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Plan to publish court sentences launches in farce

MoJ site sentenced to 404

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A high profile effort to publish criminal sentences was launched by Jack Straw today, but at time of writing the URL was serving up only server errors.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice said IT staff were scrambling to fix the glitch.

It hopes the site "could reassure [communities] that offenders are being punished appropriately".

Hosted by HM Court Service, the prototype website was meant to be the centrepiece of measures to increase confidence in the justice system. It had been loaded with information on knife crime sentencing in magistrate's courts in pilot regions.

The Ministry of Justice spokesman said he could not say exactly what information on convicts would be published, as he had not seen the website himself.

When the website does reappear, officials plan to review how it could be integrated with the Home Office's crime maps initiative, which allows the public to plot levels of various crime cataegories on Google Maps.

To respond to the consultation, go here.

Like most Whitehall departments, the Ministry of Justice is no stranger to IT problems. Last year it scrapped C-NOMIS, an EDS-supplied offender tracking system. Costs on the project spiralled from an initial estimate of £234m, to up to £950m. ®

Update

It's working now. Go here.

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