CoTech Meetup: Break the System: Problems around technology in the criminal justice system

Problems around technology in the criminal justice system and how we might solve them.

In prisons, access to technology is severely restricted. This is supposedly for safety and security reasons. But what does that mean for people in and leaving prison? They can be totally cut off, not only from events in the outside world, but also from skills and knowledge that could be essential to them. People leaving prison may be years behind when it comes to understanding the rapidly changing world of tech and digital tools. This can have massive implications to them finding a job and reintegrating smoothly into society.

Currently, the cost of reoffending is over £18bn per year, and this is a problem for all of us. This goes to show that the current system simply isn't working, and there is a desperate need to a fresh look at how we treat prisoners and prison-leavers.

Join us for short panel talks from people trying to address these issues, followed by a discussion about the topics raised. IRL drinks and snacks provided.

Dee Norval
Dee is the founder of Breakthrough, a social enterprise that selects and trains exceptional prison leavers to bring diverse, inspiring talent to businesses. Dee will introduce the session and speak broadly about the criminal justice system and the current state of technology.

Jonathan Ley
Founder of Make Time Count, a social enterprise which makes technology to help prisoners and their case workers navigate more easily through the complexities of the criminal justice system. Jonathan will talk about the disconnect between technology advances in society at large and the opportunities for the public and third sectors.

Dan Whyte
Co-director of DWRM Consultants which supports more people in prison accessing higher education. Dan brings his lived experience of the criminal justice system to drive systemic change and support other prison leavers. Dan will speak about the value tech can bring to people in prisons to allow them to progress with education.

Omar Wilson
Co-director of Beyond Recovery, a social enterprise that supports people transform their lives through programmes that unlock people's innate wellbeing. Omar is going to speak about the realities of the lack of tech on the residents of prisons and how this manifests in real challenges on the wings.

Erin Crombie
Support coach at Stand Out, a charity that runs courses in prison which equips men with the skills, confidence and mindset to succeed, with a focus on getting back into work. Erin will talk about the tech opportunities that do exist for people in prison, but the need for basic digital skills for all prison residents.

Derrick Mason
Co-director of Beyond Recovery, a social enterprise that supports people transform their lives through programmes that unlock people's innate wellbeing. Derrick is going to speak about the challenges of delivering programmes in prison due to tech restrictions, especially during the pandemic.

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