DIG IT AWARD WINNER: BIG DATA
NJ automates parolee data feed to FBI
- By Matt Leonard
- Sep 23, 2016
When police officers pull someone over during a traffic stop, they can check the driver’s license and vehicle registration and query local databases for any outstanding issues. For the most part, though, information on criminal activity is spread across databases and paper files at thousands of local, state and federal agencies, making it difficult for officers to determine if the driver poses a threat. Even if they tap into the FBI’s databases, they have no way to check the current supervision status of someone on parole.
That is, unless that person is under the supervision of the New Jersey State Parole Board.
Thanks to a bridge system that sends real-time updates on parolees to the FBI National Crime Information Center’s Supervised Release File, police anywhere in the country can see the history and status of a New Jersey parolee.
Although the state’s parole board information system (PBIS) contains current case information on 15,000 parolees, “what we needed to do was build a mechanism to connect that to the NCIC system,” said Jeremy Jedynak, IT director and project lead at the New Jersey State Parole Board.
The Supervised Release File Project uses new middleware that enables legacy applications to share data with the newer platforms via a gateway belonging to the New Jersey State Police.
Now when a photo or other piece of identifying information is posted in the PBIS, it is automatically updated in the FBI’s system. The system tells officers what offenses the parolee committed, where and for how long he or she was incarcerated, and how to contact the agency and parole officer supervising that parolee.
Besides giving officers critical information about those they question, the Supervised Release File Project has also improved the efficiency of operations and decision-making. Additionally, the infrastructure will allow the agency to similarly automate all warrant issuances and confirmations via NCIC’s Wanted Person File.
Matt Leonard is a reporter/producer at GCN.
Before joining GCN, Leonard worked as a local reporter for The Smithfield Times in southeastern Virginia. In his time there he wrote about town council meetings, local crime and what to do if a beaver dam floods your back yard. Over the last few years, he has spent time at The Commonwealth Times, The Denver Post and WTVR-CBS 6. He is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, where he received the faculty award for print and online journalism.
Leonard can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @Matt_Lnrd.
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