The History of the Connecticut Criminal Justice Information System
The history of the Connecticut Criminal Justice Information System dates back several decades. The need to share and exchange offender and case data among agencies was identified, it was decided that agencies should continue to develop their individual data systems rather than immediately begin a statewide CJIS initiative. This decision was based on the recognition that technology could not support the vision of an integrated justice information system in a cost-effective manner. The effect yielded the creation of many stand-alone and agency-focused applications that are still in operation today.
The Establishment of CISS
The Connecticut Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS) Governing Board, created by, Public Act 99-14 in 1999, was directed to primarily engage in activities that constitute the administration of criminal justice.
In 1992 the Office of Policy and Management through its Justice Planning Unit with the support of the Office of the Chief Court Administrator, formed an ad hoc policy structure. This became a model for the Governing Board and an Implementation Group. Public Act 99-14, an Act Creating a Criminal Justice Information System Governing Board, now provides a statutory basis for the CJIS Governing Board. Public Act 00-20, An Act Concerning the Criminal Justice Information System, added the Office of the Victim Advocate to the CJIS Governing Board and identified OBTS data to which the Division of Public Defender Services has access.
In 2007, in light of then recent events that included the Cheshire home invasion, the State of Connecticut undertook a review of its current criminal justice process. As a result of that review, State of Connecticut Public Act 08-01 (effective March 1, 2008) was passed. This act not only provided for change to the penal code, it also provided for the expansion of the current criminal justice information sharing process in an effort to provide for a safer community for the citizens of the state.
One of the provisions of this act was to expand the mandate of the CJIS Governing Board. The CJIS Governing Board was charged with the following:
“shall design and implement a comprehensive, state-wide system to facilitate the immediate, seamless and comprehensive sharing of information between all state agencies, departments, boards and commissions having any cognizance over matters relating to law enforcement and criminal justice, and organized local police departments and law enforcement officials.”
Additionally, P.A. 08-01 expanded the membership of the governing board and added provisions for an executive director and staff to fulfill the requirements of the statutory mandates. The new system was established as the Connecticut Information Sharing System (CISS).
CISS is the technical capability to be used by agencies with criminal justice responsibilities to improve the sharing of actionable information to those agencies involved in the management of crime data and criminal offenders.
These agencies include:
- Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection
- Judicial Branch's Office of the Chief Court Administrator
- Judicial Branch's Court Support Services Division
- Judicial Branch's Superior Court Operations
- Division of Criminal Justice, Office of the Chief State's Attorney
- Division of Public Defender Services, Office of Chief Public Defender
- Department of Correction
- Board of Pardons and Paroles
- Department of Motor Vehicles
- Office of Victim Advocate
- Office of Policy and Management, Criminal Justice Policy and Planning Division
- Department of Administrative Services
- Connecticut Police Chiefs Association