The Adams County, Colorado, Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee (CJCC) joined the Open Justice Broker Consortium (OJBC) on April 1, 2016, becoming the fifth Member of the Consortium and the first county to join.

The Adams County CJCC will leverage the Open Justice Broker (OJB) to improve the sharing of information among jail staff, courts, prosecution, law enforcement, community supervision, and behavioral health treatment providers. Initially, the CJCC will use the OJB’s analytics tools to provide practitioners with a deeper understanding of justice-involved individuals with mental illness and/or co-occurring substance use disorders, and to determine in what ways the jurisdiction can align existing laws, policy, and practices to prevent initial or further penetration into the justice system by this target population. The CJCC will also implement the OJB federated query, giving practitioners a single point of access to individual- and case-level information across a wide range of data sources.

The CJCC has three strategic priorities it wants to plan and implement: develop an information sharing environment within the jurisdiction; develop an alternative sanctions/sentencing strategic plan; and inform the jurisdiction’s SAMHSA GAINS Center,1 Sequential Intercept Model, with data and resources.

Through a grant awarded by the Colorado Division of Criminal Justice,2 the CJCC was able to acquire the OJBC membership to help plan for and implement these priorities.

“Being a member of the Consortium allows the CJCC and its members to learn and expand its knowledge of the various technical and policy/practice approaches by our justice counterparts from across the U.S.,” said Debbie Allen, CJCC Justice Planner. “Furthermore, the membership provides the opportunity for local governments to participate and incorporate national justice information sharing standards. Understanding the benefits of this type of collaboration, the range of issues and nuances of multi-agency information sharing or programming is critical for the success of any and all of these priorities now and in the future. The cost of the membership makes it possible for local governments to sustain the implementations beyond grant funding.”

Adams County joins the states of Hawaii, Maine, Vermont, and Michigan in the OJBC.

“We welcome Adams County into the Consortium,” said Matthew Ruel, Director of the Maine State Bureau of Identification and Chair of the OJBC. “Their contributions and perspective from county government will help us serve a critical need, directly at the local level.”

Adams County will reuse and extend open source-licensed components contributed to the OJB platform by existing Members, significantly reducing the time and expense required to implement, and making new capabilities available to other jurisdictions in the future. The OJB’s extensive use of justice community standards—such as the Global Reference Architecture, Global Federated Identity and Privilege Management guidance, and National Information Exchange Model—make this cross-jurisdiction reuse and extension much easier than proprietary alternatives.

“We are excited to be a partner in the information sharing efforts in Adams County,” said Scott Came, OJBC Executive Director. “The open source software in the OJB will enable us to deliver the federated query and aggregate analytics capabilities at a very reasonable cost to taxpayers in the county, and on a very short timeframe for the practitioners who need these tools.”

1Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Gather, Assess, Integrate, Network and Stimulate (GAINS) Center helps to expand community services for adults who are in the criminal justice system and experiencing a mental health and/or substance use disorder. See SAMHSA for details on this model.

2Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Memorial Assistance Grant Award # 2015-MU-BX-0390.