Office of Justice Programs (OJP)

Pennsylvania Justice Network & Cumberland County Laboratory Information Management System Web Service Project

BJA Program(s): Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program
State(s): PA

Grantee Agency: Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency

Subgrantee Agency: Pennsylvania Justice Network

Grant Amount/Year(s): FY 2014/250,000

About the Program:

In Cumberland County, law enforcement and forensic laboratories have merged their record keeping systems, eliminating a duplication of efforts and thus, decreasing the wait time for results of forensic testing.

In 2014, the Pennsylvania Justice Network received a $250,000 grant from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program to improve justice information sharing. This award was in conjunction with a $480,000 Paul Coverdell National Forensic Science Improvement award. With funding from these awards, officials developed a new laboratory management system, leveraged existing web services, and improved the sharing of information about blood evidence between the county’s forensics lab and criminal justice agency partners.

This project is in support of the long-standing efforts by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency to improve information sharing and automate data exchanges within the criminal justice system.

Program Successes/Effect on the Community:

This effort streamlines the information sharing between the forensic lab, the district attorneys, law enforcement departments, and the courts. Previously, the police department and evidence laboratory each had their own individual record keeping systems, which led to duplicating efforts and numerous phone calls and emails to the labs asking for results.

Under the new arrangement, evidence is logged into the system only once and when the results are in, law enforcement officials are immediately notified through their records management system.

Overall, the goals of the JNET/Cumberland County Laboratory Information Management System Web Service Project are to:

  • Advance information sharing via direct system exchange, using national JIS standards, between laboratories and justice systems in Cumberland County
  • Create a service that can be replicated in other counties in Pennsylvania and other states that have similar requirements
  • Reduce processing time of lab results by enabling justice and health standards
  • Enable faster, more direct and accurate results to expedite decisions and case processing
  • Save money

In Spring 2017, it is expected that this system could expand to other jurisdictions in Pennsylvania.

Learn More:
To learn more about the program, please contact:
Eric Radnovich
Director, Bureau of Justice Services
Cumberland County District Attorney's Office


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