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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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Global Service Development Workshops

Posted By Robert L. May II, Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative (Global) serves as a Federal Advisory Committee (FAC) and advises the U.S. Attorney General on justice information sharing and integration initiatives. Global was created to support the broad scale exchange of pertinent justice and public safety information. It promotes standards-based electronic information exchange to provide the justice community with timely, accurate, complete, and accessible information in a secure and trusted environment.

Global is conducting a series of service-development workshops in June and July in Denver in which I have been participating for the IJIS Institute. The goal of these workshops is to build upon the data analysis work of Global's Corrections Management and Reentry Task Team, which recently reviewed the risk-needs instruments used across the country. The work groups are comprised of subject-matter experts on the various topics related to data elements found across the multiple risk needs tools related to the four topic areas: 1) Medicaid Eligibility, Enrollment, & Suspension, 2) Mental Health & Anti-Social Behavior, 3) Substance Abuse, and 4) Education (a virtual work shop). The IJIS Institute’s involvement in these workshops is a result of our participation on the Corrections Management and Reentry Task Team and on Justice Health information sharing. The work group discussions have been rich in content as the SMEs include many practitioners from the health and justice fields.

 

Tags:  Corrections  Global  justice-to-Health  Reentry 

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IJIS Corrections Projects Continue to Make Progress

Posted By Kathy Gattin, Monday, June 22, 2015
Updated: Monday, June 15, 2015

In 2003, the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) was signed into law. In August of 2012, the final PREA rule became effective requiring confinement facilities to comply in order to prevent, detect, and respond to all possible PREA occurrences. PREA regulations require agencies to collect data on PREA incidents, with financial penalties for non-compliance. Beginning in 2014, the IJIS Institute, enlisted the help of experts representing key national organizations to form a national PREA Working Group with the goal of creating a national PREA Data Standard that would help agencies to identify critical PREA data elements to exponentially improve overall information sharing, data analysis, and data quality for effective and efficient sharing of information for PREA-related events. Our partner organizations in this effort included: American Correctional Association, American Jail Association, American Probation and Parole Association, Corrections Technology Association, International Association of Chiefs of Police, Council of State Governments Justice Center, PREA Resource Center, National Institute of Corrections, Bureau of Justice Assistance, as well as practitioner advisors from six state departments of correction (Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Mississippi and New Mexico). Each of the state departments of correction that participated with the working group were interested in becoming pilot sites for implementation of the PREA Data Standard, and, in late March of 2015, three of these states were selected by BJA as pilot sites for implementation: New Mexico, Iowa, and Arkansas. Project implementation teams have been formed by each of the three pilot sites and IJIS staff will be working with each of the pilots throughout the implementation process.

Along with the PREA Data Standard implementations, efforts are currently underway to implement the Corrections Information Sharing (CIS) Service Specification in Illinois, Iowa, and Tennessee corrections agencies. The implementations are a part of the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Corrections Information Sharing in Support of Reentry projects. The CIS Service Specification was developed with the guidance of an advisory board which included representatives of practice associations, corrections practitioners, and representatives of the technology industry. Although each pilot site has a slightly different information exchange planned with their respective implementation, all are aimed at improving reentry success and, thereby, improving public safety. Although the initial implementations will have a specific focus, the states will be able to expand the data types they exchange in the future using the CIS Service specification which enables offender data exchanges from point of arrest to release from supervision.

Questions about IJIS corrections activities or the PREA Data Standard? Feel free to comment or contact me directly at kathy.gattin@ijis.org.

Tags:  corrections  CTA  implementation  PREA  reentry 

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Fostering Collaboration at the CTA Summit

Posted By Ashwini Jarral, Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Last week, IJIS Institute staff attended the Corrections Technology Association’s 2015 Annual Technology Summit held in Daytona Beach, Florida. The theme for the Summit was Collaborate, Connect, and Innovate. Many of you within the IJIS Institute membership will notice that the CTA Summit theme aligns well with the IJIS mission. IJIS Institute and CTA have enjoyed a long-standing partnership through which we have collaborated, connected, and collectively developed innovative products and solutions for the corrections community.

The IJIS Institute met with the CTA leadership in advance of the conference to explore future collaboration opportunities. The meeting was very beneficial as the two organizations have a number of initiatives to work on going forward that will be of benefit to members of both organizations.

The 2015 CTA Annual Technology Summit was a true reflection of the journey that CTA members and IJIS Institute members have taken together to influence the way technology and standards impact day-to-day Corrections operations.

