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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 28, 2003

Governor announces progressive plan to improve public safety and quality of justice in Illinois
The Illinois Integrated Justice Strategic Plan is nationwide model

Blagojevich Directs Board to Implement Strategy

CHICAGO --  Seeking to arm law enforcement and the justice community with the necessary tools to protect public safety, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today the release a progressive plan to integrate state, county, and local justice information systems throughout Illinois. To provide support of the plan, he also signed today an Executive Order that appoints a Board to implement the plan.

The Executive Order establishes the Illinois Integrated Justice Information System Governing Board which is charged with coordinating the development of systems that will enhance information sharing. The 23-member board, comprised of local, county, and state criminal justice agencies, will work in accordance with the recommendations contained in the Illinois Integrated Justice Information System Strategic Plan 2003-2004.  The plan is available on the Illinois Criminal Information Authority website at www.icjia.state.il.us/iijis/public/pdf/strategicplan_final.pdf.

This is a sweeping plan constructed by several hundred criminal justice professionals making it a model for the nation. It will integrate the flow of information throughout Illinois' criminal justice system allowing the critical data need by police officers, prosecutors, and judges to be shared electronically among the justice officials. As a result, access to shared information will improve decision-making and the quality of justice, enhance public safety and security, and with proper safeguards, ensure the privacy and confidentiality of the information.

"By exchanging better information more efficiently, our communities will be safer because we will be able to help prevent murderers, pedophiles and drug dealers moving from city to city unknown to local law enforcement," said Governor Blagojevich. "Additionally, to help further protect our children from predators, this plan can help ensure that those who seek to be placed in a position of trust, such as day care workers, school bus drivers, and foster care parents would be more thoroughly screened."

With the ability to share information promptly, decision makers will be better able to make informed conclusions, such as a prison official who is set to release an inmate for completing their sentence but is unaware that this same inmate is wanted by a jurisdiction 1,500 miles away.  Integrating relevant information and making it available to justice officials can improve the quality of their decision and the safety of the public.

"Giving justice officials the right information at the right time will result in better decisions that will improve public safety," said Governor Blagojevich.  "Once implemented our new system will replace the labor intensive and protracted practice of filling out redundant paper work and will provide law enforcement more time to solve crimes faster."

Funding for the first two years of this plan will be provided by federal grant funds already earmarked for integration by the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority.



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