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MoJ plans for better data in criminal justice system

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The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has set out plans for a new dataset and an operational dashboard to support the criminal justice system (CJS) in England and Wales.

The measures are part of its CJS Data Improvement Programme, some details of which have been explained in a blogpost by MoJ deputy director Sarah Blake.

She said the programme, which is co-led by the Home office, is aimed at improving how data is shared and used in the system.

It includes the plan to develop a new dataset, based on the Splink package, to improve data linking between the MoJ, police and the Crown Prosecution Service. This is aimed at helping them find new insights to support policy making and performance.

“This work not only signifies a crucial step forward in comprehending important policy and operational topics such as victim attrition and case timeliness, but also establishes a solid framework for ongoing collaboration within the CJS,” Blake said.

“The lessons learned and successes achieved in this initiative serve as a catalyst for a more robust, data driven approach to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of our criminal justice processes.”

Initiative for local boards

She also highlighted a plan to build on the CJS Delivery Data Dashboard, which provides local users with access to a range of data from around the justice system, to develop dashboards specifically for local criminal justice boards (LCJBs). These would provide the boards with access to previously unseen linked CJS data, enabling them to better analyse the effects of policies, measure operational performance and model fluctuations in demand.

There are plans for pilots of the dashboards in at least three LCJBs.

Blake added that the MoJ will also work on the governance processes, documentation and structures for sharing data, and help to build data skills throughout the system.

“We know there is so much potential in the data that is held across the CJS, and whilst our CJS Data Improvement Programme is making good progress in harnessing that potential, it is just the beginning,” she said.

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