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How Did CICJIS Get Started?

The Colorado legislature mandated the development of the Colorado Integrated Criminal Justice Information System beginning in 1995. House Bill 95-1101 (amended by House Bill 05-1078) defined the composition of CICJIS to include the Departments of Public Safety, Corrections, and Human Services, and the Colorado Judicial Branch. It directed the Executive Directors of each agency to cooperate in the development of a strategic plan for the implementation and maintenance of an integrated criminal justice information system. The General Assembly adopted the strategy outlined in that plan, formally included the Colorado District Attorneys Council, and funded the effort through Senate Bill 96-221. System design was approved on September 9, 1996 and development began immediately thereafter. The initial phase of CICJIS, data transfers, was implemented on May 4, 1998. Query functions were implemented beginning the summer of 1999.

 
A review of the business information flow between the agencies highlighted numerous problems and inefficiencies with the entire system. These problems included, but were not limited to:
  • Redundant data collection by all agencies and departments.
  • Incomplete and untimely data collection based on paper, rather than transferring information electronically.
  • Processes that relied on phone conversations or on-site visits to gather data, which could be electronically shared.
  • Failure to use a unique common identifier for incidents and offenders.
  • Inability to get a current status of offenders in the system without separately querying each of the existing department databases.
  • Inconsistent and unreliable data between the systems, because of a lack of a common data dictionary.
  • Inconsistencies between paper files and computer databases, within and between agencies.

 

CICJIS addresses these inefficiencies without forcing departments and agencies to abandon their existing systems. The CICJIS network and middleware link the existing agency databases/platforms and give users the appearance of querying one database, when in reality they are querying five. The network features are transparent to the user. The CICJIS network handles real-time, event-driven data transfers, data extracts, and queries between systems. CICJIS allows the data to be entered only once by the originating agency and to be automatically updated in the other systems, where appropriate.