Montana’s Integrated Justice Information System (IJIS) Broker Project

To allow the various agencies within the justice system to share information, the Department of Justice is undertaking an innovative information technology project called the IJIS Broker. While our courts, jails and prisons, local police and sheriffs’ offices, state and federal law enforcement agencies and Motor Vehicle Division all keep records, the various systems cannot “talk” to one another. Because the information is stored in many different formats and on technology platforms that are incompatible, it is difficult or impossible to share information with others in the system.

Information Exchanges

The IJIS Broker is vital to public safety because it creates the exchanges that allow a wide range of agencies to share real-time information quickly, securely and accurately. As more exchanges are established, more information is available. Since the project began in 2005, considerable progress has been made.

Information exchanges underway:

  • Driver Dispositions – automates the way courts of limited jurisdiction report sentences for driving offenses – such as license suspensions and revocations – to the Motor Vehicle Division records system. Electronic reporting was first introduced in Gallatin and Yellowstone Counties in July 2006. The Office of the Court Administrator will gradually introduce this technology into the remaining courts throughout the state. Previously, the courts mailed paper copies of dispositions to the Motor Vehicle Division, and staff then reviewed each driver record and re-entered the information into their system.
  • Photo Repository– will electronically store and disseminate a wide range of images, including:
    • criminal photos such as mug shots, scars, tattoos and marks
    • inmate photos
    • Montana missing persons photos
    • Sexual or Violent Offender Registry photos

    The new repository will provide law enforcement – including officers making traffic stops – immediate access to its photos.

  • Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification (SAVIN)– will provide crime victims and other authorized users, like county attorneys, real-time notification of court appearances, parole hearings and other case-related events. It also will provide access to:
    • accurate, up-to-date information on the status of offenders throughout the criminal justice process
    • a database of orders of protection, greatly enhancing Montana’s efforts to protect domestic violence victims

The next phases of the IJIS Broker Project include:

  • Montana Information Exchange (MIEx) – will enable federal, state and local law enforcement agencies that connect to MIEx to share case information on a real-time basis. This capability will substantially improve public and officer safety by making information such as recent DUI and domestic violence arrests instantly available to law enforcement officers throughout the state, rather than the weeks or even months it now takes to make this information accessible.
  • Electronic Citation (E*Citation) – will allow Montana law enforcement agencies to electronically share traffic citation information with the courts and the Motor Vehicle Division. When Highway Patrol and other law enforcement officers issue a traffic citation, that information will be captured once at the time the ticket is issued. Now, that information must be re-entered into various systems based on a time-consuming, paper-based process.

Standards

The department has used or adopted a number of technical publications, standards and tools in developing Montana’s IJIS Broker. The following links provide more detailed information about these technical aspects:

Funding

The department has pursued a number of grants to fund the IJIS Broker project and the various exchanges. A 2005 National Criminal History Improvement Program (NCHIP) grant of $269,000 was dedicated to creating the IJIS Broker and providing training. In addition, portions of a number of other federal grants are being used to build the various exchanges or provide equipment.

Executive Sponsors

Department of Justice – Pending
Department of Corrections – Director Mike Ferriter
Montana Supreme Court – Administrator Lois Menzies
State of Montana – Pending

Contact

Joe Chapman, Administrator
Justice Information Technology Services Division
Department of Justice
Scott Hart Building
302 North Roberts, Room 563
P.O. Box 201405
Helena, MT 59620-1405
Phone: (406) 444-2424
E-mail: contactdoj@mt.gov