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The IJIS Factor is the IJIS Institute's blog that covers technology and information sharing and safeguarding topics, including national standards and initiatives.


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Exploring the Advisory Committees - Part III - Corrections

Posted By Alex McAdoo, 3 hours ago

Part one of this blog series discussed the importance of the IJIS Advisory Committees in fostering collaboration and dialogue between the public and private sectors, while the second blog described the work of the CJIS Advisory Committee. Blog three of our six-part series focuses on the Corrections Advisory Committee (CAC).

The IJIS CAC promotes partnerships and advances open dialogue among leading industry providers, corrections practitioners and the key practitioner organizations whose members represent local, state, and federal corrections focused initiatives. IJIS CAC practitioner organizations whose members collaborate both individually, and representing their respective organizations, include the American Corrections Association (ACA), Corrections Technology Association (CTA), American Parole and Probation Association (APPA), American Jail Association (AJA), and the Correctional Leadership Association (CLA, formerly known as ASCA). The 16 IJIS CAC members routinely:

  •  Evaluate proposed initiatives
  •  Identify opportunities for new or improved information sharing standards
  •  Develop white papers
  •  Publish corrections-specific standards documents
  •  Deliver workshops
  •  Sponsor national training events
  •  Provide further guidance on other corrections-related issues

The IJIS CAC has two working groups and one task force, working to advance specific goals within its mission. Currently, the Corrections Technology Provider Directory Working Group is developing a searchable product and services directory specific to the corrections industry. This new directory is modeled after the successful Courts Technology Provider Directory pioneered by the IJIS Courts Advisory Committee. Once the Corrections Provider Directory is operational, corrections agency staff can access it on the IJIS website, initiate searches for specific product/service categories, and receive a list of products/services by provider.

The IJIS CAC stood up a task force to help launch the IJIS Institute’s fourth Corrections Leadership Technology Forum. This biennial event brings together over eighty corrections leaders from across the nation for a three-day working session to address the latest challenges and technology developments affecting the corrections community overall. Attendees include state corrections directors / commissioners and secretaries and their Chief Information Officers (CIOs), local jail administrations and CIOs, and directors and administrations from within the probation, parole and community correction area along with their CIOs / Chief Technology Officers. The Forum covers various topics, such as technology for detecting contraband and other methods of interdiction, serving special needs populations, and addressing new and emerging technology and threats.  

In addition, the Corrections Information Technology Recognition Working Group was established to create an IJIS Corrections Information Technology Recognition program. This inaugural recognition honors a team achievement for the technical innovation between an industry partner(s) and one or more practitioner agencies that significantly contributed to the advancement of corrections information technology in the public sector. The recipient(s) of the new recognition will be announced at the upcoming IJIS National Symposium, February 26-27, 2020.

Other noteworthy IJIS CAC accomplishments include publishing the first document entitled the Value of Corrections Information Sharing, and in 2017, the updated version of the original 2004 document entitled Common Business Functions for Correctional Management Systems, and the latest published document entitled Corrections Tech 2020 – Technological Trends in Custodial & Corrections whitepaper. The IJIS CAC members have also participated in the IJIS led, BJA funded Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) Data Standard Work Group and served as subject matter experts in the IJIS workgroup responsible for the development of the national information sharing standard for State Automated Victim Information and Notification (SAVIN).

Committee members are also engaged in outreach activities that included participating in workshops at three recent training conferences, presenting at two international corrections conferences, and establishing a dialogue between IJIS and the International Corrections and Prisons Association (ICPA) regarding partnership opportunities.

Through these activities, the IJIS CAC expanded its outreach and exposure, enhanced the IJIS Institute’s effectiveness in serving its constituents, and contributed to improving the overall corrections mission in prisons, jails, and community corrections facilities. The IJIS CAC looks forward to publishing white papers that serve the industry and practitioners, delivering valuable corrections-focused workshops, conducting additional outreach activities, and identifying innovative ways to improve technology and information sharing in corrections.

