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Report of the National Task Force on Court Automation and Integration

NCJ Number
Amir Holmes
Date Published
June 1999
137 pages
Publication Series
This project is designed to develop coordinated automation and integration of court systems throughout the United States and to assess the current status of county and statewide information systems to direct future integration efforts.
Information technology provides useful tools for responding to increased demands of court systems, but such technology brings a new set of responsibilities. Court systems must develop ground rules, protocols, and priorities to govern the exchange and security of data; new funding and procurement procedures to guide the acquisition, maintenance, and upgrade of integrated information systems used by separate agencies that are often under the control of different government entities; and new standards to ensure complexities of the justice process are protected as information services move into the electronic realm. Court systems undertaking automation and integration cite a variety of reasons for doing so, including cost savings, increased efficiency, elimination of redundant data entry, improved decision-making, and increased public safety. Barriers to court automation and integration include limited resources, resistance to change, complex justice processes, fear of reduced service, distrust, hesitancy to rely on outside staff, system incompatibility, and disagreements over data ownership. The success of automation and integration efforts depends on comprehensive strategic planning, appropriate security measures, adequate funding, and the identification and development of information sharing standards. Recommendations are offered for agencies considering or currently administering court automation and integration projects. Additional information is appended on court automation and integration, including survey lists of counties and States planning, developing, or operating integrated justice systems. Footnotes and tables

Date Published: June 1, 1999