The CTA Summit was attended by CIOs representing more than 25 states and county jails. The agenda for the CTA Summit this year included a keynote address provided by Adam Gelb, Director – Public Safety Performance Project, The Pew Charitable Trusts. Gelb addressed the audience on the public safety project which helps states advance policies and practices in adult and juvenile sentencing and corrections to promote public safety, hold offenders accountable and control corrections costs.

The CTA agenda also include speakers from IJIS Institute member companies HP, Marquis Software, Securus Sierra Systems, Software AG, and included topics on data integration, cloud computing, and the use of geospatial concepts in corrections.

I served as moderator for a workshop session at the conference on Addressing the Data Standardization Challenges Resulting from PREA, that included IJIS Senior Project Manager Kathy Gattin, Fred Roesel, IJIS Corrections Advisory Committee Chair, and John Daugherty, CIO for the Montana Department of Corrections. The session provided an overview on the development of the PREA Data Standard to a very full room of interested CTA conference attendees. The feedback we received on the CTA Summit PREA workshop was very positive and enthusiastic, with many states and counties interested in adoption of the PREA Data Standard.

Tags:  Alliance Partner  Cloud Services  Collaboration  Corrections  CTA  Geospatial  PREA 

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International CAD Consortium

Posted By James (Jim) W. Dundas Jr., Thursday, June 11, 2015
Updated: Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Created in the mid-1980s as an informal association of Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) users, the International CAD Consortium (ICC) discusses issues related to CAD requirements, design, use, and performance. Over the years, the range of topics has evolved and expanded to include all things related to public safety communications and information technology. Topics like records management, 9-1-1, voice and data radio, geospatial, FirstNet, other public safety IT systems, and technologies such as body worn cameras, security, and data analysis systems have been brought into the round-table community. Discussions are open ended and loosely follow an agenda.

I attended the International CAD Consortium for the IJIS Institute along with 83 other attendees and 24 vendors. There were a total of 19 topic areas addressed during the conference; while most were technology related, subjects of general interest to communications and technologies supporting public safety operations were also discussed, including non-technical topics like human resources, fiscal issues, and facility management.

I introduced the group to the IJIS Institute, the Springboard CAD-to-CAD initiative, the Incident Management Information Sharing projects, the Law Enforcement Imaging Technology Task Force, and the IJIS Public Safety Technical Standards Committee. It was a great experience to interact with the participants.

Here are a few interesting takeaways from the conference:

  • This community remains very concerned about next generation 911 issues and the pressure from the public to accept texts and video. The feeling of the group was that there are a lack of standards in this area and too many one-off approaches.
  • As the use of video grows, the need for storage is becoming a priority, and there is a lot of discussion about the merits of in-house data servers versus cloud-based services.
  • There are challenges facing this community as they recognize the need to, and the benefits of, sharing information, but struggle with what information must be confidential.
  • Facilities are changing with the times. There was talk about the use of articulating consoles that allow telecommunicators to stand while working and the potential need for bunking and locker facilities in public safety answering points (PSAPs) due to prolonged working periods in disasters and major emergencies.

There are lots of ways that the work of the IJIS Institute aligns with this community and I was thankful for the opportunity to attend the International CAD Consortium event. Next year’s conference will be in the suburbs of Chicago in the same late Spring timeframe.

Tags:  CAD  IPSTSC  LEITTF  Springboard 

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IJIS Appoints New Technical Advisory Committee Chair

Posted By Andrea A. Walter, Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The IJIS Institute is happy to announce the appointment of Tom Carlson, owner of Tom Carlson Consulting, as chair of the IJIS Institute Technical Advisory Committee (I-TAC).

The IJIS Institute's IJIS Technical Advisory Committee (I-TAC) develops policies, programs, and training or educational materials in support of the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative (Global) that can be adopted or disseminated by industry as a whole. The I-TAC reviews significant issues under consideration to develop and document industry recommendations and positions by various national committees. As the steering committee for the IJIS Institute National Information Sharing Standards (NISS) Help Desk, the I-TAC provides guidance, review, and issue resolution for the IJIS Institute staff.

Carlson is the owner and principal of Tom Carlson Consulting LLC, a small consulting firm specializing in projects related to the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM), including training delivery and development, tool development, information exchange development, and conversions/conversion assessments.

