The Justice Data Lab has been launched as a pilot for one year from April 2013. During this year, a small team from Analytical Services within the Ministry of Justice will support organisations that provide offender services by allowing them easy access to aggregate re-offending data, specific to the group of people they have worked with. This will support organisations in understanding their effectiveness at reducing re-offending.
The service model involves organisations sending the Justice Data Lab team details of the offenders they have worked with along with information about the specific intervention they have delivered. The Data Lab team then matches these offenders to MoJ’s central datasets and returns the re-offending rate of this particular cohort, alongside that of a control group of offenders with very similar characteristics in order to better identify the impact of the organisation’s work.
There are two publication types:
- A summary of the findings of the Justice Data Lab pilot to date (2 April to 31 December 2013).
- Tailored reports about the re-offending outcomes of services or interventions delivered by each of the organisations who have requested information through the Justice Data Lab pilot. Each report is an Official Statistic and will show the results of the re-offending analysis for the particular service or intervention delivered by the organisation who delivered it.
For further information about the Justice Data Lab, please refer to the following guidance:
Main findings to date
To date, the Justice Data Lab has received 73 requests for re-offending information, including 36 reports which have already been published. A further 10 are now complete and ready for publication, bringing the total of completed reports to 46.
To date, there have been 11 requests that could not be processed as the minimum criteria for analyses through the Data Lab had not been met, and one further request that was withdrawn by the submitting organisation. The remaining requests will be published in future monthly releases of these statistics.
Of the 10 reports being published this month:
Five reports look at the impact of grants given for offender learning delivered through the Prisoner Education Trust. One of the five reports looks at the overall impact of all grants they have made between 2002 and 2010. The remaining four reports look at the impact of the grants given for specific learning types, including grants for;
- arts and hobby materials;
- Open University courses;
- programmes currently accredited and unaccredited, both of which are funded by Prisoners Education Trust through its grant from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS).
All analyses; except for currently accredited courses funded by Prisoners Education Trust through its BIS grant; show that grants given for offender learning are associated with a significant reduction in re-offending. This reduction could in part be explained by increased motivation to change, and educational ability of those individuals applying for these grants. This type of intervention requires offenders to apply and show commitment and ability for education, and so the individuals in the data may have particular characteristics which support their rehabilitation.
Three reports look at the effectiveness of NOMS Bail Accommodation and Support Services (BASS), for individuals who received the service from Stonham between June 2010 and December 2010. The reports looked at; the impact of BASS on persons who received court bail and subsequently got convicted and received either a conditional discharge or fine; the impact of BASS on persons who received court bail and subsequently got convicted and received either a prison or probation sentence; the impact of BASS on persons who were on Home Detention Curfew (HDC) following release from custody. For all reports, the analyses show that the impact on re-offending is currently inconclusive.
One report looks at the effectiveness of the Time for Families relationship course. This analysis shows that the impact of this intervention on re-offending is currently inconclusive.
One report looks at the effectiveness of the West Yorkshire Community Chaplaincy Service Project. This analysis shows that the impact of this intervention on re-offending is currently inconclusive.
Reasons for an inconclusive result include; the sample of individuals provided by the organisation was too small to detect a statistically significant change in behaviour; or that the service or programme genuinely does not affect re-offending behaviour. However, it is very difficult to differentiate between these reasons in the analysis, so the organisations are recommended to submit larger samples of data when it becomes available. Detailed discussion of results and interpretation is available in the individual reports.
The bulletin is produced and handled by the Ministry’s analytical professionals and production staff. Pre-release access of up to 24 hours is granted to the following persons: Ministry of Justice Secretary of State, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Permanent Secretary, Policy Advisers for reducing re-offending, Policy Advisors for the Transforming Rehabilitation Programme, and relevant Press Officers and Special Advisers.