For any questions regarding the IJIS Institute’s Corrections Advisory Committee, or to inquire about joining the Committee, please contact staff liaison, Kathy Gattin, at  

Tags:  community corrections  Corrections  corrections technology  Technology 

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Exploring the Advisory Committees - Part II - Criminal Justice Information Systems (CJIS)

Posted By Alex McAdoo, Thursday, October 3, 2019

Part one of this six-part blog series, Exploring the IJIS Institute’s Advisory Committees, discussed the importance of fostering the participation of diverse perspectives from both the public and private sectors. This aspect is crucial to help advance the organization’s important mission of promoting safer and healthier communities through public sector innovation and information sharing. The formation of the IJIS Institute’s Criminal Justice Information Systems (CJIS) Advisory Committee is in direct correlation with that mission, all while striving to support and improve information sharing solutions across the federal, state and local levels.

The CJIS Advisory Committee promotes partnerships and advances open dialogue between industry and key practitioner organizations that represent federal, state and local information sharing initiatives. The Committee evaluates proposed CJIS initiatives, identifies opportunities for new or improved information-sharing standards, develops white papers and provides further guidance on issues related to CJIS. The 15 members on this committee have profound backgrounds in improving criminal justice information-sharing initiatives. The committee is composed of federal, state and local practitioners, and industry experts. Their diverse backgrounds have proven to be crucial in the successful completion of Committee objectives.

All IJIS Advisory Committees can establish a task force or working group to focus on advancing specific information sharing initiatives or solutions. These sub-groups are led by IJIS Members from the respective advisory committee and additional participants with topic-specific skills and experience are enlisted from IJIS’ wider membership. The CJIS Advisory Committee currently has three active sub-groups engaged in advancing specific goals within its mission of improving information sharing standards and solutions. Specifically, the Background Check Working Group concentrates on collecting information and evaluating existing processes around the country used for non-law enforcement background checks, primarily within the Justice and Health Services domains. In August of 2018, the Working Group created a State Background Check Portal, which provides up-to-date information on state policies and processes for conducting non-law enforcement background checks. This portal provided as a resource for members of the technology industry when initiating background checks in the course of their work with law enforcement agencies.

The Committee’s N-DEx / NIBRS Task Force focuses on issues related to N-DEx and NIBRS. A recent deliverable is an informative N-DEx - NIBRS Compare and Contrast resource, developed with local law enforcement and the RMS provide community as audiences, to help to eliminate the mystery and misconceptions about N-DEx and NIBRS data collection and submission.

One recent success story was the Committee’s Web Services Working Group. The FBI UCR program began to emphasize XML, and specifically the NIBRS IEPD as the preferred format for NIBRS submissions of incident data from state UCR programs. The Advisory Committee saw a need to modernize the method of transporting those CML files, and more broadly for state UCR systems to communicate with the FBI’s new UCR system. The Advisory Committee spun-up a Web Services Working Group that included IJIS member companies; state program managers, through a partnership with their member organization, the Association of State UCR Program (ASUCRP); and technical representatives from the FBI-CJIS Division. This strong collaborative worked over the course of over a year to define a draft web services specification; create web services definition language (WDL) file; and partner on testing the interactions of the web service. As a result, the FBI has made web service communications available to state programs, which promises to greatly improve the timeliness of NIBRS submissions, and to enhance and streamline the back-and-forth communications required to resolve errors submitted incident data.

Through the completion of these projects and deliverables, the Committee has gained further access and participation to a larger audience of industry experts and practitioner executives, which help improve the effectiveness of both current and future projects. Looking forward, the Committee will continue to strategically support national information sharing initiatives and identify mechanisms to aid with the adoption of current solutions and initiatives. For example, the Committee will be organizing a cross-committee working group seeking to provide clarity on security concerns given the trend toward cloud-hosted criminal justice solutions.

