Advancing Information Sharing and Technology to Fight Crime, Counter Terrorism, and Protect the Homeland
BJA continues to successfully advance the implementation of criminal justice information sharing across local, state, and tribal agencies by remaining committed to a consensus-based, collaborative approach. The successes of BJA’s justice information-sharing initiatives are realized by focusing efforts across four key activities:
These advances in information sharing are efficient and effective because each leverages a broad array of government investments made possible by BJA’s Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative (Global) and related TTA programs. BJA and Global’s unique collaboration with partners from various jurisdictions, disciplines, and sectors is working to foster a secure and trusted environment where the justice and public safety community’s need for timely, accurate, complete, and appropriately accessible information can be realized. Moreover, BJA’s Global standards-based tools provide cost-effective solutions that promote evidence-based and data-driven decisionmaking.
In FY 2012, BJA continued its support of targeted training for law enforcement officers, investigators, analysts, and executives, including terrorism awareness training in partnership with DHS and the Program Manager, Information Sharing Environment (PM-ISE) to support the nation’s network of state and major urban area fusion centers as well as initiatives to fight electronic crime and promote social media.
State and Local Anti-Terrorism Training and the Communities Against Terrorism Programs
State and Local Anti-Terrorism Training
BJA’s State and Local Anti-Terrorism Training (SLATT) Program provides law enforcement personnel with specialized training on pre-incident information and the resources needed to combat terrorism and extremist criminal activities. The SLATT Program delivers a comprehensive set of educational programs and tools, both in person and via its web site (www.SLATT.org). Each course is delivered by certified subject-matter expert instructors and is specifically designed to meet the needs of the target audiencefrom the street-level officer to the executive.
Since the program’s inception in 1996, more than 123,100 law enforcement professionals have participated in SLATT’s onsite training programs. SLATT maintains strong partnerships with USAOs, the FBI, fusion centers, and RISS Centers, along with state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies. For example, in the years 2010-2012, SLATT collaborated with USAOs in 47 states to deliver 146 anti-terrorism training events that were customized to the needs of each audience.
Additionally, the SLATT Train-the-Trainer Program leverages the nation’s limited law enforcement resources by providing trainers with a comprehensive anti-terrorism curriculum. Participants receive teaching aids, video resources, and student materials to use in their training. Since the Train-the-Trainer Program began in 2003, more than 2,900 trainers, including approximately 320 FBI representatives, have trained more than 238,800 individuals using this curriculum.
Key FY 2012 SLATT accomplishments include:
Communities Against Terrorism
In FY 2012, SLATT also supported the Communities Against Terrorism (CAT) program, which offers law enforcement agencies resource tools such as flyers for distribution to engage members of the local community. The CAT program provides industry-specific information on suspicious activities associated with the planning and preparation of a terrorist attack. Industry practitioners know what is “normal” in their business arena (e.g., train and bus terminals, hobby stores, or chemical suppliers), and the CAT program leverages this knowledge by enhancing the ability of practitioners to detect activities with potential terrorism connection.
Key FY 2012 CAT accomplishments included:
Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative Program Management Office
Managed and staffed by BJA, the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Initiative (NSI) Program Management Office (PMO) initiated operations in March 2010 with the challenge of ensuring that regardless of where in the country suspicious activity is reported, these potential indicators of terrorist activity can be analyzed and compared with other SAR information nationwide.
NSI (http://nsi.ncirc.gov/) has developed a comprehensive program that includes community and law enforcement outreach, standardized processes, training, a privacy framework, and enabling technologyall of which are essential for successful implementation of the initiative. The NSI PMO has continued to work with key partners at the state, local, tribal, territorial, and federal levels of government, as well as advocacy groups, not only to develop and update NSI’s policies and processes but also to help ensure that Americans’ privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties are protected throughout the implementation and institutionalization of these processes.
NSI, through the National Network of Fusion Centers, reaches more than 14,000 law enforcement agencies in 47 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, as well as more than 60 federal departments and agencies. From the information submitted by these law enforcement agencies, there are now more than 23,000 SAR records accessible to fusion center analysts and the FBI. According to the FBI, this has resulted in the initiation of more than 1,000 FBI terrorism-related investigations. To date, NSI has trained more than 2,160 state, local, tribal, and federal analysts, ensuring that information shared conforms to NSI standards and privacy protections.
