegration

Many people faced various barriers both inside and outside of prison in receiving an education. This is highlighted by the first Venn diagram, which also shows factors that overlap (slide 1). At the same time, there are also success factors in education, many of which relate to attitude (slide 2). Lastly, I also created a map that showed key factors that help people successfully reintegrate, such as resources, support networks and technology (slide 3).

Dignity Map

Dignity was a key principle in our research. Through this diagram, I captured the main ideas from our interviews regarding dignity (green) and indignity (red). The size of the bubble indicates the frequency of the theme within our ethnographic research.

dignity map

RESEARCH OUTCOMES

We developed the concept of the "future self" as a way to deliver a service that provides upfront funding, ongoing mentorship, peer support, and a sense of dignity and autonomy gained by contributing to the community. The conceptual model below outlines the components that constitute this service, and the storyboard following it demonstrates this proposed framework in action.

conceptual model
storyboard