For any questions regarding the IJIS Institute’s CJIS Advisory Committee, or to inquire about joining the CJIS Advisory Committee, please contact staff liaison, Robert May, at

Tags:  CJIS 

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IJIS Institute Corrections Advisory Committee Chair, Fred Roesel, Awarded CTA Leadership Award

Posted By Alex McAdoo, Thursday, September 19, 2019

Ashburn VA, Sept. 19, 2019. The IJIS Institute – a nonprofit alliance working to promote and enable technology in the public sector and expand the use of information to maximize safety, efficiency, and productivity across several major public-sector domains, including: Criminal Justice, Public Safety, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services and Transportation – would like to congratulate our esteemed IJIS Corrections Advisory Committee Chair, Fred Roesel, for receiving the 2019 Corrections Technology Association (CTA) Leadership Award!  IJIS Executive Director, Ashwini Jarral would like to express a special thank you  to our alliance partner organization, CTA, for choosing Mr. Roesel for such a well-deserved honor!  The CTA Leadership Award is announced at their Annual Technology Summit to acknowledge an individual who has made a significant contribution to the world of corrections. The typical recipient of this award has been in the field of corrections for over 20 years and makes contributions on a national level. This year’s award was presented to Mr. Roesel on June 2nd in Scottsdale, Arizona.


IJIS Executive Director, Ashwini Jarral , offers his sincere congratulations to Mr. Roesel and noted that “under the years of leadership Mr. Roesel has volunteered to the IJIS Institute, he has helped position IJIS as one of the leading organizations in addressing information sharing, emerging technologies and overcoming many of the challenges faced by the Correction community.  He has been a leading example of the support provided to the IJIS Institute and their mission since 2011. He previously served on the Board of Directors and currently holds the Chair position for the Institute’s Corrections Advisory Committee.”


When it comes to working in corrections, there are very few individuals with a more dedicated and decorated career than Fred Roesel. From a young age, Mr. Roesel has been ingrained in the law enforcement and corrections communities. When his father was a sheriff and Roesel was home from college on the weekends, he helped by taking shifts in his county jail, handling booking, managing inmates, answering phones and dispatching calls, solidifying a deep passion for a career in this field.


More recently, Mr. Roesel spent over 30 years working for the Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC). After working his way up the ladder, Mr. Roesel spent the majority of his time at the FDOC as the Division Chief of Classification and Records. In this role, Roesel had statewide oversight of the intake, classification, transfer, assignment and release of over 90,000 inmates across 75 prisons. In 2007, Mr. Roesel took his prolific experience from the public sector to Marquis Software, which is now recognized as one of the most reputable and long serving industry partners in the corrections software space. Now as a Business Architect for Marquis, he supports client relations, partnership development, implementations, corrections assessments and much more. 

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Exploring the Advisory Committees - Part I

Posted By Alex McAdoo, Wednesday, September 18, 2019

The IJIS Institute is the only national membership organization that brings together the innovative thinking of the private sector, the practitioners, national practice associations, and academic organizations that are working to solve public sector information and technology challenges.

While there are many benefits of joining the IJIS community, this blog will be the first of a six-part series that explores the advantages and benefits of being an active participant on IJIS Institute advisory committees. Throughout this blog series, we will dive into each of the five committees with an aim to educate and raise awareness of the advisory committee objectives and current projects taking place within these groups.

Our mission at the IJIS Institute is to drive public sector technology innovation and empower information sharing to promote safer and healthier communities, and we use advisory committees to help carry out this work. Advancing on this powerful mission would not be possible without the participation of diverse perspectives from both the public and private sector on the advisory committees. The necessity of bringing together these important perspectives by creating a sustainable platform to allow for these discussions to take place across multiple mission areas was the integral reason for forming the IJIS advisory committees, and it continues to drive our mission and help identify our future objectives and priorities.

First, the CJIS Advisory Committee, brings together industry leaders and government practitioners who develop, support and manage criminal justice information sharing initiatives at the federal, state, and local levels. The Corrections Advisory Committee focuses on advancing information sharing standards among the jail, institutional and community corrections communities. Next, the Courts Advisory Committee works to promote the innovation, adoption, and effective use of court information technology to support civil and criminal justice communities. The IJIS Technology and Architecture Committee provides information to industry and practitioners regarding technologies architectures, and standards that enable the successful adoption of the technology and sharing or enterprise use of information. Lastly, the Law Enforcement Advisory Committee focuses on the advancement of information sharing, emerging technology, and relevant models within the law enforcement community.

Over the next several weeks, we will release a spotlight blog focusing on one of the IJIS advisory committees. Stay tuned for Part 2 of our Exploring IJIS Advisory Committee blog series addressing the CJIS Advisory Committee. For any questions, comments or inquiries about joining an IJIS advisory committee, please contact: Provide us with your feedback or let us know what you would like to hear about next on Linkedin, Twitter or Facebook!

