Improve Public Safety with Integrated Information Systems: Center for Technology in Government Issues Guidebook for US Department of Justice

April 26, 2000
Contact: Ben Meyers
(518) 442-3892

Albany, NY - The Polly Klaas murder. The Columbine High School shootings. The level of devastation created by these crimes may have been prevented if state and local justice personnel had access to vital facts about situations, locations, victims, and suspects.

Law enforcement, corrections, probation, and parole officers, as well as lawyers, court personnel, and judges all need to quickly and easily share the most accurate and current information in order to prevent crimes, apprehend offenders, and administer justice to make our communities safer. Since 1997, the United States Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs (OJP) has been undertaking a national effort to improve the information sharing capabilities of state, local, and tribal justice system agencies.

The University at Albany's Center for Technology in Government, through a $364,000 grant from OJP's Bureau of Justice Assistance, is participating in the nationwide integrated justice technology effort. The Center developed a comprehensive guide, "And Justice for All: Designing Your Business Case for Integrating Justice Information," to help justice officials gain the necessary support and funding to make integrated information systems a reality.

This practical handbook provides guidelines, tools, and resources to justice officials who need to secure political, community, and financial support for information system integration projects at the state and local levels. "And Justice for All" shows users how to make a business case to the different audiences that can provide backing for these projects.

"The effective business case generates the support and participation needed to turn an idea into reality," Center for Technology in Government Director Sharon S. Dawes said. "The business case communicates the argument for integration to those whose commitment of resources is needed for success."

The Center created the "And Justice for All" guidebook based on input from federal, state, and local justice officials and justice practitioners, as well as lessons learned from more than 20 existing integration projects. The guide leads readers through the analysis, design, and presentation of business cases tailored to their specific projects. It also contains useful tools, references, examples, and Internet links. The lessons and tools help users create clear and compelling business cases for justice integration projects.

The business case guidebook is the first in a series of resources under development through OJP's Justice Integration Initiative. The resources are designed to assist law enforcement, emergency services, and justice system personnel implement systems and technologies that enable them to share information across organizational and geographical boundaries in a manner that is timely, effective, and convenient.

Online versions of the 88-page guide and eight-page executive briefing are available.

The mission of the Center for Technology in Government at the University at Albany is to foster public sector innovation, enhance capability, generate public value, and support good governance. We carry out this mission through applied research, knowledge sharing, and collaboration at the intersection of policy, management, and technology.