Information Sharing and Privacy Issues
Privacy, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties Protections in Justice Information Systems
JMI's projects in this area are assisting jurisdictions, from individual local jurisdictions to regional, state, and federal information sharing projects, to develop information systems and implement business practices that better protect the privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties of those who come in contact with the justice system. In collaboration with working groups of the U.S. DOJ's Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative (http://www.it.ojp.gov/index.jsp) a template for drafting privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties policies has been written. Additional project activities include providing technical assistance and training to jurisdictions or collaborating agencies to adopt and implement robust privacy, civil rights and civil liberties policies and projects for their information sharing projects.
Public Access to Court Records
New case management systems, growing demands for public access to court information, and growing concerns about too much public access invading privacy and endangering people's safety have necessitated a review of state rules on public access to court records. JMI activities in this area began with an SJI funded grant to produce a model policy for public access to court records. Working with the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) and under the guidance of the Court Management Committees of the Conference of Chief Justices (CCJ) and Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA) in October 2002 the project produced the CCJ/COSCA Guidelines for Public Access to Court Records (see Publications page for copy of report). The Guidelines provide policy language and commentary that a state can use to review and revise its rules on public access to court records. Approximately 20 states have since used these Guidelines to update their public access rules. With additional SJI funding a report with suggestions on how to implement the Guidelines was produced in 2005: Public Access to Court Records: Implementing the CCJ/COSCA Guidelines Final Project Report (see Publications page for copy of report). Since preparing the Guidelines JMI has helped committee or commissions in a number of states (including Alaska, Idaho, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, and South Carolina) to review their existing rule and adopt new rules. Working with the NCSC and the Court Information Technology Officers Consortium (CITOC) JMI has been assembling information about the public access rules in all states to assess their status, common characteristics, and innovative approaches.