Digitising Justice: Beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic
Today, 22 July, techUK published a new paper exploring the impact of COVID-19 on the criminal justice system and what comes next for digitising courts, prisons and probation services as lockdown restrictions are lifted.
The ‘Digitising Justice: Beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic’ paper highlights the importance of closer collaboration between stakeholders and industry in order to improve the justice system. While digital adoption across the criminal justice system accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic, long-term change is needed to enhance the system for all its users, with data sitting at the core of this change.
The paper also touches on existing challenges to overcome such as connectivity issues in prison estates and interoperability, as well as looking ahead at the opportunities for digital adoption to improve efficiencies and better support staff and those moving through the criminal justice system.
Moreover, the paper introduces the work of techUK’s ‘Digital Justice’ working group, which was launched in January 2021. The working group is a platform to encourage collaboration between the tech industry and stakeholders across the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals (HMCTS), Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Services (HMPPS) and academia.
The working group sits under techUK’s Justice and Emergency Services Programme which represents suppliers selling into law enforcement and public safety services including the justice system and blue light services.
Georgie Henley, Programme Manager, Justice and Emergency Services, techUK, said:
It has been a difficult year for our criminal justice system, but with these challenges have come opportunities to learn, adapt and change. This paper highlights the vital role technology plays in modernising our criminal justice system, helping to build back better, and also how important it is for stakeholders to engage with the tech industry.
Natalie Farr, Public Safety Manager, UK Public Sector, Google, said:
The Justice sector is facing unprecedented challenges, which have only been accelerated as a result of Covid 19. The impact has been felt throughout the entire criminal justice system. The journey through the system for the accused, for the victims, witnesses and solicitors alike is ever more challenging”. techUK’s Digital Justice working group aims to provide techUK and Industry with expert advice on the role that technology plays in our justice system of tomorrow. It looks to provide guidance on how to address current challenges and build agile platforms of the future. The group ensures techUK are engaging in areas that will drive meaningful change, responding to customer strategies, engaging with key stakeholders across the entire justice ecosystems, understanding priorities and ensuring an inclusive suppliers’ market.
Following this paper, techUK’s Digital Justice Working Group will be publishing a report in November 2021.
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