Monday, September 28, 2009

Integrated Justice

No, this does not refer to racial integration or addressing disproportionality in the justice system (perhaps a future topic here). I am referencing the need for a new local-state, judicial-executive, public-private partnership supporting justice system data exchanges to increase efficiency, improve key decisions, and promote positive outcomes in criminal, juvenile, and family justice.

The National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) and its predecessor effort (“GJXDM”) define a method for developing information exchanges across disparate justice entity databases, using Information Exchange Package Documentation (IEPDs) to define exchanges of information that need to occur as cases and people pass through a justice process. The Texas Path to NIEM began with TIJIS and criminal justice agencies, and has led to adoption of a rule by JCIT and the Judicial Council, 1 TAC §177.2, directing conformance to NIEM and the IEPD construct. It also led to the development of IEPDs for 28 criminal justice business processes, focused on the hand-off of a sentenced prisoner from county to prison, and production of the “pen packet” information that accompanies the prisoner under article 42.09, Section 8, Code of Criminal Procedure.
The NIEM model is expanding to include the Texas version of national efforts to share data between courts and child welfare agencies (DFPS in Texas), and courts and child support agencies (OAG in Texas).

Alongside and intertwined with the emergence of standards for sharing information are the evolution of e-filing , and the movement toward second and third generation case management systems for courts and counties. The JCIT will discuss these related topics at its first meeting under new Chair, Justice Rebecca Simmons, on Wednesday Sept. 30, 1:00, at the Texas Law Center.

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