Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $197,215)
The Montgomery County Attorney’s Office (“MCAO”) serves the 14th Judicial District in Southeast Kansas out of a principal office located in Independence, Kansas, and a second office located in Coffeyville, Kansas. Its 11 attorneys and support staff are split between the two locations, due to Montgomery County having functioning courthouses in both towns. The MCAO handles all criminal, traffic, Care and Treatment, juvenile, and Child in Need of Care cases for the county. As such, it is required to manage and share a great deal of case information with several entities on a daily basis—including but not limited to law enforcement agencies, the defense bar, and district court—and the MCAO faces a number of challenges inherent with this task.
For example, the MCAO has to interact with a variety of software platforms due to the different ones used by several of the law enforcement agencies, as well as district court. Many of those systems are not compatible with the MCAO’s current case management software system, which creates extra and duplicative work for the MCAO staff. Further, the security and accessibility of case information is handled by outdated methods that fall short of current standards in content management technology.
However, the MCAO is applying for the IPS Program grant because it believes these challenges can be mitigated through the use of updated technology. If awarded, the MCAO proposes a dual-component project for addressing its current challenges: implementing 1) new case management software and 2) new hardware. These measures would help the MCAO communicate with a variety of entities accurately and efficiently, provide cloud-based storage and backup of its files, support the transition to a paper-less office environment, and generate metrics regarding services provided to the Montgomery County community. Taken together, these improvements would help the MCAO operate more efficiently and allow it to direct resources where they can have the greatest impact on ensuring that criminal justice is served in Montgomery County.