NSI has trained approximately 250,000 line officers across the country on recognizing behaviors that are potential indicators of terrorism activity, and there are continual efforts to institutionalize this training. NSI has also developed SAR awareness training (http://nsi.ncirc.gov/training_online.aspx) for five sectors of critical hometown security partners: fire/emergency medical services, emergency management, probation/parole/corrections, public safety telecommunications, and private-sector security.
Key FY 2012 NSI PMO accomplishments included:
National Criminal Intelligence Resource Center
The National Criminal Intelligence Resource Center (NCIRC), a partnership between BJA and the Institute for Intergovernmental Research, provides criminal justice professionals with a multitude of resources for law enforcement intelligence operations. NCIRC offers a centralized location for TTA resources, including criminal intelligence standards, policies, guidelines, and 28 CFR Part 23 online training. The web site (www.ncirc.gov) has resources for implementing the National Criminal Intelligence Sharing Plan, privacy information relating to intelligence systems, information on NSI, a Criminal Intelligence Training Master Calendar, fusion center resources, and information on new resources and initiatives.
NCIRC maintains both a public and a secure web site. The public web site provides criminal justice professionals with access to numerous resources for local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement intelligence operations and practices. The secured siteaccessible through RISS Secure Intranet (RISSNET), the FBI’s Law Enforcement Online (LEO), and the Homeland Security Information Network Intelprovides additional law enforcement and homeland security resources, including policies, techniques, best practices, and lessons learned; TTA opportunities; resources for fusion centers via the DHS/DOJ Fusion Process Technical Assistance Program; and contact information for intelligence units, fusion centers, organizations, and associations.
The NCIRC site, one of the few resources that can be accessed by multiple secure-but-unclassified (SBU) networks, continued to make additional resources available to all of its users and became the central access point for NSI and Global’s Criminal Intelligence Coordinating Council (CICC). In FY 2012, the NCIRC secure site received 10,837 visits, 143,330 page views, 523,040 hits, and 22,432 downloads. The NCIRC nonsecure web site received 151,804 visits, 1,589,911 page views, 2,439,304 hits, and 60,855 downloads.
Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative
Global (https://it.ojp.gov/global) is BJA’s award-winning program for working with practitioners to advance effective and efficient justice information sharing. As a federal advisory committee to the Attorney General, Global serves as the formal vehicle for local, state, and tribal justice entities to provide recommendations to the Attorney General to promote standards-based electronic information sharing and interoperability throughout the justice and public safety communities. This group has been essential to promoting resources that provide interoperable business solutions based on proven national policy, practices, and technology solutions.
Several hundred representatives from leading organizations within the justice community volunteered countless hours of support to DOJ through participation on the Global Advisory Committee (GAC) and Global’s four working groupsthe CICC/Global Intelligence Working Group (GIWG); Global Standards Council (GSC); Global Privacy and Information Quality Working Group (GPIQWG); and Global Outreach Working Group (GOWG).
In FY 2012, Global continued to support BJA’s efforts to develop national standards and promote information sharing in the areas of privacy, intelligence, infrastructure, and security. BJA produced many valuable products and influenced many positive outcomes based on the recommendations made by Global members, GAC, and Global working groups. Following are some key examples:
Key FY 2012 Global accomplishments in the field included:
THE INDIANA DATA EXCHANGE PROJECT
The IDEx Project webinar can be viewed at www.ncja.org/webinars-events/jisp-webinars##idexproject.
National Information Exchange Model
NIEM, which grew out of BJA’s Global Justice XML Data Model, was launched in 2005 to develop and deploy a national model for information sharing and the organizational structure to govern it. NIEM has been adopted by federal, state, local, and tribal governments across the nation, including an unprecedented collaboration among multiple federal agencies such as DOJ, DHS, and the Department of Health and Human Services. Originally designed using a consensus-based method funded and managed by BJA, NIEM is now recognized as a fundamental building block to enable the sharing of information across domains, disciplines, and jurisdictions.
