Modernising Justice Through Technology

Digitisation will transform the UK’s justice system and put the service users at the core. With the impact of COVID-19, we saw digital working and adoption accelerated across areas of the criminal justice system (CJS), but we still have a long way to go.

techUK is calling on all agencies to work together to support the CJS in its recovery from the pressures caused by COVID-19.

COVID-19 came at a time when the UK probation system was undergoing significant reforms. It has put added pressures on our already stretched prison system resource, and impacted our courts and tribunals system resulting in backlogs. Now more than ever, it is clear the vital role technology can play in supporting the justice system, improving efficiencies and responding to the issues caused due to the pandemic.

To accelerate the digital transformation needed, techUK has established a Digital Justice Working Group of 29 techUK members, large and small, with commitment from public sector representatives across the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), Her Majesty’s Prison & Probation Service (HMPPS), Her Majesty’s Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS), Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and academia. Its mission is to champion how digital technologies can transform courts and prisons, from understanding more about video enabled justice, prevention and rehabilitation to digital skills and inclusion.

Georgie Henley, techUK’s Justice and Emergency Services Programme Manager said, “This is a tricky and vast system to navigate but we must come together, scratch away at the surface, investigate those barriers for reform so we can start revealing those real opportunities for change”.

“Collaboration is key. Improved lines of communication across Policing, CPS, HMPPS and HMCTS with public and private sector is needed to drive change. We must incorporate learning and successes from other industries to avoid repetition and overcome those challenges faster”.

Natalie Farr, techUK’s Digital Justice Working Group Chair, Public Safety Manager, 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, engaging with key stakeholders across the entire justice ecosystems, understanding priorities and ensuring an inclusive suppliers’ market”.

The working group membership has a diverse range of knowledge and expertise from across the techUK member community, with the following focus areas::

  • Infrastructure and Security
  • Education, Skills, Prevention and Rehabilitation
  • Digital Prisons and Health
  • Digital Courts and Forensics

Call to action

  • techUK will be putting together a short paper looking at the impact of COVID-19 on the criminal justice system. We are reaching out to techUK members for case studies which can be included in the paper. Please email Georgie using the details below for more information.

If you want to learn more about the working group or get involved in techUK’s work in digital justice, please reach out to Georgie – [email protected]

Georgina Henley

Georgina Henley

Programme Manager, Justice and Emergency Services, techUK

Georgie joined techUK as the Justice and Emergency Services Programme Manager in March 2020.

Georgie is dedicated to representing suppliers by creating a voice for those who are selling into blue lights and the justice system, but also by helping them in navigating this market. Georgie is committed to creating a platform for collaboration, from engaging with industry and stakeholders to understand the latest innovations, to the role tech can play in responding to a range of issues our justice and emergency services are facing 

Prior to joining techUK, Georgie managed a Business Crime Reduction Partnership (BCRP) in Westminster. She worked closely with the Metropolitan Police and London borough councils to prevent and reduce the impact of crime on the business community. Her work ranged from the impact of low-level street crime and anti-social behaviour on the borough, to critical incidents and violent crime.

[email protected]rg

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