Integrated Justice Information Management System Project
Whereas Justice, Law and Order Sector (JLOS) reforms have been responsible for deepening access to justice and human rights, Uganda still faces a challenge of assuring access to justice for all and dealing with crime. The causes are many but key among them is the limited use of information technology and absence of an integrated data management system to manage cases and inform management of critical issues in dealing with delays in the administration of criminal justice. The right to expeditious determination of disputes cannot therefore be over emphasized!
The justice sector in Uganda requires rapid access to information in order to function effectively. Institutions involved in the administration of Justice need real time information to operate efficiently and effectively in dispensation of justice, if they are to dispense their mandates and in the context of Uganda, empower the poor, who make about 70% of the population through equal protection of the law.
The absence of a computerized and integrated management system has made it difficult to track cases, suspects, allocate resources, equitably distribute and evaluate staff in addition to dealing with recidivism. Because of the pressing need to fight crime better, JLOS has prioritized establishment of an integrated data management system to improve service delivery through informed crime prevention and management strategies.
The most important reason for introduction of information technology in JLOS lies in the fact that computerization will go a long way in ensuring that the quality of information required by justice administrators is of high quality and is easily accessible. One of the biggest challenges that exist in the current widely used manual record keeping system(s) is the difficulty with which information is accessed and then retrieved. High quality and timely information will ultimately lead to improved decision making, informed policy analysis and formulation as well as increased system efficiency. With the increasing need for criminal justice administrators to collaborate and share information, JLOS finds itself with a task of creating platforms to make this possible.
This strong necessity for collaboration and increased sharing of information makes irrelevant the idea of standalone and decentralized information repositories. In pursuance of the goals of crime prevention and criminal justice, an integrated robust information system inter-linking various stakeholders in the criminal justice system such as the Police, Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, The Directorate of Public Prosecutions, Prisons Services and the Courts of the Judicature is the perfect information system model that will facilitate real time data sharing and transfer of case details between stakeholders, quick retrieval of records and files that are electronically captured, efficient generation of crime statistics across the board, improved sector wide monitoring and evaluation of criminal justice services and programs.
An integrated information system for the Justice, Law and Order Sector will also greatly reduce the huge costs associated with each individual institution procuring, implementing and developing its own system. Procuring a centralized application with each institution running and administering its own module customized to its inherent unique needs has a huge return on investment with so much being done by relatively so little.
With an integrated data management system, JLOS institutions would:
• Process cases faster
• Process records faster
• Secure data
• Share data on criminals
• Track suspects faster
• Generate cause lists with ease
• Rationalize the allocation of staff vis a vis the workload
• Strengthen judicial independence through automated allocation of cases
• Strengthen performance management
• Strengthen monitoring and evaluation in JLOS.
An integrated Management Information System represents the very core ideals of the Justice, Law and Order Sector since it works toward fostering a “sector-wide” approach to the administration and access to justice in Uganda. JLOS believes in strong and meaningful partnerships between member institutions in its mission of improving the safety of the person, security of property and access to justice in order to encourage economic development and to benefit the poor and vulnerable people. We believe that an integrated approach to information management powered by technology will not only modernize and improve information flows in criminal justice administration but will further consolidate the strong bond that exists between JLOS institutions enabling us to achieve our strategic goals and objectives.