NIEM brings together diverse communities that collectively leverage NIEM tools, processes, and technologies to increase efficiencies and improve decisionmaking. NIEM has been implemented in all 50 states and several countries. Recent NIEM implementations include the following:
The NIEM web site (www.niem.gov) provides users with the opportunity to learn about NIEM and to connect and collaborate with experts and others. Users also can register for events or training, attend online trainings and webinars, access the latest versions of NIEM and tools for working with NIEM, and create NIEM-conformant XML exchanges. Enhancements to the site began in FY 2012 and include technological advancement in stakeholder communication and other updated features.
April 19, 2012 marked the seventh anniversary of the NIEM program, and the global expansion and adoption of NIEM continued through FY 2012. Through efforts in several domain areas, both Canada and Mexico are looking at adopting NIEM. In addition, the NIEM PMO recently sent a team to the Netherlands to provide NIEM technical training to more than a dozen participants from Europol, Eurojust, and Frontex, as well as representatives from countries including Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, Poland, and Sweden.
Domestically, NIEM expanded through the addition of the following domains: NIEM Government Resource Management, NIEM Health, and NIEM Human Services. These new partnerships broaden the reach of the NIEM community to 15 domains. Progress also continues across NIEM’s more established domains: Biometrics; Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear; Cyber; Emergency Management; Immigration; Infrastructure Protection; Intelligence; International Trade; Justice; Maritime; Screening; and Children, Youth, and Family Services.
In July 2012, BJA led discussions with the NIEM Executive Steering Council (ESC) about the importance of initiating and supporting the next release of NIEM (version 3.0), which the ESC subsequently approved. BJA is managing the implementation of NIEM 3.0 with support from the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI). NIEM was built to be governed by the community and to respond to its business requirements, and NIEM 3.0 will address community-identified needs to date. NIEM 3.0 release activities will be conducted over a 13-month period, with a planned delivery of fall 2013.
ACHIEVING INTEROPERABILITY ACROSS VIRGINIA THROUGH NIEM
VITA, working on behalf of Virginia’s Secretary and the Chief Information Officer, has centered its compliance strategy on migrating commonwealth agencies toward conformance with NIEM. By integrating NIEM into Virginia’s enterprise information architecture program, VITA will be able to enforce a common discipline, an established and stable set of standards, and a shared vocabulary to support semantic interoperability for person-related data across state government.
VITA’s NIEM integration strategy will also give agencies the ability to map data elements in legacy systems and commercial-off-the-shelf solutions toward a NIEM-conformant IEP. For new systems, VITA will support agencies in their implementation of NIEM standards throughout the system lifecycle. Compliance with adopted standards also will be a required element in VITA’s review and approval process for new projects.
This adoption of NIEM represents Virginia’s latest step toward enterprise data governance and standardization. The state has already made significant progress on interoperability in the health information technology domain. Based on guidance from its Health IT Standards Advisory Committee, more than 125 health IT standards have been adopted during the past year, including implementation guides, data exchange, vocabulary, messaging, and technology standards. VITA maintains the inventory of adopted standards in its searchable, web-based Enterprise Standards Repository.
VITA views its NIEM integration strategy as an opportunity to bring the other domains of state government up to the level of interoperability achieved in the health domain, as well as to establish a framework for building information exchanges across domains and levels of government. The agency has started implementing its NIEM strategy by mapping adopted standards for personal data to a NIEM-conformant IEP. Also, in November 2012, VITA hosted an onsite NIEM technical training by the IJIS Institute for data stewards across Virginia.
VITA recognizes that achieving interoperability through a NIEM-conformant strategy will be an incremental process, and the state has been working from an interim plan for meeting the new statutory requirements. The final plan, which will include a cost estimate, scope, and schedule for NIEM conformance, will be ready in July 2013.
For more information, visit the VITA Technology Oversight web site (www.vita.virginia.gov).
National Motor Vehicle Title Information System
Vehicle theft and cloning have too often become lucrative illegal activities for organized criminals, with the profits often used to support other violent crime. To combat automobile fraud and theft, BJA established and oversees the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) (www.vehiclehistory.gov). BJA implements NMVTIS in partnership with the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA), which operates the system.
