Tech's Role in Transforming Criminal Justice Services

Evelyn Woodland
May 10, 2024

In the run-up to Modernising Criminal Justice 2024, we’ve asked our expert speakers to share their thoughts on technology in the sector. Speakers were asked, "How do you envision technology playing a pivotal role in transforming and modernising criminal justice processes, and what specific advancements do you believe are most crucial for the sector's improvement?"

Simi O’Neil, Head of Probation Inspection Programme, HM Inspectorate of Probation

There are many developments that have taken place over the past few years that haven’t been incorporated into the changes in probation. The assessment tool is many years old and while a new system is being developed it will take a while before this is implemented. One of the critical improvements that can be made is a joint multiagency information sharing system to allow information sharing to take place effectively, efficiently and swiftly.

Rob-Apr-11-2024-01-41-54-1102-PMRob Marsh, Probation Officer at HMPPS

The ambition to use technology effectively and help practitioners make informed decisions more quickly and efficiently, has to be encouraged, freeing up time to enable their engagement skills to be employed to develop positive and productive relationships with people on probation. However, with benefits come risks and AI for example could provide systemic challenges which will need to be navigated. If the admin burden could be reduced and the prison and probation IT systems could align this would further support engagement and the potential of using technology to advantage people on probation such as the deployment of an app would be welcomed. However, the modernising journey is unlikely to be straightforward. 

Sid Sid Singh, Co-Founder of The Growth App

As a society we have all embraced technology at a faster pace thanks in large to Covid and the effects of lockdown and a new remote working culture emerging and to add to the backdrop, the AI revolution that is now upon us and yet this has not translated into the correctional settings of Prisons.

This has meant that the returning citizen is now farther away from reintegration and the chasm is often just too wide to navigate. Technology has the ability of being an enabler, connecting organisations, reducing timeframes and providing quicker, more rounded support which can support the rehabilitation process and give access to services that perhaps many are unaware of unless they have had contact directly.

The beauty of Data and analysis can provide us with the insights to know what the issues are and where and offer us a way to share best practice and remove gaps and ineffective practice or suppliers.

Interoperability and the connecting of systems is most crucial to ensure that the service user is given an end to end experience that does not stop at the gate with one service and start the other side - the ability to see the journey through, will inform the system and provide a feedback loop that ultimately helps create a better system.

Kam-3 Kam Stevens, Co-Founder of The Growth App

Technology plays an important role in streamlining processes allowing practitioners to have more time to build meaningful relationships with service users. Outdated legacy systems are ineffective, costly and not value for money. Many prisons lack the infrastructure to access advancements made in the technology sector hindering adoption of available solutions.

Join us for Modernising Criminal Justice 2024 on the 6th of June at the QEII Conference Centre in London, to hear further discussions on the future of probation alongside other key topics and the latest technological advances in the field.

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