Justice Information Sharing
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image of handcuffs and gavelIJIS Institute core services exist to assist state, local, and tribal justice and public safety organizations achieve cross-agency, cross-jurisdictional, and cross-sector information sharing and safeguarding. Since our inception in 2001, we have assisted justice and public safety agencies, through our partnership with industry, achieve the successful application of standards-based information sharing solutions.

What is the value of justice information sharing? Here is just one example. In its early years, the IJIS Institute was pivotal in designing and implementing the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Registry (NSOPR) which is a cooperative effort between state agencies and a nationally-hosted website and information sharing standards to link existing state and territory public sex offender registries. The site enables individuals around the country to conduct online searches for information on convicted sex offenders from every state, not just their own. Amid predictions it would take years and millions of dollars to create, 22 state sex offender registries were connected to the NSOPR in only 60 days! Within a year, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico were connected. The project wound up costing less than $1 million, as opposed to some projections that it would cost as much as $25 million.

The IJIS Institute also has the following programs, projects, and activities that support justice information sharing initiatives:

National Crime Statistics Exchange (NCS-X)

The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), in partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Criminal Justice Information Systems (CJIS), is spearheading the National Crime Statistics Exchange (NCS-X), a program designed to generate nationally-representative incident-based data on crimes reported to law enforcement agencies. NCS-X will leverage the FBI's existing National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) by recruiting a sample of 400 law enforcement agencies to supplement the existing NIBRS data by providing their incident data to their state (or the federal) NIBRS data collection program. When data from these 400 agencies are combined with data from the more than 6,600 agencies that currently report NIBRS data to the FBI, NIBRS will be able to produce national estimates of crime that can be disaggregated by victim-offender characteristics, the circumstances of the event, victim-offender relationship, and other important elements of criminal events. When completed, nationally representative NIBRS data will increase our nation's ability to monitor, respond to, and prevent crime by allowing NIBRS to produce timely, detailed, and accurate national measures of crime incidents.

After its launch in 2012, a team of organizations that included the IJIS Institute was responsible for developing the implementation plans for NCS-X. This included coordinating efforts with local law enforcement, state reporting programs, and the software industry.

IJIS Institute is currently supporting the NCS-X program by identifying and engaging service providers, conducting assessments of agency landscapes, providing support and technical assistance to state and local agency efforts to accomplish the transition to incident-based reporting (IBR), and other outreach activities.

FBI National Data Exchange (N-DEx)

The FBI’s The National Data Exchange (N-DEx) provides criminal justice agencies with a mechanism for sharing, searching, linking, and analyzing information across jurisdictional boundaries. A national repository of criminal justice records submitted by agencies from around the nation, N-DEx uses those records to connect the dots between data on people, places, and things that may seem unrelated in order to link investigations…and investigators. 

The IJIS Institute supports N-DEx through the development of information exchange standards and training, as well as through TA engagements to assist state, local, and tribal agencies with the integration of their own justice information system to the N-DEx system.

Available N-DEx resources from the IJIS Institute include: an N-DEx Overview, the N-DEx Policy Operating Manual, and the NDE-x Trail Guide.

Statewide Automated Victim Information & Notification (SAVIN)

Offender information collected to deter and prevent crime in the criminal justice system can also be shared with a community to enhance awareness, promote public safety, and assist crime victims in exercising their right to information and notification. A SAVIN program is a network of solutions and activities that embody the planning, governance, administration, technology, implementation, execution, and ongoing management of crime victim information and notification services. A SAVIN program is not a particular service provider system application; state and local law enforcement, courts, state/community/county corrections, and victim service professionals must all effectively share information in order to provide relevant, timely, and accurate offender and case status information to crime victims and their families.

The IJIS Institute has played an important role in the nationwide SAVIN program, helping to develop technology standards to ensure that SAVIN programs conform to national criminal justice information-sharing standards and assisting state, local, and tribal agencies with implementation, planning, managing, and operating a successful SAVIN Program. The IJIS Institute developed the SAVIN Service Specification Package (SSP) and piloted the Information Exchange Package Document (IEPD), developed the Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification (SAVIN) Help Desk and continues to support it, and developed the original SAVIN Guidelines & Standards document and continues to be involved in the work of updating the current version. The IJIS Institute is recently worked on the implementation of the Victim Notification Service Specification Package in three states and developed a SAVIN Technology Roadmap.

PREA Data Standard

In 2003, President G.W. Bush signed into law the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-79). The goal of the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) is to eradicate prisoner rape in all types of correctional facilities in this country. In August 2012, the final PREA rule became effective requiring confinement facilities to comply in order to prevent, detect, and respond to all possible PREA occurrences. The PREA regulations require that agencies collect uniform data on PREA incidents, and those that are not in compliance will face financial penalties.

The goal of the IJIS Institute’s PREA initiative is the creation of a consensus-based National PREA Data Standard that will enable the effective and efficient collection and sharing of PREA-related information by using the components of the Global Standards Package (GSP). The Standard will identify critical PREA data elements that can exponentially improve overall information sharing, data analysis, and data quality. The IJIS Institute developed the National PREA Data Standard to address conformance with the PREA-related processes, data collection, reporting, sharing policies, and privacy with guidance from the PREA Data Standard Working Group (PWG), which includes PREA experts from key nationwide organizations and practitioner advisors from six state departments of correction.  

The IJIS Institute is currently working on the implementation of the PREA Data Standard at three pilot sites and to measure the impact of the PREA data standard.

Gang Intelligence Information Sharing

According to the 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment report, gangs are responsible for an average of 48 percent of violent crime in most jurisdictions, and up to 90 percent in others. The Gang Intelligence Information Sharing project, managed by the IJIS Institute for the Bureau of Justice Assistance, took a standards-based approach to gang intelligence information sharing, helping to combat the proliferation of gangs and to support the gathering of criminal intelligence about gangs. Through this project, the IJIS Institute defined a problem statement, identified stakeholders, and identified and prioritized key data elements and information exchanges and created a Gang Information Exchange Package Documentation (IEPD) with Member company Trusted Federal Systems, Inc. to support gang information sharing between and across law enforcement and justice systems at all jurisdictional levels.