Internaut: Justice XML effort is promising

Shawn P. McCarthy

One of the more interesting public-safety and homeland security efforts in recent months is a data reference model called Justice XML, officially known as the Global Justice XML Data Model.

Justice XML is evolving into a way for justice and public-safety groups to import and export data from multiple databases and publish it in various formats.

I've heard from a vendor and a state IT office that plan to adopt the model for sharing justice-related data.

The standard is a cooperative effort by the Justice Department's Office of Justice Programs, representatives of other agencies and the Georgia Tech Research Institute.

In simple terms, Justice XML is an object-oriented data model for populating databases and generating Extensible Markup Language data in a standard form for easy sharing.

I have long argued for a government-wide data reference model, or XML tag set, to standardize the way agencies publish and share information. That's a huge effort and difficult to coordinate among multiple agencies.

Rather than tackling the whole world, Justice XML started with just the kinds of data needed by justice and public- safety users. Organizations that want to learn more and possibly participate can plug into the Justice Information Sharing Initiative by going to and entering

Justice-related data is a great place to start learning how to share with XML and push for a common data model.

Here are some other government XML initiatives under way:
  • A National Institute of Standards and Technology software quality group is working on an XML registry project, at

  •, an interagency group, has partnered with commercial and industry organizations to work out XML and data-transfer standards.

  • The CIO Council's XML Working Group posts messages and ongoing discussions about various governmentwide XML efforts. See at for the link.

    Shawn P. McCarthy is senior analyst and program manager for government IT opportunities at IDC of Framingham, Mass. E-mail him at [email protected] .

About the Author

Shawn McCarthy, a former writer for GCN, is senior analyst and program manager for government IT opportunities at IDC.


  • business meeting (Monkey Business Images/

    Civic tech volunteers help states with legacy systems

    As COVID-19 exposed vulnerabilities in state and local government IT systems, the newly formed U.S. Digital Response stepped in to help. Its successes offer insight into existing barriers and the future of the civic tech movement.

  • data analytics (

    More visible data helps drive DOD decision-making

    CDOs in the Defense Department are opening up their data to take advantage of artificial intelligence and machine learning tools that help surface insights and improve decision-making.

Stay Connected