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Open justice: Empowering victims through data and technology

communities, crime, justice, police, science and technology

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Author(s):  Rick Muir
Published date:  05 Jun 2012
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Digital technology has already transformed the way we live and work. This paper explores the implications of these changes for how the criminal justice system serves the victims of crime.

First, it shows how this ubiquitous digital environment has the potential to make public services such as the criminal justice agencies more accountable, participatory, collaborative, accessible, responsive and efficient. Second, it assesses the degree to which such technologies have so far been utilised within the criminal justice system and reports what victims think of them. It finds that poor communication is a major driver of dissatisfaction among victims, and it is critical to improving the quality of the service they receive.

Third, it makes a number of recommendations for policymakers, the police and the courts, including:

  • a crime-tracking app to enable all victims in their area to follow their case through the system
  • interactive crime maps that display real-time information
  • increased referral of victims to online peer support networks
  • publication online of case judgments and transcripts by the courts.
 
 

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Rick Muir, Associate Director for Public Service Reform

 

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