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The MOJ has developed Splink, a free, open-source software library for large-scale data linkage

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The MOJ has developed Splink, a free, open-source software library for large-scale data linkage

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This initiative provides researchers with unprecedented access to data, fostering innovative analysis and policy development

Data First, spearheaded by the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) and funded by Administrative Data Research UK (ADR UK), harnesses the potential of linked administrative datasets from across the justice system. This initiative provides researchers with unprecedented access to data, fostering innovative analysis and policy development.

The programme integrates data from various facets of the justice system, including courts, prisons, and probation services in England and Wales. By connecting these datasets, researchers can analyse user journeys and outcomes, gaining insights into interactions across the system. Additionally, Data First enhances data linkage with other government departments, such as the Department for Education's National Pupil Database (NPD).

Data First ensures that researchers access datasets ethically and securely via the ONS Secure Research Service and SAIL Databank. This controlled access aligns with the evidence priorities outlined in the MOJ Areas of Research Interest (ARI), promoting responsible data use.

By collaborating with academic experts, Data First generates valuable insights that inform government policy and drive progress in justice outcomes. Researchers can access detailed data catalogs and apply for dataset access through established protocols.

MOJ cross-justice system datasets

Splink: Advanced Data Linkage

The MOJ has developed Splink, a free, open-source software library for large-scale data linkage. Splink offers speed, accuracy, and compatibility with various databases, facilitating robust data linkage and visualisation.

Data First stands as a pivotal programme, unlocking the wealth of justice system data for research and policy advancement. Through secure, ethical access and innovative tools like Splink, it paves the way for significant improvements in justice outcomes.

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