Integrated Justice Information Systems Institute Conference

mhendershot

Last week I had the privilege of representing TASC at conference in Washington DC which focuses on bringing together justice, health and treatment providers, technologists, and private vendors to share ideas, discuss how to share data and to showcase the latest innovations emerging behind the scenes before it hits the market.

The Integrated Justice Information Systems Institute (the IJIS Institute) based in Washington DC at George Washington University is the central organization that coordinates these groups. IJIS is largely supported by the US Department of Justice. Their role is to help move the justice system partners forward by developing standards, and encouraging collaboration in ways that are non-partisan and that everyone plays on a revenue neutral level playing field. Most participants are government agencies and non-profits. The entrepreneurs who participate agree to share technologies and serve the common good. Some of the time is spent with companies who want to run their ideas by the field practitioners (like us) as subject matter experts, for guidance and advice to help them improved their products before going to market.

For three days I attended committee meetings, presentations of ideas for collaboration and saw demonstrations of successful implementations from innovators working with corrections, police and treatment providers to increase public safety and ease workloads. For us at TASC, this might look like an automated referral process or sending progress notes electronically when the clinical director signs off with approval.

Another presentation showed how the use of risk instruments are important tools to inform case workers and clinicians, for selecting the right interventions and treatments to maximize the client’s potential for success. We learned that treating a low risk person the same as a medium or high risk person will lessen their chances at success, and probably draw them deeper into the system as they see themselves as ‘bad guys’ and developing a negative self-identity.

Particularly interesting was a presentation by the San Bernardino FBI fusion center team, who worked furiously as the attack on the Inland Regional Center unfolded, to amass and analyze all available data and intelligence in response during the four-hour siege and manhunt. Information Technology can be pretty dry at times, but this case study showed the importance of databases to develop critical action plans.

I hope to stay closely connected with this group as we continue to develop treatment and programming using the latest research and technologies.