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System Integration: Issues Surrounding Integration of County-Level Justice Information Systems

NCJ Number
Date Published
39 pages
Publication Series
This report discusses issues associated with the development of integrated computer systems to serve more efficiently and effectively the information needs of all participants in the justice system at the county level.
The first phase of system integration is often organized informally, with a focus on frustration among users of the current information systems. Leadership tends to be charismatic rather than authoritarian, and membership is loosely defined or not defined; decisionmaking is by building consensus, and topics may be revisited several times. This phase may last several months or longer. The second phase focuses on a search for solutions, is accompanied by more formal organization and decisionmaking methods, and may require outside resources. It is essential to establish the scope of the integrated information system. Several important decisions must be made early in the development process, including whether to use existing or new computer hardware and software or a combination; whether to design the software as a single entity or as several agency- specific entities; and whether the development project will be conducted by existing government personnel or by private contractors. Sharing data among the user agencies is an important benefit of an integrated system. This report identifies and discusses the categories of data most likely to be shared.

Date Published: January 1, 1996