Increasing Information Sharing Effectiveness: A Capability Assessment Model for the Justice Enterprise


Project started on Sept. 1, 2002 (Completed)

Justice agencies at all levels face many challenges that can be addressed more successfully when information is shared across organizational boundaries. These challenges differ widely in scope and complexity. One challenge may involve linking diverse databases and case management processes within, say, a county prosecutor's office, where organizational units operate under one executive leader. Another would be enterprise-level initiatives, such as a statewide crime communications network that consists of many different agencies at several levels of government engaged in diverse but overlapping business processes using similar, if not identical, information. Some challenges, such as emergency response, are so extensive that they require information sharing and work processes that cross the boundaries of the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. 

Initiatives that depend on this kind of information sharing are typically complex, difficult, and prone to failure. They are more likely to succeed when they include a comprehensive and systematic assessment of both organizational and technical information sharing capabilities. Such an assessment identifies the strengths and weaknesses of all participants and points out risks and risk mitigation strategies, therefore leading to better planning and execution of cross-boundary programs and services.

Scope of Work

The two-year study addressed two key research questions:

  • How can justice organizations assess their current capability for sharing and integrating information?
  • How can these organizations build higher levels of sharing and integration capability?

The model was developed through extensive collaboration with justice system practitioners and leadership organizations. These included the National Governor's Association, National Association of State Chief Information Officers, and the Justice Information Sharing Professionals.

The model is designed to produce both holistic assessment profiles and reasonably detailed measures of sharing capabilities and integration levels in a wide range of settings. It will also link assessments to strategies for addressing gaps in capability. This capability model answers the two key questions noted above, plus provides guidance for implementing information sharing policies and initiatives.

The capability of any group of agencies or jurisdictions to improve information sharing and integration is a composite of many kinds of human and technical resources and organizational capacities. No single measure or index can capture the necessary information about the complete situation. In developing these capability assessment tools CTG examined four broad categories of factors: policy, organizational, technology, and data.

Specifically, the model addresses the following questions with respect to the organization(s) involved in or planning a particular information sharing initiative.

  • What is the current level or degree of information sharing and integration?
  • How effective is it?
  • What is the current capability for improving effectiveness of information sharing and integration?
  • What strategies and resources are needed to achieve current sharing and integration improvement goals?

The usability of the Toolkit was tested in the field in a state-wide initiative, a large city, and a county-level information integration initiative. It was also examined by justice professionals from several smaller jurisdictions for usability and validity in those settings. These field tests were critical to the final Toolkit as they resulted in confirmation of the value of the Toolkit as well as some modifications to the final product.


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Issue Brief




Government Partners 

 Center for Technology in Government 

  • Anthony M. Cresswell, Principal Investigator
  • Theresa A. Pardo, Co-Principal Investigator
  • Sharon Dawes, Co-Principal Investigator
  • Donna S. Canestraro, Project Manager
  • Dubravka Juraga, Research Associate
  • Jose Ramón Gil-Garcia, Graduate Assistant
  • Carrie Schneider, Graduate Assistant



  • Denise Baer, University of New Orleans
  • Mary Barnett, New York County District Attorney's Office
  • Theresa Brandorff, Colorado Integrated Criminal Justice Information System
  • David Clopton, System Planning Corporation
  • Matthew D'Alessandro, Motorola (attending on behalf of Integrated Justice Information Systems)
  • F. Michael Donovan, New York State Police Department
  • Christopher Gahan, Massachusetts District Attorney's Association
  • Jack Gallt, National Association of State Chief Information Officers
  • KennethGill, US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs
  • Kristin Gonzenbach, DeKalb County, Georgia
  • Kristine Hamann, New York County District Attorney's Office
  • Thomas Henderson, National Center for State Courts
  • Thomas Herzog, New York State Division of Parole
  • Gwen Kelly-Holden, National Governors Association C. Ted Hom, New York City Police Department
  • Robert Koberger, New York State Department of Correctional Services
  • Thomas Kooy, CRIMNET, State of Minnesota
  • Fern Laethem, Sacramento County Public Protection Agency
  • Jenine Larsen, National Criminal Justice Association
  • Erin Lee, National Governors Association
  • J. Patrick McCreary, US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs
  • Holly Bockbrader Mathews , Toledo/Lucas County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council
  • Leigh Middleditch, State Attorney's Office for Baltimore City
  • Mark Myrent, Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority
  • Paul O'Connell, Iona College
  • Liz Pearson, Integrated Justice Information Systems Institute
  • Mark Perbix, Colorado Integrated Criminal Justice Information System
  • Donald Price, Washington State Department of Corrections
  • Brian Richards, Sacramento County Integrated Justice
  • Linda Rosenberg, Pennsylvania Justice Network (JNET)
  • Moira O'Leary Rowley, ACS
  • Joseph Scagluiso, New York City Police Department
  • Peter Scharf, Center for Society, Law & Justice University of New Orleans
  • Valerie Shanley, New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services
  • James Shea, New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services
  • Tammy Woodhams, Kalamazoo Criminal Justice Council
  • Michael Zimmerman, Hennepin County (Minnesota) Information Technology Department

Review Teams

  • Bruce Baicar, US Department of Justice
  • Thomas MacLellan, NGA Center for Best Practices
  • Pennsylvania JNET:
    • Dave Woolfenden, Pennsylvania Justice Network
  • Justice Information Sharing Professionals (JISP):
    • Dwayne Campbell, Mecklenburg County Court Services
    • Paul Embley, Practitioners Resource Group,
    • Bonnie Locke, Director of Administration for National Law Enforcement Telecommunication System (NLETS), (Formerly of Wisconson Office of Justice Assistance),
    • John Nanni, Tennessee State Integrated Criminal Justice Information Project
    • Catherine Plummer, SEARCH
    • Pamela Scanlon, Automated Regional Justice Information System
    • Laurie Smith, Kalamazoo Criminal Justice Council
  • Integrated Justice Information System Institute (IJIS)
    • Susan Bates, Justice Management Inc.
    • Steve Mednick, Law Offices of Steven G. Mednick (Current President of Integrated Justice Information Systems Institute)
    • Stephanie Rondenell, ACG Inc.

Funding Sources

The United States Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs provided $503,467 from its Discretionary Grant Program, which is designed to identify "what works" in reducing crime, drug use, and violence, and to disseminate that information to state and local practitioners and communities across the country.