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IJIS Institute Elects 2019-2020 Board of Directors

Posted By Alex McAdoo, Thursday, August 29, 2019

IT industry leaders will provide strategic guidance and governance of the IJIS Institute


Ashburn, VA, Aug. 29, 2019 —The IJIS Institute - a nonprofit alliance working to promote and enable technology in the public sector and expand the use of information to maximize safety, efficiency, and productivity across several major public-sector domains, including: Criminal Justice, Public Safety, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services and Transportation - announces the results of its Board of Directors election.  

The annual Board of Directors election resulted in the following individuals being elected to a three-year term:

Other members continuing their terms on the Board are:

Benji Hutchinson, the newly elected Board of Directors’ chairman, stated “I’m honored and enthusiastic to be the incoming Chair of the IJIS Board of Directors and serving with the other Directors. IJIS plays a mission-critical role in coordinating technology investments across the public sector and industry stakeholders.  Increasingly, advanced technologies such as AI and biometrics are critical to many public sector missions, including counter terrorism, crime reduction, enhancement of public safety, minimizing the impact of disasters, and public health.”

The new Board of Directors elected its executive leadership during its first meeting, with Benji Hutchinson as chairman, Dan Twohig as vice chairman, Melissa Winesburg as secretary, Roger Mann as treasurer, and Ben Harrell as the director-at-large.

Ashwini Jarral, Executive Director of the IJIS Institute, said “we are excited about the selection of the IJIS Board of Directors and especially those newly appointed members to our Board. I’m also thrilled to about the appointment of the of the new IJIS Executive Committee. We look forward to their support in helping us achieve our strategic goals in the coming year!”.

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The IJIS Institute's Corrections Advisory Committee Welcomes 4 New Members

Posted By Alex McAdoo, Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The IJIS Institute is excited to announce and welcome the addition of four new members to the Corrections Advisory Committee. Joe Russo, Kimberly Ramm, Ana Bermudez and Lisa Burlingame have all joined the committee, bringing with them a wealth of diverse knowledge attained from their impactful careers. These professionals help us by providing unique perspectives on the advancement of information sharing standards and assisting the committee as subject matter experts to identify ways to overcome obstacles for other leaders and IT professionals in the corrections communities.


Joe Russo currently serves as a researcher with the University of Denver. He has supported a variety of National Institute of Justice funded programs focused on the identification of high priority technology needs of corrections professionals. He has also assisted in the management of projects to provide corrections professionals with better information and tools to perform their important mission. Additionally, Joe serves as the Chair of the American Probation and Parole Association and is also a member of both the American Correctional Association and the American Jail Association’s technology committees.


Kimberly Ramm recently joined the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office as the Applications Manager. This role was created to assist the Information Technology Branch Chief in upgrading and implementing critical systems to support the Sheriff’s vital mission. Ms. Ramm firmly believes in the importance of automating business practices if it supports and streamlines the business needs, as well as to improve efficiencies and accuracies.


Ana Bermudez joins the Corrections Committee as the acting Commissioner of New York City’s Department of Probation (DOP). Commissioner Bermudez joined the DOP in 2014 as the city’s first openly gay person, first Latina and second woman to be appointed Commissioner. Throughout her invaluable career, she has prioritized the application of restorative and youth development practices for children and teenagers in the justice system. Since her appointment, she has continued to lead the DOP in their mission to enhance public safety through appropriate and individualized and community-based interventions in the lives of people on probation to enable them to permanently exit the justice system.

Lisa Burlingame has over 29 years of experience with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, currently serving as the Administrator of Systems Quality Management and Director of Technology and Logistics Operations. During her time with the Oklahoma DOC she has worked in a multitude of different positions, bringing a diverse perspective to the committee.


IJIS Corrections Advisory Committee Chair, Fred Roesel, is ecstatic about the future of the Committee and welcomes the expertise of these new team members. When asked about what this means for the direction of the committee, Roesel said “with the addition of these four outstanding individuals to the Corrections Committee, they bring even more value to the committee through their unique insight and experience from the state, county, city and research perspectives in support of the IJIS Mission. I offer my sincere appreciation for their willingness to serve and congratulations upon their appointment!”


