Journal Of Strategic Information Systems

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Journal of Strategic Information Systems

Journal of Strategic Information Systems

Today, technical developments in computing, communications, and software make it possible to make significant progress in the development and integration of criminal justice systems. In many criminal justice agencies, however, there are still a variety of structural and administrative barriers to the development of integrated criminal justice systems at almost all levels within criminal justice.

Organizational decentralization may represent the single greatest barrier to systems integration and development in the American criminal justice system. As a result of this organizational structure, there are different standards of collecting information across states as well as across agencies. For example, the original crime information center in the state of Florida became outdated very quickly because it could not handle different types of data. Data accuracy is another major integration barrier to information systems integration. Examples of common types of data inaccuracies include misspellings of clients' names or street addresses and the transposing of dates.

Inadequate funding is also a major barrier to the development and integration of criminal justice information systems. Few agencies have the means to fully cover the cost of upgrading their information systems; as a result, agencies often seek federal funding for information system development. Federal grants, however, come with conditions and limitations that can reduce the flexibility agencies may need. A grant submission may allow funding for one specific element of a systems integration project or allow funding only for a stand-alone project. The Department of Justice recognizes this as an issue and allows agencies to coordinate grants to support the development of integrated information system projects (Bureau of Justice Assistance 1999a).

Inconsistent funding is another barrier to systems development. Often, agencies may receive will initial funding but not follow-up funding for an information system. This is a problem, because ...
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