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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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APPA and World Congress Recap

Posted By Robert L. May II, Wednesday, August 5, 2015
Updated: Monday, August 3, 2015

Last month I attended the American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) 40th Annual Summer Institute in conjunction with the World Congress of Correction in Los Angeles. APPA conducts the largest national training institute for community corrections. The IJIS Institute is an APPA Affiliate and, therefore, has a seat on its Board of Directors. One of the many notable events at the 40th Annual Institute occurred at the Board of Directors meeting where APPA Executive Director Carl Wicklund announced he would be stepping down as APPA Executive Director effective 31 July 2015 after nearly 20 years at APPA. Carl stated that it is time to turn the reins of APPA over to new leadership.

The APPA Training Institute provided an opportunity for discussions on the latest theories and examine the newest technologies. One of the sessions most relevant to IJIS involved a presentation titled

Improve Offender Management in the Cloud with Big Data and discussed how making use of big data residing in the cloud holds great potential to provide valuable information for use in conjunction with more traditional data sources to improve management outcomes. Presenters talked about the kinds of information that can be harvested as a new tool in the challenging world of probation and parole and an overview of what the technology is, how it is being used, and in what ways it can be used to support the specific business objectives. Two IJIS members – Iveta Topalova from Microsoft and John Beck from Esri – presented this session along with APPA Executive Director Carl Wicklund. The session focused on the use of geospatial mapping and various use cases of how 44% of big data applications will be used for offender risk management.

The Second World Congress on Community Corrections immediately followed the APPA Institute. Highlights included:

  • Laurence Steinberg, Ph.D., Distinguished University Professor, Laura H. Carnell Professor of Psychology at Temple University who talked about the Age of Opportunity: Lessons from the New Science of Adolescence.
  • Jennifer L. Skeem, Ph.D., Professor and Associate Dean of Research, School of Social Welfare at University of California, Berkeley, spoke about What Works for Justice-involved People with Mental Illness.
  • Fergus McNeill, Professor of Criminology and Social Work, University of Glasgow, Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research Glasgow, Scotland, spoke about Desistance and International Offender Case Management and the Impact on Supervision Strategies.

Japan hosted a session on Juvenile and Family Justice Innovations in Japanese Community Corrections. I found one of the most interesting sessions to be one by the United Kingdom on the Transformation of the Delivery of Probation Services in England and Wales. Jim Barton, Deputy Director of Development and Business Change at the UK National Probation Services, National Offender Management Service, England, talked about the process they have undertaken to radically restructure probation services. Before the transformation, 35 organizations were doing a good job and on budget providing probation services across England and Wales. The initiative only involves adult supervision and 170k are under community supervision and 70k are on prerelease. Another 86k are in 106 public prisons and 14 private prisons. The transformation of contracting with 21 community rehabilitation companies was done to save money and the reoffending rates were too high. The new effort privatizes probation services with a different firm in each jurisdiction and uses payment by results to incentivize the providers to use evidence-informed practices. Ten quality criteria are used to assess needs and responsivity. The priorities of the transformation are to enhance public safety and support the offender using a balanced approach of enforcement and offender support. A key to this new approach is a shift away from telling providers what to do and instead allowing the various providers to decide in order to allow for innovation. Prisoners were moved around the country to get them into facilities closer to home. A portal was created to replicate and share offender information.

I could not end this blog post without saying something about Carl’s contributions to the field of corrections over the past 20 years. On behalf of the IJIS Institute, I want to thank Carl for his steadfast friendship and support and his significant contributions to the field of corrections, community corrections, law enforcement on so many levels, and through so very many projects and initiatives. His contributions to the Global Advisory Committee, the N-DEx working group, and so many other work groups have truly helped shape criminal justice in this country. Thanks so much for all you have done and all you will do. I know you have plenty of contributions yet to come in the next phase of your career.

