Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General's Office Launches eWarrant System in the 24th Judicial Circuit
Attorney General Jack Conway announced today the successful implementation of an electronic warrant management system (eWarrants) in the 24th Judicial Circuit (Johnson, Lawrence and Martin counties). This brings to 54 the number of counties that have received the eWarrant system under a $3.9 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant awarded to the Office of the Attorney General in 2009. A total of 64 counties, including urban areas not covered under the ARRA grant, now have eWarrants.
"With more than half of Kentucky's counties now being served by eWarrants, we are making great progress toward our goal of launching the system in 100 rural counties by year's end," said General Conway. "Our progress is a testament to the strong support we are receiving from local officials, judges, prosecutors and law enforcement across the Commonwealth."
Working with local officials in the 24th judicial circuit, the Office of the Attorney General, in partnership with the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), the Kentucky State Police, the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security and Open Portal Solutions, Inc., provided training and support for the new system.
The eWarrant system facilitates the sharing of information among all law enforcement concerning active warrants in jurisdictions throughout the Commonwealth. It replaces the manual protocols for processing warrant information with an electronic method for making warrants available via the Law Enforcement Information Network of Kentucky (LINK), the system administered by Kentucky State Police and used by law enforcement to transmit and retrieve information on active warrants.
Since the first roll-out of eWarrants under the ARRA grant in October 2010, nearly 430,000 warrants now exist in the eWarrant system and nearly 235,000 warrants have been served or recalled. The successful launch of eWarrants in the 24th Judicial Circuit adds more than 4,200 warrants to the system.
Service rates for warrants rise from as low as 10% under the old system to roughly 50% immediately after implementation of eWarrants, and as high as 80% in the long-term.
"The backlog of un-served warrants has been a concern across Kentucky," said Anna Melvin, Commonwealth's Attorney for the 24th Judicial Circuit. "I've had to re-indict cases that were still viable after three years because of un-served warrants. eWarrants will expedite the process and benefit both the public and defendants waiting for their day in court."
Kentucky's eWarrant system began as a pilot project in 2005 to address a backlog of nearly 300,000 un-served warrants in the state. A backlog in the service of warrants, or a misplaced or lost warrant, could allow a person charged with a violent crime to evade arrest and continue to victimize Kentucky citizens.
The ARRA grant, which provided funding for implementation and training in the 24th judicial circuit, was awarded from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance under the category of Facilitating Rural Justice Information Sharing. Under this category, the Bureau of Justice Assistance makes awards to help law enforcement in rural areas to improve the criminal justice system by aiding communities in combating crime and drugs.
The eWarrant program is being offered to Kentucky's rural counties at no cost to local communities. In addition to modernizing law enforcement infrastructure, the ARRA grant has created 16 jobs for citizens of the Commonwealth. Individuals may obtain more information about eWarrants by filling out the eWarrant contact form on the Attorney's General's website, at http://ag.ky.gov/ewarrants
* This project was supported by award No. 2009-SD-B9-0067, awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice.