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NCJ Number: NCJ 184444     Find in a Library
Title: Harnessing Information in a Prosecutor's Office
  Document URL: PDF 
Author(s): Elizabeth Glazer
  Editor(s): Jolene Hernon
  Journal: National Institute of Justice Journal  Issue:245  Dated:October 2000  Pages:2 to 7
Date Published: 10/2000
Page Count: 6
  Series: NIJ Journal
  Annotation: This article describes a solution one U.S. Attorney's Office found to integrate seemingly disparate pieces of information and solve problems more effectively.
Abstract: Using computers, maps, and a relational database, a team of prosecutors, computer programmers, and clerical staff in the office of Mary Jo White of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York created a system that, at the press of a button, shows that agencies are working in a particular geographic area. The system takes advantage of two common facts of life in all large, urban prosecutors' offices, i.e., criminal communities are usually organized by geography, and the agencies investigating them usually are not; and most of the information gathered by the multitude of Federal agencies investigating cases eventually makes its way to the U.S. Attorney's Office. The strategy is to collect key information about cases in a single place so that interconnections can be easily identified. At a minimum, key information includes addresses for arrests and residences of defendants and victims, crime locations, and areas and topics of cooperation of Federal witnesses. The system was dubbed "Rackets," because the impetus for collecting and tracking the information came from the Office's extensive work in racketeering cases brought against gangs. During the first 6 months of the project, a graduate student developed a working model of a database and corresponding geocoding system. Geocoding is the process by which addresses in a data file are assigned coordinates that describe their location on the earth's surface, enabling them to be mapped. The goal was to turn data from the U.S. Marshals Service and the U.S. Attorney's Office into a system that staff with limited computer knowledge can use to produce maps that show all Federal law enforcement activity in the jurisdiction. The system saves time, answers questions about cases and caseloads, provides background information, and analyzes special problems. The article concludes with a discussion of the future of mapping analysis and the replication of the system. 1 note
Main Term(s): Science and Technology
Index Term(s): Management Information Systems ; Prosecutors ; Computer mapping ; Federal courts ; Prosecution ; Geographic information systems (GIS) ; NIJ grant-related documents ; New York
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
Grant Number: 1998-LB-VX-0004
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Program/Project Description
Country: United States of America
Language: English
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