Consolidated Justice Group
November 18, 2003
In the nation’s third fastest growing county, the Henry County Consolidated Justice Group (HCCJG) has formed to address the issues of public safety, efficiency, and the accuracy of information exchanged in the criminal justice system.
Located just south of Atlanta, near Hartsfield Jackson International Airport, Henry County has eight Interstate (I-75) interchanges with daily traffic counts exceeding 130,000. Henry County is home to the southeastern United States Federal Aviation Administration traffic control center, and to Atlanta Motor Speedway which hosts the largest sporting event in Georgia. The possibility for local law enforcement to disrupt terrorist activity is significant when empowered with timely and accurate information.
Participating agencies, courts, and departments include: Flint Judicial Circuit (Superior Court Judges, Clerk, and District Attorney), State Court (Judges, Solicitor General, and Clerk), Magistrate Court, Probate Court, Department of Public Safety (Police, Sheriff, Fire, Emergency Communications, Code Enforcement, Community Service), Information Systems, Finance, and the office of the Board of Commissioners.
HCCJG was established in August of 2002, meets once per month, and was ratified by the Board of Commissioners November 18, 2003. HCCJG recognizes the need to avoid overlapping development of major technology systems which are widely applicable across organizational lines when there is no compelling technical or functional reason for differences, and the participating agencies have agreed to cooperate in the implementation, operation and management of the Justice Information System (JIS).
HCCJG has established a tentative timeline for the success of the project including discovery, pilot project phase, business process analysis, RFP development, implementation, and base line analysis to determine the effectiveness of implemented technologies and processes.
HCCJG began with a one year discovery phase in which numerous technologies and processes were evaluated, including inviting six of the top information sharing vendors to give presentations. Two basic concepts were evaluated during the discovery phase including: 1. one central data warehouse server that would serve the needs of all agencies, courts, and departments 2. shared level access in which an XML indexing server would “interpret” data housed and owned by each individual agency, court, or department. The decision was made to work toward shared level access.
Several factors affected the decision to focus on an XML solution. The U.S. Department of Justice was advocating this type of solution, there had already been a lot invested in the current technology and training, and the politics of removing ownership of data from elected officials was not appealing to any of the participating members.
To date, five pilot projects have been completed including automation of non-serious traffic ticket information from the police department to the State Court Clerk, jury information automation between the Superior Court and the State Court Clerk, access to the Sheriff department warrants information by other agencies, the automated transmittal of 911/CAD information to the police department database, and document imaging of vital records in the Probate Court.
Currently HCCJG is in a phase of business process analysis, where information flow is tracked, measured, and evaluated. Eight employees from within county departments have been certified in the Justice Information Exchange Model (JIEM), taught by the National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics (SEARCH), and are currently using the tool to map business processes of criminal justice system within Henry County and the Flint Judicial Circuit.
HCCJG is currently seeking funding sources from a various avenues, including local funding sources, state and federal grants, and fee for service. Once funding is obtained and RFP developed the project is expected to move forward. While justice information sharing is an ongoing effort that never has a true end date, the majority of the project is expected to take three years to complete following a bid award. Maintenance will continue for the years following the major project.