Tags:  APPA  community corrections  corrections  probation  World Congress 

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Mid-year Briefing Spotlight: Industry and Corrections Moving Forward

Posted By Andrea A. Walter, Saturday, August 1, 2015

Want to see a small bit of the content from yesterday’s Mid-year Briefing in Atlanta, Georgia. Here are some highlights of Tom Herzog's Luncheon Keynote.

  • Business is a relationship and government relies upon its private sector business partners to help foster and promote innovation. IJIS is an organization that helps to promote and accelerate these efforts.
  • Public/private partnerships are the backbone of innovation in public sector work and critical to public safety work.
  • "Government needs business partners, not vendors. Vendors are people from whom we buy hotdogs, not software and services!"
  • 10 Value Propositions for Corrections in 2015-16:
  1. Body worn cameras - and the data management of the outputs
  2. Education of incarcerated individuals - using video and tablets as accelerators of innovation in corrections education.
  3. Family Reunification through video conferencing - another opportunity for tablet use.
  4. Medical - among the highest cost centers for the corrections industry, EMS and EHR are critical business drivers to help contain and reduce operating costs.
  5. Complex Analytics - use of new and powerful computing techniques will allow DOC administrators to open previously closed or untapped data sources to provide analytics to better understand prison violence and program success.
  6. Cell Phone Detection - contraband cell phones continue to be among the preeminent threats to correctional safety.
  7. Information sharing with LEOs - corrections rich data stores, which include known associates, STGs, visitors, persons called, and money transfers are critical data elements to assist in crime fighting.
  8. Legacy Renewal/Conversion - many correctional systems are still operating on 1970's computing technology, including mainframe and cool based systems.
  9. Email for incarcerated individuals.
  10. Telephones and improved analytics for persons called and recorded calls.
  • Five Future Value Propositions for industry work with Corrections:
  1. Prison population reduction and the value proposition of community supervision with enhanced technology.  
  2. Bail Reform and how technology can be used to help ensure safe pre-trial, pre-adjudication release to the community.
  3. Smart Apartments that make use of new monitoring techniques to help facilitate community supervision.
  4. Group Sourcing software to help enlist public input into new initiatives and place-based policy initiatives.
  5. Public/Private partnerships that make use of new performance-based funding options to include ideas like Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) and Purpose-based economic alternatives.

For more information contact Tom at any of the following or post your comments here on the blog:

  • Email:
  • Twitter:    @tomherzog3
  • LinkedIn:  Thomas Herzog
  • Phone:      (518) 506-0000

Tags:  analytics  body worn cameras  Corrections  information sharing  Mid-year briefing 

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Internet of Things Pilot Kick-off Meeting This Week

Posted By Don Sutherland, Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Under the sponsorship of the IJIS Institute and DHS Science and Technology Directorate, the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) issued an Request for Quote/Request for Participation on 22 April 2015 for industry and academia to support the Incident Management Information Sharing (IMIS) Internet of Things pilot (IMIS-IoT). Out of the total number of responses, OGC, with input from IJIS and DHS, selected nine organizations to participate in the development, testing and documentation of sensor based solutions to support the first responder/public safety community.

This week, the IJIS Institute is hosting a kick-off meeting for the IMIS-IoT project at the headquarters in Ashburn, Virginia. The meeting will bring together federal sponsors and participants from industry and academia from a number of countries across the globe.

The overall objectives of the IMIS-IoT pilot are as follows:

·         Apply Internet of Things (IoT) principles to sensing capabilities for incident management.

·         Test the feasibility of ad hoc sensor deployment and exploitation by first responder groups (e.g., law enforcement, fire, emergency medical, and emergency management).

·         Prototype a standards-based architecture for sensor-derived situational awareness that is shared across multiple responder organizations.

·         Define IoT profiles, specifications and best practices for incident management through a process of broad collaboration among stakeholders, rapid iterative development, and running code.


The project is planned to be completed in February 2016. IJIS is looking forward to this week’s kick-off meeting to get started on the important work of the project.

Tags:  DHS  IMIS  Internet of Things  OGC 

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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

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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