The committee will be hosting the 4th occurrence of the IJIS Institute Corrections Technology Leadership Forum, Monday, Dec. 9th through Wednesday, Dec. 11th, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency Tysons Corner Center, 7901 Tysons One Place, Tysons Corner, VA. Interested sponsors and professionals who wish to attend may contact Kathy Gattin at IJIS via email at

Tags:  Corrections 

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Text-to-911 TechFest - Thought Leadership Event

Posted By Mike Alagna, Wednesday, June 19, 2019

On June 7th, the IJIS Institute, Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology Directorate and Google hosted the Text-to-911 TechFest at the Google campus in Kirkland, Washington. The Tech Fest was designed to encourage nationwide efforts to improve technologies in support of public safety communications and response.

Sending texts to 911 to request help from public safety-fire, emergency medical services or law enforcement is becoming more common across the U.S. The TechFest brought together key thought leaders on the subject from multiple disciplines to help address current concerns in use, implementation and public education around Text-To-911, particularly for people with limited English proficiency who are trying to communicate with public safety officials.

The TechFest validated that public safety officials currently depend on machine translation for handling non-English text to 911 and sought to understand the efficacy of machine-translation software to support life and safety calls for assistance. Furthermore, the event's investigation of Language Service Provider (LSP) “coaching” of machine-translation will result in implementation guidance for operational and technical findings and recommendations. At the national level, the lack of a national program and clear funding stream to support next generation 911 efforts continues to result in a patchwork approach with implementation by jurisdiction, which creates challenges for adoption, standardization, and affordability.

Next steps for the project include additional collaboration between public safety emergency call centers, industry technology providers, and language service providers, to address affordability of a commercially-available, public-safety-grade solution for Text-to-911 translation. 

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2019 National Symposium in Review

Posted By Andrea A. Walter, Thursday, January 31, 2019

The 2019 National Symposium, the IJIS Institute’s premier conference and educational event, was held on January 23-24. 2019, at the Hyatt Regency Tysons Corner Center in Tysons Corner, Virginia. The National Symposium event bridges the gap between technology and policy through public- and private-sector collaboration. Through the education and networking opportunities at the National Symposium, public-sector mission challenges will intersect with industry innovation and policy and process best practices to help drive public-sector technology, empower information sharing, and result in safer and healthier communities.

The 2019 National Symposium focused on innovative technology, information sharing and safeguarding, and national priority initiatives in which the IJIS Institute is involved or trying to address, and the event brought together industry, government and associated nonprofit organizations and academia to face challenges in a collaborative setting.

This year’s event had the extra challenge of occurring during the partial federal government shutdown, but, as they say, the show must go on!

Pre-Symposium events included the IJIS Institute Board of Directors meeting and the meetings of many of the advisory committees and task forces. With an entire morning to meet, the committees and task forces accomplished a lot of work, and some of them held joint meetings to review projects.

The 2019 National Symposium began the afternoon of January 23rd with the opening ceremony and a welcome from the IJIS Institute’s executive director and the vice-chair of the board of directors, and then two fantastic opening keynote speakers:

  • Carlos Rivero, the chief data officer of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and
  • Jeff Jonas, the CEO of Senzing.

Rivero, the first chief data officer in Virginia, discussed data-related initiatives occurring in the state and their importance in government effectiveness and future policy. Jonas discussed Bad Guy Hunting with entity resolution, going through a step-by-step example of entity resolution and discussing how these concepts can be used in the future.

The first plenary session was Internet-ot-Things (IoT) Security for Public Safety – Is It Time for Standards? Jenner Holder, Chief Information Security Officer for Axon, spoke on this topic and issued a call to action for the participants, through the IJIS Institute, to come together and start the work of creating IoT security standards.