IJIS Institute Board of Directors Chairman George Cruser, who appointed Carlson to lead I-TAC, added, “Tom’s expertise in information sharing standards and his long-time affiliation with the committee made him the natural selection to lead the committee and continue the good work in support of Global information sharing products and the NISS Help Desk.”

Tags:  committee  Global  I-TAC  NIEM 

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Interoperability Standards and the Procurement Process

Posted By Robert Shumate, Thursday, May 28, 2015
Updated: Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Procurement methods should seek to identify a framework within which information transfer and interoperability requirements may be implemented quickly and economically as future needs dictate. Rarely, if ever, will a buyer know at the time of procurement all of the possible information interactions that the system will need to handle in the future. Buyers should specify that products or custom solutions must embody implementations based upon open standards rather than proprietary methodologies. Established open standards are more likely to have implementations available from a wider selection of product or solution suppliers thus increasing your selection pool and offering flexibility for future expansion.

As in other areas of procurement, the buyer should refrain from proposing detailed specifications regarding the information exchange methods being sought and, instead, request providers to specify in detail how their solution will be able to deal with the implementation of future and as yet unknown exchange requirements. Buyers should concentrate on developing requirements that identifying those standards and specifications the supplier’s solution must incorporate. Buyers have a responsibility to ensure that they have adequate technical representation on their procurement governance committee to fully evaluate approaches to interoperability being offered by providers. If necessary, this may be a point at which obtaining outside technical expertise in evaluating suggested approaches may be well worth the cost.

Avoid the snare of narrowly selecting a solution that only addresses a currently known interoperability requirement and focus instead on seeking a broad framework to interoperability that offers an ongoing agile and economically feasible way to implementing interoperability requirement that may be required in the future. It is very important that you require Suppliers to describe in detail how provisioning of their interoperability services is accomplished focusing on cost and timing for provisioning a new endpoint.

Interoperability is generally defined as the ability of heterogeneous networks, applications, or components to exchange and use information. Unless you plan on living in isolation in an otherwise connected world, it is essential that you specify a set of interoperability standards that must be part of the solution that you are seeking. This is even more important if you do not have a well-defined Enterprise Architecture in place since this will provide a structure for you to participate in exchanging data with other systems in the future. In the following sections, we will discuss what an open standard is, how open standards fit in an interoperability framework and how to approach data transformations in defining interoperability in the procurement process.

Read the full article in the attached PDF.

Download File (PDF)

Tags:  interoperability  NIEM  open standards  procurement  web services 

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IJIS Participates in FBI Advisory Policy Board Meetings

Posted By Bruce Kelling, Monday, May 25, 2015
Updated: Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The IJIS Institute participated in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Advisory Policy Board meetings in April and represented the interests of industry in a number of discussions. Here are four key highlights from these meetings:

  • A proposal was submitted to the APB’s Identification Services Subcommittee (ISS) by the IJIS Institute Livescan Data Exchange Task Force to inform the ISS of the initiative and request assistance from the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) division and the CJIS Advisory Process and CJIS. The proposal was accepted and approved by the ISS and the IJIS Institute will continue to work with the ISS on the Livescan topic.
  • During the NDEx Subcommittee meeting there was a presentation on the LEXS strategy that expressed the commitment of the DOJ’s Office of the CIO to ownership of LEXS, and requested CJIS (via the NDEx Subcommittee) participate in a new LEXS Planning Committee. The chair asked the IJIS Institute for the IJIS/industry viewpoint, and we noted our endorsement and cited the consensus interest of industry (derived from our December 2014 NCS-X NIBRS meeting) as well as the significance of the LEXS installed base. The NDEx Subcommittee fully endorsed the proposal and IJIS is invited to participate in the LEXS Planning Committee.
  • The UCR/NIBRS subcommittee unanimously voted to sunset UCR in five years, and this now goes to the full APB in June for a decision.
  • Based on requests from CJIS, there will be a meeting in the coming weeks on IJIS/CJIS strategy to look at both the short-term issues and opportunities for engagement, and begin looking at long-term – the Roadmap.  

The IJIS Institute expresses its gratitude to the many Members who participated in the Livescan Data Exchange Task Force and the CJIS Programs Advisory Committee who assisted in the preparation of materials and representatives for these important meetings.

