Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General's Office Launches Electronic Warrant System in the 39th Judicial Circuit
Attorney General Jack Conway announced today that his office has completed implementation of an electronic warrant management system (eWarrants) in the 39th Judicial Circuit, comprised of Breathitt, Powell and Wolfe counties. This brings to 13 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.
Working with the local officials in the 39th 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 first roll-out under the grant was Oct. 26 in the 53rd Judicial Circuit, comprised of Anderson, Shelby and Spencer Counties.
"I am pleased with our progress as we work to implement the eWarrant system in 100 rural counties across the Commonwealth by the end of 2011," General Conway said. "Counties where we have implemented the eWarrant system have seen their service rates on arrest warrants jump from about 25% to as high as 80%, which means we can better protect our citizens."
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. With today's announcement, eWarrants is currently operating in 20 Kentucky counties.
"The eWarrant system will certainly speed up the process of getting warrants from my office to the judge," Breathitt County Attorney Brendon Miller said. "Because of the low service rate with the old system, many un-served warrants that could have been handled in district court result in indictments in circuit court. We've seen this happen in quite a few child support cases."
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 39th 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 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.