Washington Speeds Move to Integrated Justice

The state of Washington has embarked on a major overhaul of several key systems as it continues its all-out effort to integrate state and local criminal justice information sources.

The state is rewriting its criminal history application, its Court Case Tracking Information System and the Corrections Offender Processing System. It also is beginning work on a coordinated jail management system and continuing work on the development of a viable network.

This burst of activity has been sparked by a formal memorandum of understanding signed by the participating stakeholders, according to Steve Kolodney, Washington's chief information officer.

The document states that all related systems will be designed, developed and integrated with the participation of everyone with an interest in the system.

"That was really a milestone event, to get everybody to share their designs and notes with each other, because it really forces everybody to come together and solve the overall problem," Kolodney said. "I like the idea of putting it in writing, otherwise you're always left with the possibility that you'll run into all those turf issues that are typically found in this arena."

The Washington Justice Information Network has three objectives: to allow for real-time automated fingerprint identification; to provide complete, accurate, and timely information on suspects and offenders from one-time data entry; and to provide an interactive network that offers access to offender profiles from a single terminal.

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