NMVTIS is an electronic system designed to assist states and law enforcement in deterring, investigating, and preventing title fraud and other vehicle-related crimes. In addition, the system is intended to protect consumers from fraud and unsafe vehicles and to keep stolen vehicles from being resold.
Designed to prevent vehicle histories from being concealed from consumers, NMVTIS captures into one system specific data from state motor vehicle titling agencies, automobile recyclers, junk and salvage yards, and insurance carriers. It is the only publicly available system in the United States to which all of these parties are required under federal law to report on a regular basis.
NMVTIS ensures that key information about a vehicle’s condition and history is available, accessible, and affordable to consumers. Consumers can obtain a NMVTIS Vehicle History Report to access critical nationwide total loss, odometer reading, brand history, title, and salvage information about a vehicle to make an informed car-buying decision.
Key FY 2012 NMVTIS accomplishments included:
The system is helping to protect consumers from fraud and unsafe vehicles, assist with the identification of cloned vehicles prior to title issuance, and provide increased theft and fraud investigative abilities for law enforcement. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) estimates that, when fully implemented, NMVTIS will save taxpayers $4 billion to $11 billion each year.
Regional Information Sharing Systems
The RISS Program, funded through BJA, offers secure information sharing and communications capabilities, investigative support services, technical assistance, and critical deconfliction services. RISS’s services and programs directly support and positively affect our nation’s public safety mission. RISS consists of six regional centers and a national technology support center. The program serves thousands of local, state, federal, and tribal law enforcement and public safety agencies in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, Australia, Canada, England, and New Zealand. RISS’s services and programs ultimately affect nearly 1 million law enforcement officers, analysts, and public safety personnel who have the responsibility for protecting our nation from crime and terrorism.
In addition, RISS provides investigative support services such as analytical support, equipment loans, intelligence research, training, specialized publications, and technical assistance. RISS offers law enforcement full-service delivery from the beginning of an investigation to the ultimate prosecution and conviction of criminals. Through RISS, an officer can query multiple intelligence databases, retrieve information from investigative systems, solicit assistance from research staff, utilize surveillance equipment, receive training, and obtain analytical products.
RISSNET is a secure law enforcement cloud-computing platform that hosts and provides access to millions of pieces of data, offers bidirectional information sharing, connects disparate systems, and acts as the communications infrastructure for a number of critical resources and investigative tools. Currently, 86 agency systems are connected or pending connection to RISSNET. More than 350 resources are available to authorized users via RISSNET; the owners of these resources rely on RISSNET for its proven and secure infrastructure. Through RISSNET, authorized users can access the RISS Criminal Intelligence Databases (RISSIntel), the RISSGang resources, the RISS Automated Trusted Information Exchange (RISS ATIX), and RISSafe, as well as other critical resources and tools. In FY 2012, more than 31.6 million records were available via RISSNET from all these resources combined.
RISSIntel enables members to inquire about and search for suspected criminal intelligence information. In FY 2012, RISSIntel contained more than 2.8 million intelligence records, and member agencies made more than 4.7 million inquiries in the RISSIntel databases. The RISSIntel user interface provides real-time, online federated search capabilities to 22 RISS partner system intelligence databases, including state systems and the California gang intelligence system (known as CalGang), and it enables the RISSNET user to access partner systems with a single user account.
With RISSafe, RISS places officer safety as a high priority. RISSafe is the only comprehensive and nationwide deconfliction system that can be accessed by all law enforcement agencies on a 24/7, 365-day basis. RISSafe stores and maintains data on planned law enforcement eventssuch as undercover operationswith the goal of identifying and alerting affected agencies of potential conflicts that may affect law enforcement efforts. RISSafe was first deployed in 2008, and the RISSafe web site (www.riss.net/Resources/RISSafe) was launched in March 2011.
Over the last 3 years, the use of RISS services in member agency criminal cases resulted in 15,157 arrests and more than $284 million in narcotics, property, and currency seizures. With available FY 2012 funding, RISS strived to continue this success through its critical services and resources, its related applications, and its analytical services.
