Organising Data Exchange in the Dutch Criminal Justice Chain

Philip LANGBROEK, Marjan TJADEN

Abstract


Effective exchange of information in the criminal justice chain is crucial for effective law enforcement, but difficult to achieve. This article describes the case of the development and introduction of electronic data exchange in the Dutch Criminal Justice chain. Basic theories on the introduction of IT in justice organizations are tested by means of qualitative empirical research. Case flow management automation is technically feasible in the criminal justice chain but presupposes willingness of different organizations attached to that chain to adapt working processes for that purpose. The Dutch case shows a relative failure of the development and implementation of an integrated case flow management system for the entire chain (from the police via the public prosecutions office and the courts up to the prison service). It also shows a relative success of connecting xml-based data files to different reference indexes using intelligent agent software. Compared to the intended integrated case flow management system this solution for inter-organizational data exchange is much more simple and flexible because it does not demand a far reaching adaptation of internal organizational routines. It avoids the complexities of justice organizations and simplifies tasks related to data exchange. The data therefore are more accurate and are faster available. The most important advantage however is that risks of failure of development and implementation are reduced.


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