May 29, 2015
Mercer County Implements Phase 2 of CJP in Municipal Courts

Camden, Atlantic, Middlesex, Gloucester and Mercer counties are experiencing the many benefits of CSI’s InfoShare™ CJP component for transmitting documents to the Prosecutor’s Office for case screening.

CSI initially developed the CJP module for Camden County several years ago, when the county court requested that the screening process time be reduced so that prisoners could be released if their charges were dismissed or downgraded.

“CJP”stands for Central Judicial Processing, and this InfoShare™ module allows the police departments in Camden, Atlantic, Middlesex, and Gloucester to transmit all indictable arrest documents, including complaints and police reports, to the Prosecutor's Office for timely screening decisions by prosecuting attorneys. The documents are scanned or uploaded to the case initiated by the local police department, thus creating an electronic case file that can be viewed by all authorized parties, and linking the initiated case directly to the e-Prosecution case.

In Mercer County, the InfoShare™ CJP component is being deployed with a slight variation to the established model. CJP was implemented at the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office in 2013. There, CSI worked with the Prosecutor’s Office and one of the twelve municipal courts in the county to establish a Court-to-Prosecutor’s Office interface for their screening process. Ewing Township Municipal Court participated in this pilot program; here, the court staff transmits the data and the accompanying documents to the Prosecutor’s Office through CJP, making it the first court site to be deployed using CJP to interface with the Prosecutor’s Office.

The original copies of the complaints reside at the court, and these must be provided to the Prosecutor’s Office. Without CJP, someone from the prosecutor’s staff must travel weekly to all the municipalities to retrieve the documents for processing back at the Prosecutor’s office. With CJP in place, the time and expenses associated with the pickups are immediately eliminated. If the municipal judge has made notations on these documents, the court has the ability to scan the marked-up documents into CJP.

Other case documents, such as the Affidavit of Probable Cause, Victim/Witness Notifications, and the Letters of Representation, are also scanned into CJP and electronically transmitted to the prosecutor’s office, creating an electronic case file that is, within minutes, viewed and assessed by the screening attorneys. With all the initiating documents associated to the case, the county prosecutor is provided with a complete set of court documentation for the case, including the judge’s notations, to support the screening process in a timely manner.

After screening, those defendant records whose charges have been downgraded, dismissed, or remanded are electronically returned to the courts. When the defendant is charged and entered to PROMIS/Gavel, all documents are merged to the centrally located Prosecutor’s e-Prosecution case file. Besides reducing the time it takes to obtain the documents, using the CJP module eliminates redundant data entry and reduces the chances for data entry errors.

Some of the other benefits of using the CJP interface that have already been realized by Mercer County’s pilot implementation include:

> The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office no longer needs to call the court to request faxed complaints for bail hearings

> Backlog is eliminated, as well as incorrect transfers on the AOCPROMIS/Gavel interface

> No disruptions due to scheduling and rescheduling, ultimately eliminating confusion between the courts and defendants/witnesses over new court dates and appearances

> Mercer County Prosecutors’ Office staff can scan complaints authored by their own detectives into InfoShare™ and the municipal court has instant access to them, thus eliminating the need to put cases in a “HELD” status in the court’s Automated Complaint System (ACS)

> There is a significant cost savings to the county, both in the Prosecutor’s Office and at the courts

Now, because of the realization of these benefits, two more Mercer County municipalities will begin entering the data and documents directly into InfoShare™ at their respective municipal courts. Starting this summer, Hamilton and Hopewell Township Municipal Courts will begin using CJP. Through the CJP interface, the screening attorneys at the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office will find Ewing, Hamilton, and Hopewell township cases displayed in their inboxes, where they can just click on the case to access case information and related documents.

They will enter their screening decisions directly into the system, where they are immediately available to the municipal court, who can also view relevant letters from the attorney. Saving time, saving money, eliminating error and expediting time to trial are some of the major benefits of the InfoShare™ CJP module. If you would like to see how CJP can save your county resources and improve the municipal to county screening process, contact your CSI Account Executive or give us a call at 732.346.0200 today!