Published by Andrew Haldenby on 8 November 2016
- Our Work
- The Reformer Blog
31 March 2017
As policing and justice organisations look towards a digitally enabled justice system, that delivers major benefits to those who work in it, use it, and pay for it, what strikes me is how similar the issues are to those in the health system a few years ago. That sector is already seeing transformations in the patient ‘journey’ and there are many areas in the criminal justice system journey which could be transformed by the application of technology.
Prisons and probation services can have improved information allowing more tailored prisoner regimes. They can reduce costs by using remote video technology instead of transporting prisoners to and from hearings. Additionally, improved education and prisoner intervention programmes can be delivered at lower cost within the prison environment, enabling better reintegration of offenders back into the community. It can also enable more informed decisions to be made regarding offender management, ultimately leading to reduced reoffending – the whole point of having a justice system in the first place.
Significant activity is already well underway to address many of the above points, including:
One example of how digital justice could work is the solution BT developed for Islington Clinical Commissioning Group and Borough Council that enables over 200,000 patient records to be securely accessible by 10,000 health and care practitioners, patients and families. It’s already enabling quicker decision-making, and the provision of more relevant healthcare which is also often cheaper overall.
Now suppose these were instead case records moving from police to CPS to courts to prisons to probation. What impact would that have on the speed and cost of delivering justice in the UK?
To quote Natalie Ceeney, former CEO of HM Courts and Tribunal Service: “It’s not just about digitising and introducing technology to streamline processes, but also about rethinking processes for today’s society. Doing this will, of course, reduce costs. But, far more critically, it will deliver better justice.”
Jason Hall, Vice President, Central Government and Police, BT Group