Justice and Safety

Can we use technology to make our justice system better for the people of Scotland?

February 2, 2016 by 2 Comments | Category Justice

This is the big question as we look at improving it in the light of advances and opportunities in technology.

A vision exists, and a strong will from the many organisations involved, including the police, crown, courts and tribunal service, legal aid board and prison service.

The only way to tackle work of this scope is to break it down into manageable projects, but even these are daunting in their scale and will take time and investment to develop, implement and embed.

Work is underway to specify the opportunities that digital technology could bring to create better services and longer term financial savings in the criminal justice system.

This could be through the capture and use of evidence digitally, such as witness statements, victims’ accounts or a recording from a camera worn by a police officer.

This evidence could be shared securely and speedily to ensure the right people have the right information, where it upholds the law and is economically efficient to do so.

We are now contacting operations and frontline colleagues from these organisations and other justice partners to better understand the types of evidence that exist currently, how this information is managed and what plans for introducing new technology may already be in place.

We are interested in opinions and ideas from those who work daily in the criminal justice system and those who use it.

If you work in an organisation that is part of, or linked to criminal justice, including those in the third sector, we would like to hear from you. Please email jds@gov.scot and we’ll be in touch.

We also have teams looking at how civil justice works in Scotland, but that is a post for another day.

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  • Graham Dickson says:

    If Court Outcomes could be recorded digitally in Court this would
    a. Speed up outcomes being relayed to Criminal Justice Social Work
    b. make the outcomes legible – sometimes the court sheets are incredibly hard to read because of the handwriting and because of the cryptic, varied abbreviations used for the same thing

    • Nicole Carter says:

      Graham, many thanks for joining the conversation.

      These important points provide food for thought and we will, as part of our discovery work, be engaging with Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service and Criminal Justice Social Work to look closely at the existing system and gain insight to things that are perceived to be working well and where the pain points are.

      We also want to better understand what constraints each organisation is dealing with including legislative and technological.

      We will also look collectively with justice partners at what we think the justice system should look like in the future. Please continue to follow this blog for updates.

      Jim Wilson, Project Manager, Justice Digital Strategy

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