Some of RISS’s accomplishments during FY 2012 included:
Electronic and High-Tech Crime
National White Collar Crime Center
During FY 2012, BJA partnered with the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) to deliver specialized training to more than 4,400 state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement officers in 39 states and 2 territories. Training courses on a variety of subjects were taught during the year, including “Cyber Crime Investigation and Forensics” (2,898 students) and financial crime topics such as “Mortgage Fraud and Intellectual Property Crime” (1,525 students). These trainings have helped increase the capacity of state, local, and tribal law enforcement to keep up with the ever-evolving complexity of economic and high-tech crime.
NW3C staff, operating the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), processed 290,907 complaints, of which 236,973 were referred for investigation to state and local law enforcement agencies. IC3 analysts and NW3C Investigative Support analysis also provided investigative support to state and local agencies, resulting in many successful prosecutions.
NW3C increased its collaboration with other BJA-funded projects in FY 2012, maximizing the effectiveness of effort from all partners, including:
Preventing and Responding to Crimes Committed Using Handheld Devices
In FY 2012, BJA partnered with Drakontas, Drexel University, and BK Forensics to develop a web-based training curriculum for law enforcement officers on preventing and responding to crimes committed using handheld devices (e.g., smart phones, tablets). The project team is using feedback and input collected from the law enforcement community to structure the curriculum and guide content development. The curriculum, to be released in FY 2013, will include a comprehensive pre-/post-test to measure the knowledge gained by participants.
Cross-Boundary Information-Sharing Program
BJA funded cross-boundary information-sharing programs, which employ emerging and established justice information-sharing practices, in more than 20 local or state agencies in FYs 2010 and 2011. These funds continue to reap results for the agencies funded as well as other agencies. These and other agencies are leveraging the national technical standards and tools developed via other BJA Global investments and efforts that stretch limited funds and exercise national standards and tools to afford ongoing improvement and broader use. Below are descriptions of key projects.
CONNECT South Dakota
“South Dakota citizens are safer, South Dakota police officers are safer, and offenders in South Dakota’s jails are safer.” This is how Michael Milstead, Sheriff of Minnehaha County, South Dakota, described the significant impact of the CONNECT South Dakota project during the GAC Biannual Meeting on October 24, 2012. South Dakota CONNECT was funded under BJA’s FY 2010 Cross-Boundary Information Sharing Program. The purpose of the CONNECT South Dakota project is to integrate the formerly “siloed” information systems of law enforcement agencies across South Dakota while upholding privacy rights and civil liberties and allowing local agencies to retain control of their own data. The sheriff also emphasized that the use of Global tools has resulted in “tremendous” cost-savings for the state. The Connect South Dakota solution is being shared nationwide with the expectation that it can be replicated at lower cost in other jurisdictions.
Hawaii Integrated Justice Information Sharing Program
This program is leveraging Global tools to implement a federated search and identity management capability that will allow law enforcement, prosecutors, courts, and correctional facilities to query one another’s systems from a single, streamlined user interface. Having access to other agencies’ offender information will significantly enhance decisionmaking and save significant time by eliminating the need to search multiple data systems.
Colorado Department of Public Safety, Division of Criminal Justice
Colorado’s project focuses on creating automated information exchanges among state and local agencies that work with at-risk juveniles and their families, so that they will have access to timely and reliable information about available services. It is also creating and testing privacy protocols related to the protection of sensitive juvenile and family data. The project is overseen by Colorado’s Division of Criminal Justice, the Colorado Children Youth Information Sharing Collaboration, and the Center for Network Development, with participation by the Colorado Departments of Education, Health Care Policy and Financing, Human Services, Public Health and Environment, Public Safety, and State Judiciary, and the Governor’s Office of Information Technology.
Nebraska Commission on Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice
This program focuses on the development and implementation of the “Global in a Box” concept, which is an appliance consisting of a hardware server and software that conforms to Global standards and NIEM. Developed by the Nebraska Commission on Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice, it builds on the CONNECT Project that links criminal justice information-sharing portals from Nebraska, Alabama, Kansas, and Wyoming. When finalized, the appliance will be installed in the four participating states of the CONNECT Project as well as an additional state to be identified, and it will be available for export to other states. Current CONNECT Project proof-of-concept services will be migrated to run on the appliance and take advantage of security, performance, usability, and administrative enhancement created by this project.
