System keeps track of legal cases

The Louisiana District Attorneys Association (LDAA) has awarded a contract

to Ciber Inc. to implement and maintain a system designed to help attorneys

manage legal cases and provide ongoing training to state employees.

The Case Records Information Management and Exchange System (CRIMES),

developed by Ciber, enables state officials to update and track cases throughout

the legal process. The cases are maintained as part of the legal history

for criminal, traffic, investigative, civil, adult, defense, family and

juvenile matters.

Testing for CRIMES is under way in a Web-based n-tier configuration

in which tasks are distributed among three or more computers. Data may be

distributed in one or more databases, and user interaction takes place via

a Web browser, personal digital assistant or a cell phone. A security system

controls access to the information.

"We are working to enhance the integration with our product lines amongst

many agencies in the law and justice community," said Jerry Kincaid, vice

president of law and justice solutions for Ciber. According to Kincaid,

crime victims can benefit from the system as well.

"Victims of criminal acts can now be tracked and notified of counseling

services, financial reimbursement and the long-term outcome of their case,

which includes if the defendant is being released from prison," he said.

CRIMES has been running since May in nine judicial districts in Louisiana;

however, the n-tier system will not be available until March 2003, said

Roger Sherman, law and justice program director for Ciber. According to

Sherman, CRIMES is an upgrade of a system that was created in 1991.

The clientele in Louisiana have played an important role in the development

of the system, said Michael Navarro, project manager for Louisiana. "They

are very excited," he said. "There is such a high participation rate in

the state."

"I have been very pleased with the system," said David Baxter, the director

of information systems for the LDAA. "Their service after the fact has been

exceptional. They never gave us a hard time on changes we wanted to make.

They were great about it which is quite unusual in this industry."

E. Pete Adams, the executive director of the LDAA, said that Louisiana

began developing an integrated system in the mid-1970s but lost funding

in 1979. "We hope that the current effort will be implemented as soon as

possible," he said. The LDAA received federal grants to fund the total rollout

contract, which is estimated at $500,000.

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