Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General's Office Launches Electronic Warrant System in the 7th and 49th Judicial Circuits
Attorney General Jack Conway today announced that his office has completed implementation of an electronic warrant management system (eWarrants) in the 7th Judicial Circuit (Logan and Todd counties) and the 49th Judicial Circuit (Allen and Simpson counties). This brings to 31 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 local officials in the 7th and 49th judicial circuits, 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.
"Implementation of the eWarrants system in Kentucky's rural counties is an important step forward in giving law enforcement agencies modern, 21st century tools to fight crime," said General Conway. "eWarrants facilitates the sharing of information among all law enforcement concerning active warrants in jurisdictions throughout the Commonwealth and ultimately allows us to better protect citizens and law enforcement."
In the fourth quarter of 2010, counties that received eWarrants generated more than 1,750 new criminal complaints and transmitted from the court system more than 22,000 pending bench warrants to eWarrants. Additionally, 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 eWarrant system 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.
"I have been looking forward to the implementation of eWarrants for a long time," said Todd County Attorney Harold Mac Johns. "This will be a huge benefit to the community as it eliminates the delays and backlog in the service of warrants that we experienced for years under the old paper system."
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 7th and 49th judicial circuits, 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.