Dallas County Department of Information Technology
Dallas County has evolved a successful project to share incident and arrest information between two of the key agencies in the county (the Sheriff and District Attorney’s Case Management System) focused on electronic booking and case filing initiatives. The purpose of this program is to expand coverage of this information-sharing initiative to 25 additional agencies in Dallas County. This project is facilitating information sharing among the information systems of these 25 agencies using NIEM and the Global standards. This initiative is estimated to save 18,000 labor hours related to the booking process and 35,000 labor hours related to preparation and delivery of case filing packets to the District Attorney’s Office. A primary focus of this initiative is ensuring the privacy and security of the information exchanges being implemented.
Iowa Division of Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning
The purpose of this initiative is to develop National Data Exchange (N-DEx) compliant information exchange package (IEP) documents and web services to exchange incident information among state law enforcement and other justice agencies in real time. The result will be statewide implementation of N-DEx using the existing Criminal Justice Information System.
County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania
The purpose of this pilot is the development of a replicable unified case management system serving adult probation, jail, prosecutors, and juvenile detention interests statewide. Offender information will be entered one time and then assigned to multiple cases, which will significantly reduce the time spent entering duplicative offender data. A system prototype is being developed and pilot-tested in three to five counties with at least two departments, and a robust statewide governance process is being implemented to oversee the project. It is estimated that $7 million per year will be saved if Pennsylvania can reduce its prison population by 1 percent by making more informed management decisions using higher quality data at the county level.
Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office
The New Jersey Passaic River Corridor comprises 83 municipalities located in 6 Urban Area Security Initiative counties. Numerous major roadways traverse the region, facilitating access east to New York City and south to Philadelphia. This ease of movement, coupled with the many jurisdictional borders of the 83 municipalities, challenges law enforcement to prevent, interdict, and prosecute criminals and recidivists who exploit the contiguous municipalities by crossing jurisdictional boundaries to commit crimes. The cities of Paterson, Passaic, and Newark, along with the New Jersey Regional Information Operations Center, joined in 2009 to deploy a pilot platform and governance protocols to enable rapid sharing of information about crimes that cross jurisdictional borders, particularly the modus operandi and attributes of offenders. More than 100 users in 43 jurisdictions across 3 counties, along with the New Jersey State Police, participate. The BJA Cross-Boundary Information Sharing Program supports the Passaic River Corridor Cross-Jurisdictional Collaboration Pilot, which successfully applies virtual collaborative case management capabilities to enable information exchange immediately after the commission of a crime. Cloud computing and social networking technologies enable automated discovery and connection of data relationships, visual messaging, link visualization, and association mapping. The pilot deployment focuses primarily on shootings, robberies, burglaries, auto theft, and organized retail crime. As a result of this pilot initiative, the Passaic River Corridor platform is being enhanced and is leveraging NIEM and Global tools to (1) expand the user community; (2) provide more robust collaboration features; (3) introduce querying to augment collaboration capabilities; and (4) integrate data from additional sources. Benefits of these significant enhancements include reduced case closure times; more precise and timely tracking, apprehending, and prosecuting of offenders committing cross-jurisdictional crimes; more effective allocation of investigative resources; enhanced predictive analysis to support intelligence-driven operations and provide real-time trend analysis; support for deconfliction efforts; and cost savings.
National Governors Association Center for Best Practices
The purpose of this National Governors Association (NGA) initiative is to assist states in improving their ability to implement corrections reform by optimizing justice information sharing capabilities. NGA will conduct a policy academy where states will develop a strategic understanding of the policy and technical challenges to implementing Global standards and tools, as well as how adopting these standards and tools will support reform efforts. The project objectives include convening a national faculty of justice information-sharing experts to help plan and carry out policy academy activities, an issue brief for governors and their staff, a three-state policy academy on corrections information sharing, technical assistance to policy academy states, and national lessons-learned briefings based on project results.
Criminal Information Sharing Alliance, Inc.