Tags:  APB  CJIS  CPAC  FBI  Livescan  NDEx  NIBRS 

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Talking Emerging Tech at SafetyNet

Posted By Steve Ambrosini, Thursday, May 21, 2015
Updated: Monday, May 11, 2015

I was invited by IJIS Institute Member Hitech Systems to speak at the SafetyNet Conference 2015 in late April. I appreciate the opportunity to work with IJIS Member companies to create interest around information sharing and safeguarding topics.

The SafetyNet Conference opened with a panel of experts discussing different perspectives on emerging technologies for public safety. I provided perspectives from the IJIS Institute along with representatives from the National Emergency Number Association (NENA), the Industry Council for Emergency Response Technologies (iCERT), and Intrado. Much of the discussion focused on emergency communications and the challenges of moving forward with NextGen capabilities. There was a lot of audience interaction, and that resulted in further discussions on video, other imaging technologies, social media data, body-worn cameras, gunshot detection sensor data, and how to deal with all these different types of data pouring in and make sense of it. It is yet another reminder that data management continues to be an evolving policy challenge as technology matures in public safety, justice, and homeland security domains.

The panel was then augmented with a group of operational experts in 9-1-1 call taking and dispatching. The need for integrated operational and technology planning was recognized as essential for the success of any new technologies, including consideration of the impact of policy on standard operating procedures. I found very interesting the robust discussion on the potential psychological effects on call takers and dispatchers that are moving from real-time audio to the much more graphic real-time video and imaging depictions of events as they unfold. Containment concepts like discipline dispatch are being suggested to help mitigate the impact on inexperienced or unprepared personnel from unadulterated exposure to harsh graphic imagery.

The super-session was followed by a series of breakout sessions and demonstrations of the Hitech SafetyNet suite. The IJIS institute participated in a discussion on cybersecurity and its application in the Hitech SafetyNet suite. The discussion included awareness of emerging national programs and standards focused on the protection of data in the NextGen Emergency Communication environment (everything over IP) and best practices relative to policy for appropriate and efficient use of data in the IP-based data communications environment.

 

Tags:  emergency communications  Hitech  iCERT  Intrado  NENA  nextgen 

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A Different Cyber Perspective at InfoSec World 2015

Posted By Steve Ambrosini, Thursday, May 14, 2015
Updated: Monday, May 11, 2015

A few weeks ago I attended InfoSec World 2015. The IJIS Institute is an association partner of the event and this was our first visit to this annual conference and expo. It is put on by the MIS Training Institute (MISTI).

InfoSec World 2015 was a great experience and it provided a different perspective on the very large topic of cybersecurity that we are used to seeing at the IJIS Institute events. The conference is focused on the perspectives of technologists and Certified Information Systems Security Officers (CISSO) in the quest for cybersecurity. I am more accustomed to hearing discussions about front end access to systems and Identity Management (ICAM) issues versus the deep technology dives at InfoSec. It was a refreshing change of pace to look at this topic from another angle.

Two quick thoughts regarding InfoSec World 2015:

  • There was a lot of discussion at the event about understanding the vulnerability contours in the world of open source, and how pervasive and continuously growing the use of open source is even with known vulnerabilities. Some of the environments that we might consider the most secure are still using open source components with known vulnerabilities. As open source is essential and obviously here to stay, the path forward looks like the same path one might use to eat an elephant…focusing on one bite at a time by bolstering the immediate lines of defense with operating system component patches.
  • The term incident response, as in cyber incident response, was thrown around a lot at this conference. Assistant Special Agent in Charge Ari M. Baranoff, U. S. Secret Service/Criminal Investigative Division, gave a fantastic keynote address on organized cybercrime, and stepped through the cyber incident response steps of investigation, arrest, and prosecution. It struck me that the world of law enforcement/criminal justice incident response and cyber incident response are not as different as you might think at first glance. I recently heard about companies using the Incident Command System, borrowed from the fire service, to manage cyber incident response. What things can law enforcement/public safety and cyber crime fighters learn from one another about incident response?

It was a great time to immerse myself in this cybersecurity perspective at InfoSec World 2015 considering that the IJIS Institute, through the Standards Coordinating Council, is getting more and more involved in the defense against cyber attacks through the development of standards for sharing cyber incident information. Stay tuned to the IJIS Factor blog for more on the SCC and Executive Order 13691 on Promoting Private Sector Cybersecurity Information Sharing.

