The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA) is offering technical assistance and support to Illinois county leaders seeking to establish county-wide data exchange.  In this information sharing environment, public safety and criminal justice agencies would:

  • Collaborate to make technology, procurement, and integration decisions as a centralized domain with decision-making responsibilities for information sharing.
  • Receive trusted and effective technical assistance from national experts.
  • Create, access, and move data along the continuum of the criminal justice system for the purposes of enhancing and improving public safety and enhancing government efficiencies.

Common principals set the foundation for successful information sharing projects. Successful initiatives have addressed information sharing by virtue of a centralized domain, rather than separate projects undertaken by individual agencies.  The domain-focused environment moves stakeholders away from agency-specific networks and applications and provides secure and authorized access to information allowing data-exchange across multiple jurisdictions and cross-disciplines.

ICJIA will partner with Illinois county and local criminal justice stakeholders to achieve countywide data exchange through adoption of the following principles:

The county and local public safety and criminal justice system will adopt the Global Information Sharing Toolkit (GIST) published by the Global Advisory Committee, as its primary source for integrated justice standards to be used, where applicable, for all domain related information sharing projects.  The committee advises the U.S. Attorney General on justice information sharing and integration initiatives and was created to support the broad scale exchange of pertinent justice and public safety information. The Global Advisory Committee promotes standards-based data exchange to provide the justice domain with timely, accurate, complete, and accessible information in a secure environment.  The GIST contains the three primary standards for integrated justice: the Global Reference Architecture (GRA), the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM), and the Global Federated Identity and Privilege Management (GFIPM).

State and local governments face ever-increasing service demands and dwindling resources.  Government must respond to challenges with new ideas and resolve.  Traditionally, criminal justice agencies work deep within silos cordoned within their respective divisions of labor.  Interagency collaboration often solves immediate pressing issues with little regard for long-term operational or financial threats.  Standards-based technology solutions make collaboration and coordination more efficient than in the past.  The hardware, software, and networks that enable an organization to create, store, and use information have advanced to a point where people and processes can be streamlined, integrated, and synchronized over time.

Multi-jurisdictional, cross-disciplinary collaboration is about increasing government’s capacity to deliver essential services, reduce the cost of government, and improve local decision-making.  Yet, while many agency leaders and public officials acknowledge the importance of collaboration, many are cautious of collaboration due to fears of losing control, responsibility, resources, or identity.  Technology, integration, and information sharing is one area where the criminal justice system can attain quick and sustainable improvements through a formally structured and well-coordinated governance platform.  The nature of integration and information sharing requires collaboration that can effectively increase organizational and operational capacity; thereby helping agencies to better fulfill their missions and goals.  Collaboration also increases transparency. 

Creating a countywide information sharing environment requires significant financial and human capital investment.  Counties must take a portfolio management approach that reflects their short- and long-term fiscal constraints.  The strategy should gradually move into the desired environment, driven by real business issues, focused on addressing critical public safety needs and creating government efficiencies.  Data exchange initiatives must create specific systemic improvements that generate significant operational and financial benefits to as many agencies as possible in the short term.  Counties may seek state technical assistance and links to resources that can better enable their efforts for developing an environment capable of integrating into the state’s environment.

The ICJIA will work directly with interested county criminal justice stakeholders to establish county data exchange coordinating councils to guide the design, development, and implementation of a countywide information sharing environment that would enable automated information sharing in a common format between state, local, and federal criminal justice agencies.  The platform, guided by the described five principles, will work to:

  • Innovatively and collaboratively work to integrate the functionality and interoperability of the criminal justice information systems.
  • Develop a governance structure that provides for ongoing planning and oversight of integrated criminal justice system at the county level.
  • Focus on enhancing the efficiency, effectiveness, and accuracy of criminal justice information.
  • Establish the information technology architecture and standards for an integrated criminal justice information environment that makes the most appropriate use of each agency’s operating systems.

The ICJIA will partner directly with interested Illinois counties in creating an information sharing environment that follows the prescribed principles.  ICJIAs involvement may include providing or securing technical assistance or subject matter experts; as well as, designating funding toward project management services that will oversee the coordination, planning, development or implementation of an information sharing environment.  ICJIA staff will meet with interested counties to learn more about their current information sharing environment and their desired environment.  Additionally, ICJIA may seek and facilitate, on behalf of partnering counties, technical assistance opportunities to be provided by its federal and national partners.  These partners may include, but not limited to, the U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, Global Advisory Committee, International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), National Center for State Courts, National Criminal Justice Association (NCJA), and the Office of the Program Manager for the Information Sharing Environment.





News Source: 

Mike Carter, Special Projects & Information Sharing, Director, Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, 26 July 2016, via the Program Manager for the Information Sharing Environment Blog