The Justice Data Lab has been launched as a pilot from April 2013. During this pilot, 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 reoffending 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 Justice Data Lab team then matches these offenders to MoJ’s central datasets and returns the reoffending 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 three publication types:
- A summary document of the requests received to date and the findings of the Justice Data Lab pilot for this month (1 April 2014 to 30 April 2014).
- Tailored reports about the reoffending 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.
- All of the Justice Data Lab findings to date are presented in a separate file. This file contains all findings described in the summary document in the form of tables, organised by intervention type. This is intended to be a more accessible version of all of our findings to date.
Note to users
From this month, the summary document will contain only findings being published within the month’s reporting round. All findings to date will continue to be published in the more accessible format.
We welcome any feedback on this change, or on the Justice Data Lab Statistics more generally.
Read further information about the Justice Data Lab
Main findings to date
To date, the Justice Data Lab has received 85 requests for re-offending information, including 59 reports which have already been published. A further 2 are now complete and ready for publication, bringing the total of completed reports to 61.
To date, there have been 16 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processed as the minimum criteria for analyses through the Data Lab had not been met, and one further request that was withdrawn by the submitting organisation.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 2 reports being published this month:
- One report looks at the effectiveness of receiving yoga and mediation materials from The Prison Phoenix Trust. This analysis shows that the impact of this intervention 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 reoffending is also 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 reoffending 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.
Reminder about the Justice Data Lab Service
In March 2014 we announced that the Justice Data Lab will continue to be piloted for another year. We are keen that the Justice Data Lab service continues to improve and, following feedback from users and internal consideration on our processes, we have specified a number of improvements that we intend to bring into the service over the next year. These improvements, as well as recommendations for users of the service are discussed in detail in the document ‘Justice Data Lab; The pilot year’ which was published alongside the summary statistics for March 2014.
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, Director of Sentencing and Rehabilitation Policy unit, relevant Policy Advisers for reducing re-offending (two persons in total), Policy Advisers for the Transforming Rehabilitation Programme, and relevant Press Officers and Special Advisers.