The second plenary session was a panel discussion on Cyber Security: Maximizing Benefits from Open Standards. It was moderated by Lt. Colonel James Emerson USMC (Ret), Executive Advisor for Cyber Policy, NW3C. The panel included a state perspective from Stacey A. Wright, Director of Cyber Intelligence, Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center, and a federal perspective from Scott A. Vantrease, CISSP, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Digital Investigations Branch, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The third plenary session was also a panel discussion, and it was on Modernizing Crime Statistics and the Widespread Impact on the IT Industry. Paul Wormeli, President of Wormeli Consulting, served as moderator for the panel and also began the session with a brief history of crime statistics collection in the United States. Dr. Janet L. Lauritsen, Curators' Distinguished Professor, University of Missouri – St. Louis, led the Modernizing Crime Statistics Panel for the National Academies of Sciences with funding from the FBI and the Bureau of Justice Statistics, and she discussed the two reports that came from the study on defining and classifying crime and developing new systems. Erica L. Smith, Unit Chief, Law Enforcement Incident-Based Statistics Unit, Bureau of Justice Statistics, US Department of Justice, spoke about identifying a new path forward to address critical analytic elements in crime data collection.

At the end of the first day of the National Symposium, the participants enjoyed an Awards Celebration Reception. There was a lot of great food and networking, but we also got an opportunity to celebrate some amazing accomplishments.

  • Colonel Joseph Richard (Rick) Fuentes, New Jersey State Police (Retired), received the 2019 Robert P. Shumate National Public Safety and Justice Contributor to Excellence Award. Read more about Rick Fuentes and his career at
  • IJIS Institute thanked our ten-year members that were present at the reception with an award – CommSys, Inc., Marquis Software, and Watch Systems.
  • IJIS also presented a special award of appreciation to several key members who took leadership roles in committees and task forces over the past year:
  • Fred Roesel, Marquis Software (Chair of IJIS Corrections Committee)
  • Joe Wheeler, MTG Management Consultants (Chair of IJIS Courts Committee)
  • Iveta Topalova, Microsoft (Chair of IJIS Technology and Architecture Committee)
  • Anne Thompson, Thompson Finn LLC (Chair of Blockchain Task Force)
  • Patrick Doyle (Chair of the Law Enforcement Imaging Task Force)

Did you know that the slide presentations from the 2019 National Symposium
are available on the mobile app?
The mobile app contained all the schedule,
speaker information, and hotel information that attendees needed during the event,
but it now also contains the slide presentations for reference!

Sessions resumed on the second day of the National Symposium, beginning with a keynote presentation from Doug Robinson, Executive Director of the National Association of State CIOs. He discussed trends with state CIOs and reviewed the CIO priorities from a recent NASCIO study.

Next up was a plenary panel on Data Sharing to Combat Exploitation and Human Trafficking. The panel was moderated by Richard Gold, a program manager for IJIS. Participating in the panel were:

  • Joe Mandala, CIO, Kansas Bureau of Investigation
  • John Bischoff, Executive Director/Missing Children Division, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)
  • Amelia Rubenstein, MSW, LCSW-C, Clinical Research Specialist for the Child Sex Trafficking Victims Initiative (CSTVI), University of Maryland School of Social Work

The panel discussed the activities of their organizations in combatting human trafficking and participants notes that partnerships and collaboration in accessing data among systems is critical in this nationwide effort.

The late morning provided participants with a choice of breakout sessions to attend:

  • Using Privacy by Design for Cyber Defense and to Encourage the Adoption of New Technology, presented by Chuck Georgo, Executive Director,, Mike Alagna, Program Director, IJIS Institute, and Jenner Holden, Chief Information Security Officer, Axon.
  • Public-sector Blockchain Use Cases: An Assessment Framework presented by Anne Thompson, Principal, Thompson Finn LLC, and Akbar Farook, Global Justice Solutions
  • Corrections Technology: Challenges for the Future presented by Fred Roesel, Business Architect, Marquis Software, and Brian Day, Director of Product Strategy, Syscon Justice Systems, Ltd.
  • Using AI for Criminal History Records Research, presented by Steve Spiker, Data Evangelist, Measures for Justice, and Dave Kilmer, Data Architect, Measures for Justice

The next plenary panel was on 2021: Nationwide Rollout of Incident-based Reporting and was moderated by Maria Cardiellos, IJIS Institute’s director of operations. Participating on this panel were:

  • Erica L. Smith, Unit Chief, Law Enforcement Incident-Based Statistics Unit, Bureau of Justice Statistics, US Department of Justice
  • Todd Thompson, Senior Project Director, Caliber Public Safety
  • Melissa Winesburg, Criminal Justice Practice Director, Optimum Technology

The panelists discussed the NCS-X program, the broader transition to NIBRS, the value of NIBRS data, and addressing challenges.

