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    Technology is changing the way we live our lives. In many ways it has been the driver for change over the last twenty years. Technology has been integrated in to many facets of the criminal justice system. However, these criminal justice entities are not connected. In the past, the complexities surrounding data integration (i.e., proprietary databases, vendor cooperation, expense of communication links, and lack of data standards) made it difficult for the Clerks of Courts at the municipal and county levels to connect and share information electronically.


    The Summit County Clerk of Courts has undertaken the responsibility to create a regional criminal justice information system - Summit County Criminal Justice Information System [SCCJIS]. A SCCJIS vision has been established. A criminal justice network infrastructure has been designed and is being implemented. SCCJIS implements a design and infrastructure of inter-networked municipal and county criminal justice systems within Summit County to: first, create a regional information system for participation in the archetype OJIN project, and second, to transfer criminal justice information electronically between participating agencies. Like OJIN, SCCJIS will share data in a secure environment while allowing each agency to control the access to the agency's criminal justice data. OJIN is the archetype upon which SCCJIS will be founded and developed.

    The SCCJIS vision incorporates user access via a single virtual system with the underlying electronic transfer of criminal justice information between participating SCCJIS agencies to facilitate the most current criminal justice information available in Summit County. Like OJIN, Summit County's criminal justice community has several inherent and distinctive challenges that create a complex environment in which to accomplish criminal justice integration: political and jurisdictional autonomy of the individual agencies, user and agency technical level sophistication, information technology resources and limited funds. This grant will help bridge those gaps.

    SCCJIS will use a phased implementation approach, consisting of four phases: an Initial Assessment/Network Infrastructure Design and Implementation Phase (IA/NID), Phase II, Phase III, and Phase IV.


    SCCJIS encompasses the inter-connectivity of various criminal justice agencies within Summit County. The primary task is to create a regional criminal justice information portal where the most up-to-date criminal justice information can be searched and retrieved throughout Summit County for both the public and law enforcement/criminal justice employees.

    A second purpose is the development of an Electronic Disposition web-based application for the electronic sharing of ITN and demographic information necessary in arrest and disposition reporting to BCI&I. Through the reduction of paper and paperwork, and automating the reporting process, overall reporting and reporting accuracy will be improved.

    A third purpose is to reduce the reliance on paper in the criminal justice system. It is not the purpose to eliminate paper from the system; instead, it is to reduce the lag time between when information is entered in one criminal justice system and paper is produced then transferred through the system only to be entered into another criminal justice system before a decision or action can be made. This will be achieved through the electronic transfer of information based on individual agencies' business rules and information requirements.

    A final purpose of this project is to prepare each criminal justice agency in Summit County to participate in the statewide OJIN project. However, a constraint to full participation is jurisdictional and political autonomy of the elected officeholder. However, it is anticipated that through this grant, the remaining criminal justice agencies not party to the original project will realize the benefit of the project and participate in the future.


    The primary objective of the SCCJIS project is to implement an XML-based scheme for sharing and transferring criminal justice information within Summit County. It is not the objective of the project to create further bureaucracy or another governmental agency or department, but to create a self-sufficient interchange of data based on a distributed computing model. Each agency will retain and be responsible for their data. No central server will be used to aggregate any data to facilitate this process. Data will be shared on an agency-by-agency basis via an XML-based interface to the originating agency's information system.

    In the coming phases, we will be developing and implementing an OJIN-based website for searching and retrieving Summit County criminal justice information. Further, we will be developing and implementing a system to electronically submit disposition information to BCI&I. The objectives are as follows:

  • Diana Zaleski is the Summit County Clerk of Courts.  She has maintained the office since 1989.  She is very proactive in the use of technology in her office.  She is an advocate for the use of technology in today’s court systems.
  • Mary Lou Daugherty is Chief Deputy of the Summit County Clerk of Courts office.  She has 29 years experience in the Summit County Criminal Justice System.  She has directed the technology of the Clerk’s office for the last 15 years.  Most recent projects include the Clerk’s website and document imaging.
  • Natalie Michalailides has five years experience related to the development and facilitation of grant programs.  She is currently the Grant Coordinator for the Criminal Justice Affairs Division in Summit County.  Ms. Michalaidies oversees grants management for public safety with a special emphasis on programmatic operation, fiscal compliance, and compilation and maintenance of program data.
  • Steven Davies, prior to working for Summit County was a project manager for a regional technology consulting company.  He has 5 years experience managing criminal justice projects in the Summit County Criminal Justice system.  He was the Project Manager for the $3.5 Million, multi-phase project that automated the Summit County Court of Common Pleas – General Division.  He has also conducted needs analysis, workflow analysis and implemented process improvements.  He earned a MBA and is a licensed attorney in the State of Ohio.
  • Tung Doan is a systems analyst with the Summit County Clerk of Courts.  He has earned a Master of Information Systems for Case Western Reserve University.   He has 2.5 years experience with criminal justice systems.  He is responsible for managing the Summit County Clerk of Courts website and has worked with the OJIN staff in making Summit County Clerk of Courts “OJIN-compliant”.

    In many cases, the fear of change impedes technological growth.  With this in mind we have gone to great lengths to include stakeholders in the planning process as well as ensure a smooth transition in to 21st century technology.  It is our belief that providing greater access to the judicial process we will increase the quantity and quality of information available in each case.  The awarded participants for this grant will be Summit County Clerk of Courts as well as Akron, Barberton and Stow Municipal Clerks of Courts.


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