Justice in the Digital Age
Justice in the Digital Age is a new online seminar series examining the latest technological developments in the justice sector, and how they are helping to improve support for service users and staff. JitDA is a collaboration between myself and Socrates Software and we are planning a series of international events featuring leading providers, academics and policy makers talking about the cutting edge technologies finally being implemented in justice settings around the world.
This blog post looks back at the highlights from the first events “Digital Interventions in Criminal Justice Settings” which attracted over 250 participants from 10 countries in an examination of how digital approaches have increased the impact and reach of intervention programmes. We are grateful for MTC Novo for sponsoring this first event.
It also looks forward to the second event which will focus on Digital Education in Prisons and will take place on 10-12 noon 24 February (for people in Australasia) and 4- 6 p.m. 25 February (Europe & the USA). The webinar is likely to be of particular interest in the context of the global pandemic with many jurisdictions accelerating in-cell learning. The webinar also coincides with the first UK public inquiry into prison education for 15 years. We are very grateful to the Encyclopaedia Britannica for sponsoring this event. Tickets are just £10 and all proceeds from ticket sales go to the Prisoners’ Education Trust. Please put the date in your diary.
Confirmed Presenters include:
- New Zealand Corrections with Socrates Software and Maui Studios on a graphic art programme which seeks to find new talent among people in prison
- Ufi VocTech Trust with the work Ufi-supported organisations have been doing in using tech to improve education within the prison system
- Acceleron on their wide range of digital resettlement learning programmes
- Encyclopaedia Britannica on putting their content on tablets to support prisoners in their studies
- Scanning Pens with their prison-specific aid to help prisoners with dyslexia
Our first webinar showcased innovations in digital technology in the prisons and probation sector from around the world. Participants commented positively on the way the event balanced information about new technology with an emphasis on the importance of compassion and empathy in their application. The video clips below feature some of the highlights from the event. All proceeds from ticket sales were donated to the Compassion Prison Project, whose mission is to transform prisons and communities through compassionate action. Fritzi Hortsmann, the project founder, set the tone for the event by showing a powerful video on the importance of trauma-informed work with people in prison and on probation.
Jennifer Luther and Alisa Malone of MTC then gave a presentation on an innovative new programme at Gadsden Correctional Facility in Quincy, Florida. Shaping Success for Reentry showcases the benefits of digital programming in incarceration settings.
Jason Morris, a psychologist with over 20 years experience working in prison and probation settings and a regular contributor to this blog, then gave a fascinating presentation on co-producing digital media to enhance the impact of offending behaviour programmes by making the content much more real and relatable.
The presentation from David Tinker of ProReal stimulated a large amount of fascinated feedback. ProReal has developed an immersive avatar based virtual world platform which which has been proved to accelerate insight and change with service users. As well as a demonstration of the platform itself and feedback from real world service users, the presentation included thought-provoking input from a Buddhist monk with many years’ experience of working in prisons.