The last plenary in the National Symposium agenda was the Future of the CIO, a panel discussion moderated by Federal News Network’s Luck McCormack. He asked various questions of the panelists, who provided local, state, and federal perspectives:

  • Mike Bell, Chief Technology Officer, Houston Police Department
  • Richard Spires, CEO Learning Tree (former DHS CIO)
  • James Collins, Delaware CIO and President of NASCIO

After the CIO panel, the agenda shifted to the Facial Recognition Technology Summit, a special bonus feature of the Symposium to address a very timely topic.

The first summit session was The Evolution and Future of Facial Recognition Technology. The panel was moderated by Benji Hutchinson, Vice President of Federal Operations, Advanced Recognition Systems Division, NEC Corporation of America, who also spoke abut the history of the technology. Also participating on this panel were Andrew Howell from Monument Policy Group and James Loudermilk, Senior Director, Innovation and Customer Solutions, IDEMIA National Security Solutions, who provided some current use cases for the technology and some of the challenges faced.

The second summit session was Policy, Privacy, and Technology Implications in Facial Recognition Technology. The panel included:

  • Ben Bawden, Partner, Brooks Bawden Moore, LLC
  • Patrick Doyle, Global Justice & Law Enforcement Subject Matter Expert, Unisys Corporation
  • Daniel Castro, Vice President, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

The group discussed the legal and policy challenges with the use of facial recognition technology and some ideas for moving forward.

It was a great National Symposium and we welcome everyone to join us next year at the 2020 National Symposium. A special thanks goes out to our sponsors for the 2019 National Symposium, including:

  • Signature Sponsors FirstNet Built with AT&T, NEC, and Motorola Solutions
  • Media Sponsor Praetorian Digital
  • Networking Break Sponsor Tetrus
  • Registration and Mobile App Sponsor Marquis Software
  • Lanyard Sponsor 5th Column
  • Supporting Sponsor JustChain (powered by Global Justice Solutions)

We also look forward to seeing everyone at other educational events that we will be hosting this year – to learn more about these events please visit our website. 

Tags:  IJISsymposium 

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Building High-value Data Solutions in Silicon Valley

Posted By Richard Gold, Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The Silicon Valley Regional Data Trust (SVRDT) was founded with the intent of establishing a multi-county network of trust and ethical data sharing in the Silicon Valley region. SVRDT brings together data from numerous public agencies that serve children and families, including: education, child and family services, mental health, juvenile justice/probation, and technology; with adjacent interest in school safety.

The SVRDT mission is about stimulating change in the culture and practice of how data is responsibly used to develop actionable solutions to critical educational and social problems that confront children and families. SVRDT involves multiple counties in the Silicon Valley region and is funded by a foundation grant to the Santa Clara County Office of Education.

In partnership with the Santa Clara County Office of Education, the IJIS Institute is bringing its experience in justice and public safety information sharing to the development of an integrated policy and technology architecture for the SVRDT. IJIS is leveraging our expertise in the design and development of a data management and data integration framework for SVRDT, including expertise to define access security and data protection requirements, that can be confidently replicated for other regions.

Recognizing the sensitivity of the data, the SVRDT architecture inherently integrates extensive Rules of Use as developed in accordance with legal, regulatory, and local requirements with data management and technology services. These Rules of Use for data are required for each participating organization and are expressed in a series of common agreements: an Enterprise Memorandum of Understanding, a Multi-Agency Sharing Agreement, and a Universal Consent. IJIS is providing ongoing consultation and development of these policy/legal agreements.

The IJIS Institute is applying this legal, policy and technical expertise to create the SVRDT Secure Data Environment (SDE). The SDE automates the multi-agency coordination of services for children and families. For case workers, this will clarify the myriad factors influencing the lives of the children being served, thus improving the effectiveness of services and academic outcomes for all children, especially for those children from underserved communities.

