Completed study from the Youth Justice Research Map - Digital Technology and Youth Justice: Mobile Applications for Youth Offending Teams to Help Reduce Re-Offending

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Currently the use of technology in the field of youth justice is mostly limited to various forms of electronic tagging and data management systems in the field of youth justice.  Critically, to date, there has been little work in the UK to explore how technology can be harnessed in a positive fashion to better engage with young people to help prevent re-offending, and promote social inclusion.

One potential source of innovation is the use of social technologies in the form of apps available on mobile devices such as smart phones. Given that young people are significant consumers of such technology this potential is surprisingly untapped. This study aimed to explore how social technology could be developed and adopted for the purposes of promoting better engagement between young offenders and their case workers working in Youth Offending Teams (YoTs) to help reduce re-offending. The project had several objectives:

  • To involve young people and their case workers to contribute pro-actively to the design of appropriate and relevant technologies through a co-design process.
  • To develop and deploy the mobile app and the supporting software infrastructure  that enables and supports case workers and young people in their daily interactions with each other.
  • To evaluate the efficacy of a social technology intervention in a youth justice setting both from the perspectives of the young person and the case workers.

The project produced a range of findings which are described in the reports attached.

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