June 13, 2016
Coming to a Prosecutor’s Office Near You: Bail Reform and Budget Caps

By now, government agencies are used to being asked to do more with less, but it sure doesn’t make it any easier to accomplish their missions. This year, our prosecutors’ offices are faced with two new legislative measures, one that impacts how they operate in detaining defendants upon arrest, and the other affecting the amount of money they can spend on their operations. Since InfoShare™ is being used by all 21 New Jersey prosecutors’ offices, we want to help these clients make the most of their funds, as well as more efficiently operate within the new measures. The two new initiatives that are impacting the prosecutors’ offices are the bail reform measures and the new budget cap on county government. The cap is nothing new to municipalities; these local agencies have felt the pinch for several years now.

But now these restrictions are also being applied at the county level. That, combined with the quicker turnaround time for responding to bail assessments by the court, will impose change on the county prosecutors beginning in 2017.

As detailed in the page 4 article on Bail Reform and the InfoShare™ Screening (CJP) module, the new bail measures reduce the time the prosecutor has to respond to bail recommendations set by the court. In addition to this, the court is not required to notify the Prosecutor when they are doing a risk assessment. However, installing the InfoShare ™ Screening module will allow the prosecutor’s office to receive the arrest documents immediately and directly from the local police departments. It also provides a cost savings by eliminating the need to manually travel to the police departments to collect arrest documents, and in the storage of those documents. The screening module also increases the capacity for efficient and cost effective data sharing among criminal justice agencies. For more information on the impact of using the Screening Module under the new Bail Reform measures, please turn to page 4.

Also, CSI now offers the prosecutors’ offices a complete Victim Witness portal that will dramatically save resources in processing and distributing notices and providing services to victims. Partnering with the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office in the development and testing of this new product, CSI now offers all counties the ability to deploy this full- service portal for gathering Victim/Witness information, generating required letters and notices and providing links to services to the victims via a portal that can be accessed from any computer or smart device. This will not only increase accuracy and communication between the Victim/Witness Services Unit and the victim/witness, but the module seamlessly integrates with the Infoshare™ e-Prosecution module, saving work as well as costs, with the elimination of redundant data entry, postage, paper and printing charges. These costs can be significant. Please see the article starting on page 2 that details the features and benefits of the new Victim/Witness portal.

Thirdly, we would like to emphasize the importance of the InfoShare™ Forfeiture module as a significant time-saving resource for the tracking and reporting of forfeited property. Prosecutors’ offices can use these funds for operational improvements (including purchasing the Forfeiture module!) The Forfeiture module tracks all properties seized, according to the Attorney General’s guidelines, and generates the necessary reports. We also have a detailed article on the Forfeiture module in this issue (page 5), so please check that out and consider it for tracking forfeitures for your county.

CSI would like to support you through these changes and provide you the technology you need to realize long term savings and efficiency for your agency. We provide a robust product line with modules that are seamlessly integrated to support your work while saving you time and money. We strive to stay ahead of legislative and operational changes that affect you and consistently seek your input and suggestions to be aware of and support your changing needs.

Contact your account manager or our office for more information or a demo of any of our resource-saving InfoShare ™modules.