Practice Transfer Taskforce

The Practice Transfer Taskforce seeks to highlight practices in jurisdictions and help to facilitate their implementation in other institutions worldwide

ICPA Practice Transfer Taskforce

Knowledge transfer doesn’t always or easily translate into the transfer of new practice. Many exemplary and innovative approaches emerge locally in one prison or community corrections jurisdiction. Unfortunately, they remain only local in their impact because they are not promoted, explained or even introduced to the broader corrections community. We believe ICPA is well-positioned to turn its attention to a more active strategy to encourage ‘practice transfer’ in addition to knowledge transfer.
The Taskforce sees its role as the primary support and coordinating committee for ‘connecting’ jurisdictions where interest in any particular ‘practice’ idea begins to take shape. We aim to nudge and promote rather than work actively executing any new practice transfer. This follows the principle that real success in practice transfer depends on the level of commitment and interest that can be generated, both among the originators of the idea and the potential new adopters. 
On a yearly basis, we will be able to choose two or three examples of exciting new practices that have been highlighted during the ICPA Annual Conference. Our process for selecting and then promoting these practices proceeds through the following steps.
Selection Criteria & Process
Selection criteria ensures that the projects are:
  • Innovative and significant. New ideas that can capture the imagination of the global corrections community;
  • Where the project has shown that it can be sustained for a reasonable period of time (e.g. two years or longer if not continually);
  • Where implementation appears to be possible and feasible;
  • Where there is evidence to support the project’s acceptance and its positive impact on offenders and/or staff (not necessarily quantitative evidence but at least some breadth of qualitative evidence showing improvement in social climate, attitudes, motivation, well-being … etc.);
  • Representing different regions of the world if not expected to be universally acceptable;
  • Where the project leaders are supportive of helping others wishing to implement the new idea;
A process follows the selection at most two or three projects each year:
  • The PC is asked to identify those projects that have been selected for presentation at the Annual Conference that seem to meet the criteria;
  • ICPA members (including ICPA Board Members) attending the Annual Conference are asked to nominate any project that they believe should be considered;
  • Any presenter to the Annual Conference can self-submit their project for consideration (with perhaps a short video to highlight why it should be considered);
  • The ICPA Practice Transfer Taskforce (PTTF) reviews all submitted nominations, selects a reasonable number to consider and then makes recommendations to the ICPA Board for final selection of two or three that would be promoted.
The selected projects will be informed and the Prison Transfer Taskforce arranges to meet individually with the leadership of each project (via Zoom) to determine their level of commitment and ability to support others in implementing a similar project.
  • The extent and boundaries of support that could be offered (both by the project originators and ICPA) would be clearly defined and a memorandum of understanding would be signed;
  • The details and sequence of what may be required to ‘transfer’ the idea would be clearly spelled out (e.g. how to introduce the idea to offenders and/or staff; senior leadership agreement to support the new idea …etc.)
  • The pace at which the practice transfer could occur would be agreed to;
  • Any opportunity for a ‘study tour’ by other jurisdictions would be discussed; 
Announcement & Reach-out
Announcement & Reach-out
ICPA announces the selection of the projects for the coming year (in January following the Annual Conference) using all of its various communication platforms (Web site, Facebook, Linked-In etc.).
  • Expressions of interest in participating in any of the practice transfer projects is welcomed from the ICPA global community, but only in those instances where there is senior leadership approval to proceed;
  • A clear statement of where and why the practice transfer would be considered (e.g., is it linked to some other broader objective the jurisdiction might have?);
  • Other conditions for offering ICPA support could also be considered;
  • ICPA welcomes jurisdictions to consider a particular practice transfer initiative (e.g., correspondence from the President of ICPA).
  • Where there is an ICPA Regional Chapter, their involvement in promoting any of the practice transfer ideas is encouraged.
Connecting & Facilitating
Connecting & Facilitating
ICPA, through the Taskforce serves only a ‘connecting and facilitating function', working together with originators and the new implementors to help assure there is continued collaboration and sharing of ideas for a smooth process of practice transfer. The Practice Transfer Taskforce announces the selection of new projects each coming year using all of ICPA’s various communication platforms (Web site, Facebook, Linked-In etc.).
Taskforce Members
Isabel Hight

Isabel Hight


Michael Spurr

Michael Spurr


Frank Porporino
Robert Goble

Robert Goble


Michelle Carpentier

Michelle Carpentier

Acting Executive Director, ICPA

Current Projects

The Twinning Project

Desistance from crime involves not only the termination of offending (also referred to as “primary desistance”), but also some level of transformation of self-identity and self-worth (also referred to as “secondary desistance”). Such transformation is usually presented through a “narrative of change” linked to taking on new roles (such as parent, employee, coach, etc.) that are no longer associated with offending. Avenues for transformation and pro-social role development are difficult to come by for many of those involved in the criminal justice system who are disproportionately drawn from socially excluded backgrounds. Coupled with the stigma attached to a criminal record, offenders also typically have low levels of pro-social capital, few positive relationships and limited employment prospects, all of which are required to support successful rehabilitation efforts. Research has shown that a “catalyst for change” is fundamental to successful desistance and rehabilitation efforts, and research is beginning to show that engagement in sport and physical activity can potentially act as such a catalyst. The introduction of the Twinning Project in 2018 within the HM Prison and Probation Service, which aims to utilise football coaching to tackle the “revolving door” of offending, was therefore a timely and important initiative.

The Creative Writing Programme

A creative writing project for inmates conducted in two Ugandan prisons by Pen Uganda in partnership with the Uganda Prisons Service. PEN Uganda has been running creative workshops for prisoners in some of the highest security female and male prisons in the country. Through poetry, theatre & creative writing, a number of inmates have said they been given hope of a second chance.


COVID-19 has intensified social isolation and worsened mental health for people in Canada and around the world. In response, Correctional Service Canada (CSC) and an academic team launched an arts-based initiative to support the well-being of federally incarcerated Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. CSC gifted art kits across institutions in the Pacific Region and invited individuals to share resulting artwork. Preliminary results show the therapeutic benefits of art-making amidst reduced access to visitation, programs, and Indigenous Elders.