JIS News

Work is progressing on the capacity building aspect of the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP), designed to improve the state of the criminal justice system in Jamaica.
Trevor Libert, Management Information Systems Co-ordinator, with responsibility for the capacity building component, tells JIS News that this aspect provides for the strengthening of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the Department of Correctional Services.
“The component is really looking at building the capacity of the Ministry of National Security to co-ordinate and manage the information that is shared between its respective departments, specifically the JCF and the Department of Correctional Services,” says Mr. Libert.
“Currently, neither of these two entities are properly automated and everything is done manually. This component is seeking to automate most of their activities and hence will be able to share information between them seamlessly,” he adds.
The Co-ordinator explains that with information sharing, the Ministry will have over arching capability to see that information and will therefore be able to develop policies and legislative processes that will better influence the control and management of crime and violence.
“For example, for the JCF, their system will allow for the officers to record multiple charges for each incident and track detailed information in what are called incident-based reporting categories,” he adds. Mr. Libert notes that everything that is done presently at police stations is recorded in what is called the station diary. All of that is going to be computerized and put on a central database.
“Through that computerized effort, that information will be accessible to law enforcement personnel throughout the island, rather than be resident in a particular station manual records,” he points out. The CSJP, introduced in 2001, is one of the most innovative and integrated projects being implemented in Jamaica to deal with the country’s crime and security.
Administered by the Ministry of National Security, the project has made significant strides in transforming the social and economic well-being of residents in a number of inner-city communities.
It is funded by the Government and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) at a cost of $20 million.
The capacity building aspect of the CSJP is providing an integrated management information system, which is being implemented in five phases.
“The first phase involves the provision of turn key solutions for the JCF and another turn key solution for the Department of Correctional Services. By turn key solutions, I mean that we will be providing each entity with the hardware and software, together with the networking capabilities that will allow for seamless access to the various systems,” says Mr. Libert.
“In addition to that, we will also provide them with training to use the systems so that by the time they press the button, they are ready to go,” he adds.
The second phase, Mr. Libert says, involves the provision of data entry services, adding that the data entry would involve the population with the central systems with historical data going back about three years.
“So, by the time the system is turned on and ready for production implementation, the system would have at least three years worth of historical data already built into it,” he says.
“What this means is that each of these departments will have a jump-start on the data they are expected to manage. Of course, it will be each entity’s responsibility to then continue the production of the data going back as far as they see fit,” the Co-ordinator tells JIS News.
Mr. Libert says that phase three of the project is labelled the integration phase, where the two systems are going to be linked together via web portal.
“This means that if someone is sitting on the JCF network, and they require information that is on the Department of Correctional Services system, given the requisite permission and authority, he or she will be able to access that system via the internet in a secured manner,” he explains.
The third phase of the implementation also involves the Ministry of Justice. Mr. Libert says that “from the point of the alleged individual being brought into the police station, to his court proceedings and on to his (possible) incarceration, all of that information is available to those three entities in what we call the criminal justice network.”
Phase four of the project will seek to put in electrical components in additional sites.
“Let us say another site is deemed ready to be part of this network infrastructure, phase four will provide that site with electrical components like air conditioning units, generators and a stable power supply,” he notes.
“Phase five will be adding more hardware and network components, so for that police station or for that entity under the Department of Correctional Services that is ready to be a part of the network, phase five will provide them with the additional computers, printers, network switches to make that site capable of accessing that network infrastructure,” explains Mr. Libert.
As for the JCF, Mr. Libert says that the department’s operations will include five integrated management systems.
The first module involves a new Human Resource (HR) Management system, which allows the JCF to manage the HR requirements for all of the officers, including the Island Special Constabulary Force (ISCF), district constables, civilians and the rank and file and gazetted officers.
“They are also getting a new management records system which will be used to automate all of the records now being managed manually at the various police stations,” Mr. Libert tells JIS News.
He informs that the police stations currently use 36 large registered books used to record the activities daily, the most important of which is called the station diary.
The JCF will also be provided with a new jail management system, which will allow for the alleged offenders being brought into the lock ups at the various police stations to have their information recorded electronically.
A new trafficking system will also be implemented on behalf of the JCF. “For one, the system is going to provide a new traffic ticketing system. The new trafficking system will provide officers in the field with hand held devices, so all they will need to do is enter someone’s driver’s licence number or Tax Registration Number and he or she will be able to see all traffic related information on that individual,” says Mr. Libert.
He also points out that the new traffic device will provide police officers with stolen motor vehicle information and also allow the officer to print an electronic ticket.
“Police cars will be provided with mobile computers and these will all be accessible via a wireless network infrastructure,” the Co-ordinator says.
He also informs JIS News that whenever a person calls 119, it will now “go to a more automated system, one which is driven by Geographic Information System and geocoding of data. So they will be provided with street names and locations, so that they can even direct the police officer to the reported incident.”Mr. Libert notes that under normal circumstances, when someone calls 119, that person calls into the control centre for that region.
“This project is looking to upgrade the capabilities of that control centre by providing them with a Computer Aided Dispatch system. What this means is that we are providing them with new computer as well as the requisite software, so when someone calls in to the control centre, the centre will be able to identify the location of the caller and this is not like using a caller ID,” he says.
In respect to the Department of Correctional Services, Mr. Libert says its operations will include three integrated management systems, namely an offender management system, probation and parole system, and a juvenile system.
“The Department of Correctional Services will be implementing an offender management system to assist in its management processes, both at the officer level, and at the consolidated level. The system will include personnel information, criminal and socio-demographic history of the inmate,” he points out.
He adds that the system will record and track the charges, indictment history and movement, cell and programme assignment of each inmate. The offender management system will also seek to accommodate a gang database, sentence aggregation and inmate property accounting as well as inmate banking facilities.
Mr. Libert says that in relation to the juvenile system, it will allow for the administration of special needs programming in terms of juveniles and youth services, mental health, substance abuse and geriatric care.
“The system also has the capability to track medical requirements, specifically online medical records, such as screening, diagnosis, alerts, restriction, sick calls, examinations and monitoring medical and dental labs and X-rays,” he tells JIS News.
“In terms of risk assessment, visitation control, hospital transfers, pre- certification, and work release control will also be tracked. The system will include imaging and bar coding capabilities that allow for voice input, swipe cards and other security features that will be introduced to the institutions on a phased basis,” he adds.
Mr. Libert points out that these new systems will be introduced on a phased basis at the Tower Street, Horizon Adult Remand and St. Catherine Adult Remand Centres.
“March next year is the targeted implementation date for these systems,” he says.
The Co-ordinator notes that the programme is now in the process of customizing the software, as the computer infrastructure and the network infrastructure have been installed at all the relevant locations.
“But it will only come together once the systems have been customised and installed on the central servers. You should expect to see the first roll out of a complete system around July or August with the trafficking system. So around July or August, you should start to see things happening. The others will come on stream about February 2008,”informs Mr. Libert.

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