The Open Justice Broker Consortium (OJBC) has been awarded a grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF) to develop analytical capabilities in the Open Justice Broker, and implement those capabilities in three jurisdictions, starting with the State of Vermont (which is currently an OJBC Member), and expanding to two new Member jurisdictions by 2016.

In the first project phase, this new capability will support Vermont’s implementation of a statewide pretrial services program, and assist its effort to combat drug-related crime. It will accomplish this by developing and implementing “dashboards” that make key performance measures available to policymakers and operational managers. It will also provide valuable general-purpose statistical analysis tools to justice practitioners and policymakers, who will be better equipped to leverage the power of operational justice data flowing across the OJB in making strategic decisions about the delivery of justice services in the state.

In the second project phase, the OJBC will engage two new government jurisdictions (at the state, local, or tribal level) as Consortium Members, and will develop additional analytical dashboards and performance measures to support justice initiatives in these jurisdictions. Interested jurisdictions or agencies are invited to contact the OJBC for more information, at info@ojbc.org.

“This partnership with the Laura and John Arnold Foundation will allow the Consortium to build innovative, low-cost, and reusable technology that addresses a significant need of justice agencies across the nation: the ability to understand the nature of crime in our communities, and assess the effectiveness of efforts to combat crime,” said Scott Came, Executive Director of the OJBC. “What is novel about this project is not so much the idea that analytics and performance measurement are important, but rather that we can bring these tools within the means of any jurisdiction by allowing agencies to reuse what others have done at low cost.”

“Like many states, Vermont believes strongly in using research and analytics to achieve a more effective and efficient justice system,” said Deputy Commissioner Francis X. Aumand of the Vermont Department of Public Safety. “However, it has been challenging to implement these practices due to the high cost of technology, especially when building solutions from the ground up. Through this project—and Vermont’s participation in the OJBC generally—we will bring down these costs by leveraging open source software and reusing technologies that we’ve already put in place. And, we will bring down the costs for other jurisdictions by making the work available through the OJBC.”

The non-profit OJBC—which currently consists of the States of Hawaii, Maine, and Vermont—fosters collaboration among its Member jurisdictions; allows them to build justice information exchanges on a reliable, secure open source technology platform; and then makes these exchanges available for other Members to reuse. Since its founding in 2011, the OJBC has implemented over five dozen justice exchanges within the three current Members across a wide range of agencies and technology systems. In these exchanges it has promoted the adoption of national justice community standards such as the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) and the Global Justice Information Sharing Toolkit. For more information on the OJBC, visit http://www.ojbc.org.