The SDE platform and web services infrastructure will connect and make data available across the SVRDT participating agencies. Access to SVRDT data and services is controlled by the agencies responsible for the stewardship of the data that is made available by SVRDT. SVRDT data protection embraces three major design principles that are inherent in the SDE services architecture: 1) Minimize exposures of data, 2) Enforce Rules of Use, as defined by agreement, through Codes of Conduct administered by the operational authority in each participating organization, and 3) Monitoring of use via active transaction logging.

The value of SVRDT is further enhanced through a research partnership with the University of California at Santa Cruz. The research team uses data to perform longitudinal analysis of the efficient, effective, and ethical use of SVRDT data. The research agenda will be coupled with the SVRDT Change Integration Working Group for monitoring and measuring of SVRDT operational adaptation. The initial implementation of SVRDT will be in San Mateo County, in cooperation with the Santa Clara County Office of Education, providing education data for all the participating counties and administering the MS Azure-based hosted services platform.

Governance of SVRDT is provided by executives and the elected Boards of Education and Supervisors from the participating counties. Program direction is provided by an appointed Leadership Working Group that is comprised of the agency and department heads. Specialized working groups have been assembled and will continue providing guidance across the policy/legal, practice, research, and technological dimensions of the program.

In summary, the success potential for SVRDT will change the culture of public services in the Silicon Valley. For this reason, the IJIS Institute is working to ensure that this type of solution is replicable across the United States for other organizations that are working toward solving similar challenges. If you are interested in learning more about SVRDT, and/or how this solution might benefit your organization, please see or contact us at

Tags:  data integration  data management  information sharing  secure data environment  svrdt 

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Text-to-911 Project Update

Posted By Michael Alagna, Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Text-to-911 is the ability to send a text message for help to a Public-Safety Answering Point (PSAP), a call center responsible for answering calls to an emergency telephone number for police, fire and rescue, and emergency medical services. Sending Text-to-911 from a mobile device is becoming more and more common across the U.S. Approximately 30% of the 6000 PSAPs in the U.S. have implemented Text-to-911.

There are individual and public safety scenarios where calling 911 is not optimal. Domestic violence situations, home break-ins, car jackings, mass shootings, and hostage situations are just a few examples where calling 911 might draw attention to victims and could cause additional danger for the caller or exacerbate the situation. In addition to these aspects of Text-to-911, authorities say it can alert them to crimes in progress, thereby adding an analytical element as well.

For many citizens, residents, and visitors in America with Limited English Proficiency (LEP), emergency situations can become compounded when trying to communicate with public safety officials. Census data reveals that 61 million people nationwide speak a language other than English in their home and approximately 28 million people are identified as Limited English Proficient. Phone usage data shows that around 90% of non-English 911 calls were conducted in Spanish, with other non-English calls spread out among 150 other languages. In many circumstances, not long after PSAPs implement Text-to-911, they begin to receive non-English texts. The public safety community has identified a need for Text-to-911 translation, and this project that IJIS Institute is participating in is positioned to make significant strides towards meeting this need and positioning PSAPs for future adoption of Next Generation (NG911) services.

PSAPs currently depend on machine translation for handling non-English Text-to-911; however, many remain highly skeptical of machine-translation software. On the other hand, machine translation is accessible for free, will convert text in any of roughly 100 languages, and continues to improve. Many of the machine translation concerns revolve around the understanding and meaning of a text message. The project team looks to examine the accuracy of machine translation and if understanding is needed for effective translation. We will compare human and machine translation to assure that Text-to-911 emergency calls are interpreted correctly.

In addition to machine translation, the project will enable PSAPs to access real-time human interpreters or interpreting services to translate non-English Text-to-911 calls for help. By investigating Language Service Provider (LSP) solutions for machine-translation in PSAPs, we will report on operational and technical findings and recommendations.

This project has put in motion a collaboration between industry technology providers, language service providers, standards development organizations, PSAPs, and policy makers to address interoperability, technology, standards, and the affordability of commercially-available, public-safety-grade solutions for Text-to-911 translation.

For more information on this project, please contact me at

Tags:  PSAP  Text-to-911  translation 

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