Bar News - July 20, 2016
Court News: J-ONE Project Aims to Integrate NH’s Criminal Justice System
Commissioner John Barthelmes of the NH Department of Safety addresses law enforcement officers gathered for the J-ONE presentation at the NH Supreme Court while Chief Justice Linda Dalianis, J-ONE Program Manager Keith Lohmann, Judicial Branch Chief Information Technology Officer Peter Croteau (far left) listen.
More than 50 law enforcement officials met June 23 with the chief justice of the NH Supreme Court and the head of the NH Department of Safety for a presentation on J-ONE, a joint initiative designed to integrate various aspects of the state’s criminal justice system.
The “Justice-One Network Environment,” or J-ONE, integrates the computer systems and data of the judiciary, motor vehicle departments, prosecutors, corrections, and law enforcement entities from local to state levels. The program’s goal is to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of New Hampshire’s criminal justice agencies, “and to make all criminal justice data available electronically to authorized members only,” according to a prepared statement from the Judicial Branch.
Department of Safety Commissioner John Barthelmes said J-ONE is the most complicated program that he has ever been involved with in his law enforcement career. “Technology is important to the continued success of J-ONE, but collaboration between agencies is even more important,” he said.
“Our partnership with the Judicial Branch has made all of this possible.” Dalianis agreed. “It’s been a very long road getting J-ONE off the ground, but the Commissioner and I have made it our mission to make this project a success.”
J-ONE Program Manager Keith Lohmann said J-ONE is “creating a better deployment of law enforcement resources, reducing duplicity of data that is collected and enhancing public access to information.”
Dalianis noted that an integral part of J-ONE has been the creation of a Uniform Charge Table (UCT) used by local and county law enforcement, NH State Police, and courts throughout the state. “J-ONE requires police departments to use the same codes for the same offense. We deeply appreciate the efforts by Deputy Attorney General Ann Rice, and her staff, toward making the changes necessary to ensure uniformity when it comes to noting charges on criminal complaints,” Dalianis said.
There are 3,800 separate charges under state law that officers must choose from when filing a criminal complaint. To help speed up the process, J-ONE software allows police departments to create a list of 40 charges that their officers are most likely to use in a separate drop-down menu.
The event last month featured demonstrations using J-ONE’s e-Ticket and e-Crash components currently being used by State Police. The e-Ticket component allows police to file an electronic criminal complaint. Almost instantly, a new file regarding the arrest is automatically created in the court’s case management system. Following the end result in the case, a disposition would be sent back to police from the court.
Using e-Crash, a state trooper at the scene of a multi-car accident can scan the licenses and registrations of the drivers involved. The computer screen in the police vehicle is automatically populated with the drivers’ information, reducing the time needed to input data, and limiting opportunities for error. The e-Crash component also includes GPS coordinates of the location of an accident and the time it occurred to be added to the citation.
Under J-ONE, local and county law enforcement will use software called Tritech for electronic filing of complaints and the return of dispositions from the court. Tritech also has the ability to update criminal histories, NCIC records, and the Sex Offender Registry.
The next stages of J-ONE are scheduled to include:
- Transfer of sentencing data electronically from the courts to the Department to Corrections, as well as the electronic data-sharing that occurs between stakeholders during the time of incarceration and, at some point in the future, following an individual’s release from incarceration.
- Expansion of SAVIN (Statewide Automated Victim Notification) by automating the process of notifying stakeholders such as victims, victim/witness advocates, probation/parole officers, specific law enforcement agencies regarding updates pertaining to a specific case, or offenders.
- Ready access to electronic warrants, complaints and protective orders to be easily created, stored, and retrieved by agency personnel via the State Police Online Terminal System (SPOTS).
- Expansion of electronic data exchanges for citations, bench warrants, protective orders, complaints, and dispositions between the courts and additional local law enforcement agencies.
- Creation of an automated data exchange between the courts and State Police prosecutors during pre-trial conferences for state police plea-by-mail motor vehicle offenses.
- Installation of Virtual Private Networks (VPN) providing a conduit by which stakeholders will be able to pass information electronically from the point of origination to its final disposition.
Officials said the program is still in the early stages. Dalianis called J-ONE “a sea change” that will have profound benefits.