Detention houses are small-scale, differentiated and community-integrated. As an enterprise architect, one of my basic approaches is to unravel the underlying concepts, ideas and thoughts that drive an organisation’s vision, mission and strategy and use those principles as the baseline to start a digital transformation journey.
Those three principles underpinning the concept of RESCALED, are very useful to analyse how technology could support this rescaled offender management and sentencing approach but also where technology should not be the way to go. One of the biggest mistakes people make when using terms like ‘digital transformation’ is that they believe the goal is to use more technology… it isn’t. The journey is to think about how technology can help to move organisations forward and adapt to live in a society that is changing. This exercise is valuable as technology enables new possibilities, innovations but it also includes questions about the risks, the negative side effects, or additional harm we could cause by using technology and how to avoid this, by changing or redesigning the technology, using it differently or maybe by just not using it at all.
While some feel that the interests of humans are at odds with smart technologies (that humans and machines are in direct competition), we believe this is a false dichotomy that is uninformed, unimaginative, often destructive and just plain wrong. Technology was invented by humans and can be changed by humans. In an ideal world humans and technology are, or at least should not be, competing with one another; they are complementary, but only when the technology is designed and used well, and humans are taking the lead.
Modern Communication technologies have shown the ability to support and even strengthen small communities, proximity, and close interactions between people that before were impossible due to physical distances. We understand that small-scale in the concept of detention houses is mainly a physical concept, and it seems to us worth the effort to explore what the extension of it with a virtual component could mean in this context.
Technology has also shown to be very useful in facilitating differentiation and tailoring approaches to specific groups and individual needs and expectations. The consumerization of IT has been made possible by strong marketing strategies, but couldn’t happen without the increasing possibilities to make both technologies as such and the creation/development of it easy and accessible to a broad audience. This enables the tailoring of products and services to specific and different needs and supports access to information and services that were unimaginable before.
Also, for supporting community integration and bridging the gap between the inside and outside, we believe technology can be very helpful. The variety of technologies to support a balance between care and control, trust and monitoring is still extending and flexible enough to be used in a way it enables the level of security and control in proportion to what is really needed and without the unnecessary physical and virtual disconnection of the society. Furthermore, we are convinced that technologies, such as those successfully used in other sectors to promote community integration and participation through social connectedness, are worth exploring, including what value they could bring to strengthen the concept of rescaling and reforming the justice sector.