Building Momentum for Bail Reform
Status: Ongoing | December 2019 – present
Fact: 70% of people held in Ontario jails are legally innocent.
Source: Auditor General of Ontario, 2019 Report on Correctional Services and Court Operations, page 16
Ontario’s bail system is obviously broken: it’s deeply unfair and negatively impacts thousands of people.
We already know how to fix it – legal experts and the government already agree on what’s needed. So why, after so many years, has there been so little progress?!
Unfortunately bail as a topic:
- Confuses … the public with misinformation & false talking points
- Divides… the legal community with finger-pointing & frustration
- Scares… politicians into avoidance & delay
We began in October 2019 with a literature review, system mapping exercise, and design brief. We then conducted off-the-record interviews with leading academics, defence counsel, duty counsel, community legal clinics, and other expert stakeholders.
We synthesized our research into a concise and compelling Creative Brief which served as the key plank of our social media campaign to attract applications from talented creatives for our Creative Design Challenge. From a field of over 80 applicants, we selected 35 participants on criteria such as level of experience, quality of portfolio, personal connection to the issues, and ensuring a balance of skill sets among participants.
On the day of the Creative Design Challenge, we were joined by a complement of four experts on bail and two creative leaders from a world-class ad agency who helped engage and inspire the participants.
Creative Design Challenge
Creative Design Challenge
The February 1st Creative Design Challenge was the project’s half-way point and represented the culmination of three months’ work by our team of volunteers – a unique collection of lawyers, UX/service designers, graphic designers, marketing strategists, and more, who share a passion for using creative design for social good.
You can browse all our workshop materials, including the day’s agenda, creative brief, posters, and more, at this link.
After a day of learning and exploration, participants presented a wide range of compelling concepts which have already opened many exciting pathways for further development. Some common themes included:
- Experiential design: an art installation that helps users better understand the process/experience of being on remand
- Interactive products: data visualizations or “choose your own adventure”-style narratives
- Storytelling: video documentary series of true-to-life stories
- Marketing tactics to provoke and engage: “missing person” posters that highlight unfair bail decisions or unfair conditions of release
UX design, graphic design, marketing, corporate consulting, education, data science, technical writing, law, public policy & political science.