Digital Maturity of Prisons: A Global Survey




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De Montfort University



Peer reviewed


Our prisons are at the beginning of digital transformation, with some prisons more ‘advanced’ digitally speaking than others. This research project does not seek to offer a ranking of prison services’ digital capabilities, but instead we review how services are getting on with digitization, how they are adopting new technologies, what their approaches are to this, and how technology is or is not important to help them reach their objectives. This is a valuable study as it will: ● Help to understand the current efforts of digitization within prison settings. ● Gauge correctional priorities with respect to digitization and help to understand how important technology is as a driver for change. ● Help to understand the complexity of digitization by exploring the cultural, organizational, and technical dimensions of it. ● Help to understand digital sophistication and challenges in implementing digital infrastructure. ● Identify the qualities of digitization in the context of prisons. The aim of this project is to develop a digital maturity model for prisons that can be used to measure the degree of maturity in the digital transformation and outline a pathway by which prison services could move to progress towards increased digital maturity—where organizations review and anticipate a new digital reality. As such, it should help agencies build their own digital strategies and self-assessment tools. We must stress that the design of the digital maturity tool has emerged as a result of careful consideration of human needs and harm reduction. Digital maturity encompasses the thinking process around exploring and adopting digital technologies where appropriate, as well as the decision making around defining the demarcation of its use and where it is not appropriate to transform analogue, human processes into digital ones. That is, we do not define digital maturity as going digital at all cost, but as a goal-driven and human-centered process that utilizes digital tools to improve conditions for correctional residents and staff alike.




Knight, V., Reisdorf, B. and Van De Steene, S. (2023) Digital Maturity of Prisons: A Global Survey.


Research Institute