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NCJ Number: 50166 Find in a Library
Title: LESSONS OF PJIS (PHILADELPHIA JUSTICE INFORMATION SYSTEM)
Journal: STATE COURT JOURNAL  Volume:2  Issue:3  Dated:(SUMMER 1978)  Pages:8-12 38-39
Author(s): S D CONTI; W POPP; D STEELMAN
Corporate Author: National Ctr for State Courts
Publications Dept
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: National Ctr for State Courts
Williamsburg, VA 23185
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: IMPLICATIONS OF THE PHILADELPHIA, PA., CRIMINAL JUSTICE COMMUNITY'S EXPERIENCE IN ATTEMPTING TO BUILD A COMPUTER-BASED INFORMATION SYSTEM ARE DISCUSSED.
Abstract: THE PHILADELPHIA JUSTICE INFORMATION SYSTEM (PJIS) WAS INTENDED TO EXTEND AN EXISTING COURT INFORMATION SYSTEM, ULTIMATELY AUTOMATING AND HOUSING UNDER ONE ROOF MUCH OF THE INFORMATION USED BY THE POLICE, COURTS, CORRECTIONS, AND OTHER COMPONENTS OF PHILADELPHIA'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE COMMUNITY. THE PROJECT FAILED. THE EVENTS AND PROBLEMS THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THE FAILURE ARE IDENTIFIED, AND THE ISSUES SUGGESTED BY THE FAILURE ARE DISCUSSED. FIRST LEVEL ISSUES RELATE TO INTERNAL COURT MANAGEMENT. A FUNDING CUTBACK BY LEAA AT THE MIDPOINT OF THE PJIS PROJECT CONTRIBUTED TO THE PROJECT'S FAILURE AND REVEALED A WEAKNESS IN THE USE OF FEDERAL GRANTS FOR LONG-TERM PROJECTS. COURT INFORMATION SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS ARE URGED TO FORMULATE A POLICY FOR DEALING WITH THE USE OF FEDERAL FUNDS, TO EMPLOY APPROPRIATE FUNDING ANALYSIS TECHNIQUES, AND TO STRENGTHEN THE COURT FINANCIAL FUNCTION. THE PROJECT ALSO ENCOUNTERED CONTROVERSY SURROUNDING THE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINE CORPORATION'S PARTICIPATION. IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT HOUSE STAFF OR INDEPENDENT CONSULTANTS, RATHER THAN HARDWARE VENDORS, BE USED IN THE DESIGN PHASES OF AUTOMATION PROJECTS. DIFFICULTIES IN EXECUTING THE LONG-TERM, COMPLEX PJIS PROJECT WITHIN THE COURT ENVIRONMENT LED TO THE RECOMMENDATION THAT, WHEN POSSIBLE, SUCH PROJECTS BE SCHEDULED TO FALL WITHIN THE TENURE OF THE PRINCIPAL COURT POLICYMAKER (USUALLY THE CHIEF JUDGE) AND OTHER IMPORTANT OFFICIALS. IN THE PJIS PROJECT, EMPHASIS WAS PLACED ON THE USE OF THE COMPUTER TO MODERNIZE THE COURTS. IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT A MORE BALANCED APPROACH, ADDRESSING A NUMBER OF MANAGEMENT FUNCTIONS, BE EMPLOYED IN SIMILAR UNDERTAKINGS, AND THAT THE USE OF SMALL COMPUTERS AND OTHER ELEMENTS OF LOW-SCALE TECHNOLOGY BE CONSIDERED. THE SECOND-LEVEL ISSUE CONCERNS THE ENTIRE CRIMINAL JUSTICE COMMUNITY. THE PJIS PROJECT FOUND A PARADOX IN THE USE OF THE TERM 'CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM' AND THE REALITY OF A LOOSE CONFEDERACY OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE UNITS DIVIDED BY FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL BOUNDARIES OF GOVERNMENT, AND BY THE CONCEPT OF THE SEPARATION OF POWERS. IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT INFORMATION AUTOMATION PROJECTS EMPHASIZE THE STRENGTHENING OF COURT MANAGEMENT AND SYSTEMS AND BE SKEPTICAL OF THE CONCEPT OF A CRIMINAL JUSTICE INFORMATION NETWORK. THE THIRD-LEVEL ISSUE CONCERNS SOCIETY IN GENERAL. THE PJIS PROJECT ENCOUNTERED A PROLONGED DEBATE CONCERNING THE APPROPRIATENESS OF CONFIDENTIALITY GUIDELINES. SIMILAR PROJECTS ARE ADVISED TO MAKE PROVISIONS FOR DEALING WITH SUCH DEBATE WHENEVER CONFIDENTIALITY -OR ANY OTHER MATTER OF WIDESPREAD COMMUNITY INTEREST -IS INVOLVED. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED--LKM)
Index Term(s): Automation; Court information systems; Criminal justice information systems; Evaluation; Failure factors; Pennsylvania; Program financing; Program implementation; Program planning
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=50166

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