One of the primary impediments to secure electronic information exchange and system interoperability is identity and privilege management ensuring that authorized individuals have access to the data sources they need regardless of where they reside in the enterprise. The Criminal Information Sharing Alliance (CISA) addressed these problems by developing, operating, and maintaining the CISA network (CISAnet), which joined 10 state and several federal agencies in a secure law enforcement information-sharing network. In 2005, CISA joined two other criminal justice information-sharing organizations the Pennsylvania Justice Network and RISSto show that authorized users of one system could access information on another system without being a member of, or separately logging into, that system. This demonstration was the first phase of the GFIPM project. The project was initiated in response to a growing demand from the justice community that critical investigative information be made available across federal, state, tribal, and local agencies in a secure, efficient, and cost-effective manner. With Cross-Boundary Information Sharing Program funding from BJA, CISA is implementing an Identity Provider (IDP) and Service Provider for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and a Texas Department of Public Safety IDP. When both IDPs are implemented, 3,500 state law enforcement officers in Georgia and Texas will have access to other state’s case management information system.
Vera Institute of Justice
The criminal justice involvement of drug users and people with mental health problems is a growing public health crisis that stretches the resources of overburdened state and county justice systems. In 2005, three times as many people with mental illness were in our nation’s prisons and jails as in psychiatric hospitals. As increasing numbers of people with behavioral health needs become involved in the justice system, it is important that behavioral health and justice agencies can communicate and coordinate care for people as they enter and leave correctional settings and appropriately divert people to community treatment alternatives. At a time when public officials are seeking ways to maximize the use of scarce resources, many jurisdictions recognize the potential for data sharing to improve service provision, enhance individual outcomes, and reduce duplication of effort. Privacy considerations are an integral part of designing any data-sharing initiative, but the multiple local, state, and federal regulations governing the release of health information generally (e.g., Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and drug treatment information specifically (e.g., 42 CFR Part 2) are especially complex and difficult to navigate. The goal of the Behavioral Health and Justice Information Sharing Project (BHAJIS) is to increase the capacity nationwide of jurisdictions to share behavioral health and justice data in secure, legal, and ethical ways that maximize benefits to clients while reducing costs. This project will provide guidance on determining the type of data exchanges that are legally permissible under local regulations, outline potential ethical pitfalls, and offer assistance with arranging data exchanges, including examples of proven strategies. Specifically, BHAJIS will create a “knowledge bank” web site to disseminate a variety of web-based resources collected and created by the project team. These resources and tools will address a variety of topics, making the project accessible and instructive to jurisdictions at various stages of developing information-sharing initiatives and with different levels of capacity and technical expertise.
San Diego Association of Governments
San Diego’s Automated Regional Justice Information System, Arizona’s AZLink, the San Diego and Arizona Fusion Centers, and justice agencies in New Mexico and Texas are collaborating to expand interstate offender information sharing along the southwest border via handheld devices. This initiative, called the South West Offender Real-time Notification (SWORN) program, will focus on sharing corrections, probation and parole, law enforcement, and homeland security data across jurisdictional and agency boundaries. Specifically, SWORN will provide real-time field access to data, alerts, and photographs not currently shared, including identifying images, probation information, and inmate release conditions from the Arizona Department of Corrections, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, San Diego County Probation, federal probation, Superior Court of California, Maricopa County Jail, and immigration and customs enforcement to southwestern agencies.
The ongoing violence among Mexican drug trafficking organizations and Mexican law enforcement agencies with ties to the drug trade have increased violence along both sides of the U.S./Mexican border. Compounding the direct effects of the drug conflict is the increase in gang violence. In addition, the California Supreme Court made a recent decision to release more than 100,000 inmates to mitigate prison overcrowding. This decision is likely to result in movement of released inmates to neighboring states. Since 57 percent of ex-offenders return to prison within 2 years, the offenses they commit before re-incarceration result in danger to the public and an inestimable impact in the lives of their victims. In many jurisdictions, notification of releases from corrections to law enforcement is cumbersome and not communicated to the frontline officers. Reports of these releases have minimal information and no photographs or detailed demographic data, and they are still sometimes mailed or faxed to the agency of the jurisdiction where the ex-offender is going. Enabling officers and investigators to positively identify individuals in the field and, in particular, to be aware of ex-offender status and probation and parole conditions are critical to ensuring the safety and effectiveness of law enforcement and the safety of the public.
