JailNet will give all 75 county jails in Arkansas a way to access inmate information such as arrest records, state or federal NCIC warrants, protective-order and sex-offender data, and probation and parole records. The system checks these information sources when a suspect is booked into the jail. If a match is found, JailNet alerts staff members through the jail's booking system.
Jailers will also be able to maintain and retrieve incident reports on unruly inmates. And law enforcement officers will use JailNet to search all Arkansas jails to determine if a criminal suspect is in custody.
Once JailNet's first phase was complete, Arkansas turned its attention to another problem, Gattin said.
"From January to the end of March, it was vendor interfaces," she said. "We were contacting vendors, sending out design specs. There are more than 20 different booking system types in the state. What we wanted to do was give them our data layout and have them adapt their booking systems to allow us to pull this data for JailNet."
JailNet is funded by a $400,000 federal appropriation, and all county jails should be connected to the system by the fall.
"Each county jail will have the ability to input information into JailNet," she said, noting that the system will contain information from both county facilities and city police department booking facilities. "There are actually two parts to JailNet; input and Web access. It's a restricted, secure Web site, and all this data is going into a centralized database."
Librarians 1, Police 0
SEATTLE - Library officials won a legal battle with the Kent Police Department in August over the actions of police investigators.
Police, acting on a tip that a library patron was using library PCs to download child pornography, seized two PCs from the library to examine the computers and their files.
The King County Library system sued the police department to halt the investigation, arguing that officers illegally seized the PCs without a search warrant. The officials also contended that any information gleaned from searching the PCs would not have been admissible in court.
Deborah Caldwell-Stone, deputy director of the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom, said King County librarians were protecting the legal process.
"They prevented the evidence from being thrown out of court because it was acquired illegally," she said. "The rules are there for a reason. Librarians who insist on the search warrant are actually respecting a long-established rule of law concerning the collection of evidence."
The incident wasn't the first time that library and law enforcement officials have wrangled over the issue, according to Caldwell-Stone.
"It's happened in the past, and I have no reason to think it's going to stop," she said. "How law enforcement deals with it is something that law enforcement agencies need to learn about. Just because libraries are public institutions doesn't mean that the records they keep aren't subject to the Fourth Amendment and the usual rules for discovery."
Florida Privatizes Personnel Administration
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida has signed a seven-year contract with Convergys, a Cincinnati-based information-management firm that will take over some of the state's personnel administration chores.
The deal, signed in August, saves Florida between $65 million and $90 million by eliminating the need to replace the state's Cooperative Employment Personnel System (COPES) and by outsourcing some aspects of personnel administration, according to Florida's Department of Management Systems (DMS).
DMS Secretary Cynthia Henderson said COPES no longer meets Florida's needs and must be replaced. Under the state's human resource outsourcing contract, Convergys will implement a system to manage certain state personnel services.
State employees will use a self-service Web portal to manage changes of address,