Michigan county integrating court systems

The Kent County, Mich., Circuit Court System is integrating eight systems to eliminate redundant data entry and improve information sharing among its various departments.

The court system awarded a $3.4 million contract to MAXIMUS (www.maximus.com) to install its CourtView 2000 product. Each department's system will be phased in over the next two years, with the integrated system complete in December 2002.

David Schut, project manager for the Justice Network (J-Net) project, said a study of the court system found that it was difficult to acquire information from another agency because they were on separate systems. They said "it would be advantageous if the agencies shared information more intimately," he said.

In addition, once information was entered into one system, it would have to be entered into the others. Schut said that it was important to create an internal network that combined all the systems.

The eight systems are: Probate Court, Court Services, Prosecutor's Office, Circuit Court (criminal), Circuit Court (civil), Circuit Court (family division), Community Corrections, and Adult Probation. The new system will also eliminate the old word commands, replacing them with a graphic interface.

CCI-MAXIMUS, a division of the company that specializes in Web-enabled information systems and consulting services for state and local agencies, will be working with the county.

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