Public and Private Partnerships
The value of BJA’s Global information-sharing standards is directly proportional to the level of adoption and use of those standards by commercial product and service providers. Understanding that private industry plays a critical role in realizing the promise of the Global standards (e.g., reduced cost, improved scalability, and responsible information sharing across the justice and public safety enterprise), BJA continues to advance collaboration between the public and private sectors through its partnership with the Integrated Justice Information System (IJIS) Institute.
In FY 2012, the IJIS Institute launched its Springboard Initiative (SBI) in partnership with BJA and the PM-ISE. SBI is a Global standards-based interoperability program designed to expand and mature the adoption of such standards by providing a national venue for system testing and reference implementations and by enabling more informed agency procurement selections through compliance testing and product certifications. After initial launch (which involved establishing the Springboard Governance Council, concept of operations, and physical infrastructure), SBI implemented standards testing and certification for the Prescription Monitoring Information Exchange (PMIX). This testing proved critical to ensuring the interoperability of competing PMIX hubs that would have otherwise resulted in disparate and incompatible intrastate systems. BJA can now limit funding to only those solutions that enable full national prescription monitoring and management. Such standards-based technical solutions minimize customized local development and maximize agility and scalability, helping justice and public safety agencies appropriately focus their limited resources.
To further demonstrate the power of bringing together private and public professionals, BJA, in partnership with the IJIS Institute and Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials, collaborated with private suppliers and diverse justice and public safety professionals to develop national requirements for a unified law enforcement, fire, and EMS (UCAD) system. The UCAD Functional Requirements (UCAD FR) help local and state agencies better define and communicate their system requirements, while helping CAD providers become standards-conformant. The UCAD FR provides a detailed, comprehensive, and unified set of more than 130 functional requirements for police, fire, and EMS CAD systems and provides information on future issues for CAD systems, such as Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) and Broadband/LTE (Long-Term Evolution). The UCAD FR provides a starting point for emergency response agencies when developing CAD requests for proposals, which levels the playing field when selecting new CAD solutions and promotes system interoperability (e.g., CAD-to-CAD).
BJA also continued to partner with the IJIS Institute on the Gang Intelligence Information Sharing project. Working with several system providers, this standards-based project is piloting the exchange of gang intelligence information between multiple legacy systems and local agencies in Florida, Indiana, and Texas. This work leverages prior collaborations to build national technical standards that define the content and technical infrastructure for sharing gang data, which will save effort with each implementation and enable later integration and inclusion of additional legacy systems and new agencies. This architecture takes advantage of assets and investments made in other BJA programs (such as the NSI shared space server) and will support a federated search across locally controlled databases.
In FY 2012, BJA partnered with the IJIS Institute, SEARCH, and APPA to deploy a standards-based information sharing capability to support reentry programs in Rhode Island, Maryland, and Hampden County, Massachusetts. Hampden County Sheriff’s Department, law enforcement and public safety partners, and independent human and social service providers in the community are working together to strengthen the quality and comprehensive support of offender reentry to provide for continuity of care, improved public safety, and reduced recidivism. This work was accomplished with minimal investment and provides for additional expansion through the use and reuse of the Global Standards Package. Participating community service providers are required to complete a pre-implementation survey online and another survey 6 months after implementation to quantify results and assess outcomes.
With assistance from BJA, the IJIS Institute and its members helped the Montana Department of Corrections develop and deploy standards and a new technical approach to separating the collection and disbursement of corrections data and the resulting victim notification. The subsequent state implementation was cost-effective and locally controlled. Moreover, this Victim Information & Notification Everyday (also known as VINE) proof of concept is paving the way for other service providers to enter this once monopolized provider space.
TTA related to information sharing remain the strongest examples of how BJA and the IJIS Institute engage private industry to support and inform state, local, and tribal agencies’ efforts to improve criminal justice policies and practices and enhance public safety. In FY 2012, the IJIS Institute and its members’ successful TTA activities included: