The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is making £20 million available for projects on developing new technology solutions to support prison levers.
It has posted a notice for the Prison Leavers Project, saying it has carried out a discovery exercise and now plans to run a series of pilots within an innovation challenge competition.
The ministry said the specific challenges and requirements will be advertised next May, but that they will fit within four broad areas.
One is the effective management of health and wellbeing through features such as goal setting and community inclusion to reduce the likelihood of returning to crime. Second is to support the development of skills and access to work to build a “positive, non-criminal identity”, an aim which could involve upskilling prison and probation staff.
Third is to help build new community ties and encourage a return to families to deter prison leavers from going back to old criminal networks. Fourth is to develop solutions to co-ordinate interactions on the day of release from prison, taking in probation and other government services and support groups.
The MoJ has taken an agnostic view on the type of technology to be used, saying it could include software-as-a-service platforms, tablet applications, social networks, edtech platforms, location based services and the CyberSecurity Vault directory of websites.
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