Justice Data Lab

The Justice Data Lab (JDL) is a service that statistically evaluates the impact of rehabilitation interventions, by providing secure access to sensitive data and technical analysis to the NGO sector and beyond. The JDL publishes such robust evidence to help inform the bigger picture in what works to reduce reoffending.

Innovation Summary

Innovation Overview

The demand for access to government data to inform all sectors is growing all the time and statistical offices are rising to the challenge of being as transparent as possible. Among the 200 criminal justice charities surveyed about their experiences accessing offending data from government, around half tried to access this data, and only a fifth were successful on any given attempt. Over 80% of charities surveyed found the process of accessing data hard some or all of the time. There was a clearly demonstrated need to form a solution to improve data access.

As part of this transforming landscape, the Justice Data Lab (JDL) became a leader in frontline service evaluation in 2013 to feed into the bigger picture of ‘What Works’ in reducing reoffending behaviour. The JDL demonstrates how data security obstacles can be overcome and how statistical techniques have enabled innovation in using administrative datasets above and beyond their initial purpose.

This service continues to evolve to remain progressive in an ever-changing environment and shares lessons learned to inform development of similar working models in other Government departments as well as in other countries across the world. The JDL has been well received by those working directly to change the lives of offenders, policy makers and academics to understand what the results are telling us about the impact on changing an offender’s inclination to reoffend. We work closely with existing and potential customers to make sure that developments continue to help answer key questions.

Innovation Description

Innovation Development

Innovation Reflections

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Year: 2013
Level of government: National/Federal government


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