Tags:  cybersecurity  ICAM  information sharing  standards coordinating council 

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Information Sharing and Safeguarding – Collaboration is the Key

Posted By Mark Reichardt, Friday, May 8, 2015

When it comes to advancing information sharing and interoperability within and between organizations, jurisdictions, and geographies, collaboration across the public and private sectors is relied upon to help provide answers through a combination of technology, best practices and standards. Professional associations and standards development organizations (SDOs) are continually finding ways to reach across their mission boundaries to drive coordinated outcomes that benefit users nationally and internationally.  While the alliance partnership between the IJIS Institute and the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) represents an effective point-to-point relationship to cooperatively address increasingly tough interoperability challenges, I am writing today to update you on a broader collaborative in which the OGC, the IJIS Institute, OMG, OASIS and many other organizations are engaged to advance  responsible information sharing and safeguarding solutions. 

The organizations noted above are part of a  Standards Coordinating Council (SCC) - a group chartered by the White House Information Sharing and Access Interagency Policy Committee (ISA IPC) that consists of  Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) and industry organizations working collectively to improve information sharing and safeguarding through the application of open standards and related best practices (see www.standardscoordination.org).  The ultimate goal of the SCC is to help achieve a broad and pervasive implementation of a National Strategy for Information Sharing and Safeguarding, and to coordinate the capabilities of the SCC that will lead to an enduring standards-based interoperability environment across the public and private sectors.  While the SCC was launched as part of a governmental Information Sharing Environment (ISE) program in the USA (see www.ise.gov), the focus areas and challenges being addressed in this process are very much international as noted by the scoping illustration for the ISE:

 scoping illustration for the ISE

A major part of the SCC’s mission is to provide comprehensive and coordinated advice on standards and interoperability best practices and to bring issues and solutions back to its constituents for action.  This includes supporting the operationalization of interoperability architecture models like the: ISE Interoperability Framework (I2F), Geospatial Interoperability Reference Architecture (GIRA), and other resources and tools that are taking shape under the guidance of the SCC.  This body of knowledge serves to define common approaches for standards and interoperability from policy, process, data and services perspectives. There are major crosscutting functions of the Framework that are integral parts of the I2F including:

  • identity credentialing and access management,
  • geospatial information technologies,
  • cybersecurity and threat monitoring, and
  • device independent secure mobility. 

As a step in furthering the SCC mission and broadening its audience, IJIS and the OGC recently facilitated a workshop at OGC’s Technical Committee Meetings in Barcelona, Spain, to provide an overview of SCC activities, including background on the ISE, a discussion on the role of the SCC, and an overview of key documents available and in process by the SCC.  The workshop also featured a discussion of a pipeline of information sharing and safeguarding programs underway at the federal, state and local level.  Some of these pipeline projects will be “mapped” at a very detailed level to the I2F, thus operationalizing I2F standards and interoperability guidance via real-world implementation examples.   This work is being advanced under a program known as Project Interoperability.   

The international significance of this work was affirmed by the attendees of the Barcelona workshop. Similar interoperability frameworks to those being advanced by the SCC for the USA are under development in Europe and other regions. Workshop attendees agreed that there are potential opportunities for advancing requirements and use cases into the SCC process as a way to further stimulate improved international coordination. Further, workshop attendees saw value in cross-linking the I2F, the GIRA and other work products of the SCC with similar international programs.  This would broaden the availability of useful interoperability resources for all.  

One of the more fundamental realizations from the Barcelona SCC workshop was that geospatial permeates the range of topics being advanced under the SCC and Project Interoperability. Further, OGC and IJIS members attending the workshop agreed that there is ample opportunity to leverage the SCC process to advance coordinated activities – interoperability testbeds, pilot initiatives, experiments, compliance testing and certification and other activities across SDOs in a way that encourages efficiencies and alignment of standards and best practice work at a much larger scale. These realizations are also reflected in the work of the IJIS Institute’s Geospatial Task Force, where IJIS Members representing law enforcement, public safety, and justice are adding the expertise of industry to strengthen these efforts.

For more about the SCC and upcoming events at which the SCC has a role, please visit www.standardscoordination.org. At the website you can also ask questions about the SCC, find ways to participate in the SCC activities, and submit projects for consideration in Project Interoperability. Representatives from member organizations of the SCC such as the OGC, the IJIS Institute, OMG, OASIS and others have participatory access to SCC activities. Member representatives should take the time to learn about and follow the SCC and its work – You have the ability to help influence the progress of standards information sharing and interoperability markets.

Tags:  Geospatial  International  Interoperability  OGC  Standards Coordinating Council 

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