Improving Criminal Justice Information Sharing
Contracting Agency: Bureau of Justice Assistance, SEARCH, IJIS

The American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) was involved in multiple information exchange projects aimed at enhancing the sharing of information through criminal justice agency systems as well as exchanges between justice and non-justice agencies (e.g., social service and community-based organizations). With support and funding from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), APPA worked with the Association of State Correctional Administrators (ASCA), SEARCH, Public Policy Associates, and the IJIS Institute to conduct pilot implementations of actual, service-oriented reentry information exchanges in three jurisdictions, two at the state level and one at the county level. These sites included the Maryland Department of Public Safety, Rhode Island Department of Corrections, and Hampden County Sheriff’s Department. Project planning meetings were convened at each of the three sites and service specifications developed for each jurisdiction, followed by implementation in Hampden County (for an overview of the Hampden exchange please see conference remarks from John Kenney). The information exchanges were guided by the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM), Global Justice Reference Architecture (GRA), and previously generated IEPDs (i.e., Information Exchange Package Documentation). Prior APPA/SEARCH IEPDs included the Offender Risk Assessment, High Risk Offender Profile, Institutional Discharge Summary, and Supervisions Conditions which can be located on the IEPD clearinghouse and reused by other projects as desired (see also the Global Justice Information Sharing Toolkit [GIST] for guidance in developing exchanges).

In addition to the above information exchange project, APPA worked with the Interstate Commission of Adult Offender Supervision (ICAOS) to expand the capabilities of the Interstate Compact Offender Tracking System (ICOTS) to enable the sharing of information on state transfer probationers/parolees with law enforcement and other entities through state Fusion Centers (see also the National Fusion Center Association [NFCA]), known as the Offender Transfer Notification Service (OTNS). A software service provider expanded the existing web service and coordinated a pilot information exchange with the first pilot; the New York State Intelligence Center (NYSIC). It was later implemented in Georgia, North Carolina, and continues to be supported today. APPA and ICAOS continue to seek additional fusion centers or related entities to engage in the exchange. Interested parties should reach out to APPA for more information.

APPA also developed several reports including the Community Corrections Automated Case Management Procurement Guide with Bid Specifications, which contains bid specifications, a Request for Proposal (RFP) template, along with more general guidance, for probation and parole agencies procuring IT software and hardware. A workgroup of subject matter experts from the APPA membership was convened to assist in the creation of the guidelines (see also the report Functional Standards Development for Automated Case Management Systems for Probation by Terry L. Brown).

Finally, APPA continues to be involved in a variety of other information sharing projects and has served as an active role in the Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative (Global) with prior representation on the Global Advisory Committee (GAC) and Global Standards Council (GSC). Other projects include the Justice-Health Collaboration Project with SEARCH (see report Justice-Health Collaboration: Improving Information Exchange and Health/Human Services Organizations: Making the Case for Improved Reentry and Epidemiological Criminology by Adam K. Matz, Carl Wicklund, Jim Douglas, and Bob May) and the Correctional Information Sharing Improvement Project with IJIS. APPA has also engaged in a variety of preliminary research studies concerning the memberships’ perceptions of social media use, privacy policies and practice, and case management systems. Results of these studies can be found in various issues of Perspectives under the Technology Update in coordination with the APPA Technology Committee.

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Project Manager
Adam Matz, M.S.
Research Associate
American Probation and Parole Association
PO Box 11910
Lexington, KY 40578–1910
Phone: (859) 244-8058
Fax: (859) 244-8001