Digital Categorisation Service

Jack Maxwell made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Ministry of Justice

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Gwrthodwyd y cais gan Ministry of Justice.

Dear Ministry of Justice,

Please provide the following information in relation to the Digital Categorisation Service (DCS):
(1) Please describe how the DCS suggests a provisional category for a prisoner. In particular:
(a) What data points does the DCS use to generate a provisional category?
(b) What weightings are assigned to those data points?
(c) How were those data points and weightings identified?
(d) If they were identified through machine learning, what training data was used in this process?

(2) Please provide an example or a template of the completed categorisation form which is available to a prisoner on request, once the categorisation decision using the DCS has been made.

(3) The evaluation report for the DCS pilot (see here: states that '[t]he distribution of appeals is quite varied across the pilot sites'. In light of the MoJ's analysis, for each of the pilot sites, please provide the following information:
(a) What was the frequency of appeals, and the proportion of these appeals which were successful, before the introduction of the DCS?
(b) What was the frequency of appeals, and the proportion of these appeals which were successful, after the introduction of the DCS?

In the event that you determine some of the information I have requested to be exempt from disclosure, please redact exempt information with black boxes, instead of snipping or excerpting, and please state which category of exemption you believe applies to the information.

If it is not possible to provide the information requested due to the information exceeding the cost of compliance limits identified in s.12 FOIA, please provide advice and assistance as to how I can refine my request, as required under s.16 FOIA.

Please let me know if you have any queries in relation to this request.

Yours faithfully,

Jack Maxwell

MoJ Digital and Technology,

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr Maxwell

Please find attached the response from the Ministry of Justice to your
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request reference number 210114016

MoJ Digital Technology and Security

Dear Ministry of Justice,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Ministry of Justice's (MoJ) handling of my FOI request 'Digital Categorisation Service'.

The MoJ declined to provide information on the frequency of appeals and successful appeals for each pilot site, before and after the introduction of the DCS, on the basis that such information was already reasonably accessible. It pointed to the Evaluation Report disclosed in response to one of my previous FOI requests. But that Report does not provide the detailed information that I requested. In relation to appeals, it merely states as follows:

The distribution of appeals is quite varied across the pilot sites. One site had not seen any appeals
or challenges since starting the pilot; another that there had been a modest increase, possibly due to the greater use of information from security teams. Overall, however, most reported no noticeable change in appeal rates, so the net impact appears to be neutral.

This provides no specific information about appeal rates (as compared to broad descriptions such as 'modest increase') and no information about rates of successful appeals.

In light of this, I seek internal review of the MoJ's refusal to disclose the information on appeals that I requested.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:

Yours faithfully,

Jack Maxwell

Disclosure Team, Ministry of Justice

2 Atodiad

Dear Mr Maxwell.


Please find attached the Internal Review response requested on FOI





[1]Ministry of Disclosure Team
Address: Post Point 10.38,  10th Floor, 102 Petty France,
London SW1H 9AJ

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