e-Justice, powered by Big Data

20 August 2013 | Dr. Andrew Hawkins, Managing Director, Public Safety and Justice, Worldwide Public Sector, Microsoft Corporation

It’s no secret that budget cuts and austerity measures have placed a significant strain on judicial processes, procedures, and operations around the world. From Greece to Nigeria to the United States, national criminal justice systems are being asked to manage more caseloads with less people and fewer resources. A major part of the challenge is the incredible diversity of stakeholders involved in the justice process, including law enforcement officers, judges, clerks, attorneys, and probation officers. Communication and collaboration across these disparate groups is essential, and yet most justice organizations are using siloed legacy systems that inhibit data sharing, require redundant processes, and result in justice backlogs that cities simply can’t afford.

For this reason, cost-effective Court and Judicial Management solutions are a critical component of the new CityNext initiative to better protect and serve citizens through technology. We’re already seeing this across many aspects of the public safety community, such as:

  • Judicial and corrections organizations increasingly looking at cloud solutions,
  • Tablet devices increasingly being used by judges and court clerks,
  • Collaborative technologies such as Microsoft Lync and Skype enabling virtual court rooms, and
  • Dynamics CRM for Prosecution, Court Case Management and Office 365 being used to streamline operational effectiveness and efficiencies. 

The key to achieving greater judicial efficiency is unlocking data so that it can be easily shared, analyzed, and acted upon. Today’s case management solutions break down jurisdictional and organizational barriers to ensure that every stakeholder has an up-to-date view of case information from any location, and can update and distribute that data as needed. It’s about getting attorneys, judges, and law enforcement personnel on the same page, through one integrated solution that not only facilitates more efficient collaboration, but enables high-level business intelligence analysis through powerful analytics. Decision-makers need access to historical justice data in order to identify hidden trends and make better, more informed decisions.

We’ve seen the power of case management at work within organizations like the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP). CCAP was facing resource-constraints while operating several disparate case management solutions across its various courts, jails, and corrections offices, which severely limited information sharing and required redundant data entry at each location. To address these challenges and become more efficient, CCAP partnered with Microsoft to build a Unified Case Management system on Microsoft Dynamics CRM, that brought stakeholder data together within one system, empowering users to easily search, share, and act upon all of the information at the organization’s disposal. CCAP leaders are now able to extract better insights due to more accurate dashboards and reporting tools, and with manual data entry kept to a minimum, personnel are free to focus more of their time on pursuing justice and keeping citizens safe. 

We work with a host of great partners like AvePoint that specialize in helping organizations unlock the power of data to achieve new levels of collaboration, and in the world of justice, it can really be a game-changer. Make sure to check back in for more examples of how the e-Justice revolution is driving new efficiencies in keeping our communities safe.   

To ask questions, share ideas, or receive more information, please contact us at safetyanddefense@microsoft.com or @MicrosoftPSNS.


Dr. Andrew Hawkins
Managing Director, Public Safety and Justice, Worldwide Public Sector, Microsoft Corporation

About the Author

Dr. Andrew Hawkins | Managing Director, Public Safety and Justice, Worldwide Public Sector, Microsoft Corporation

Dr. Andrew Hawkins, Director, Public Safety & Justice Solutions, Worldwide Public Sector, has more than two and a half decades’ public sector expertise. He holds a PhD in Management Science from Lancaster University Management School.