A report on Victoria’s Adult Parole Board (APB) has recommended the urgent development of a case management system that links to Victoria Police and Corrections Victoria.
A cloud solution is likely to be a major contender, after the Victorian Government’s announcement of a new web-hosted case management system for the State’s Supreme Court yesterday. The RedCrest case lodgement and management system is being introduced on a trial basis in the Commercial Court.
A successful trial could shape the Government’s response to the recently released report by former High Court Justice Ian Callinan, which recommends significant ICT and administrative reforms across the parole system.
“A new and comprehensive electronic database and case management system which is accessible to all members of the Board and its staff needs to be established as quickly as possible,” says the report.
“The database and case management system should be designed to include appropriate Police intelligence and to allow secure remote access.”
The lack of a sophisticated case management system is a major problem for the effective functioning of the parole board, which has come under a great deal of scrutiny recently following a number of high profile cases.
“The weight of the work is greatly increased by the antiquity, in the electronic age, of the Board’s filing systems and access to information, all of which is contained in hardcopy only,” said Callinan.
Poor information sharing capability between APB, Victoria Police and Corrections Victoria is also an issue in the handling of parole cases and the monitoring of prisoners on parole, with Callinan recommending greater access to files and information systems between the agencies.
These ICT reforms are to be underpinned by changes to APB workflow, administrative structure and procedures, if the full breadth of Callinan’s recommendations are adopted.
The entire process, including the introduction of the case management system, supporting database, and overarching administrative reforms should be overseen by a qualified person or panel, says Callinan.
The Government has accepted all 23 measures recommended in Callinan’s report, many of which are to be introduced this year. A number of the measures have already begun to be implemented, according to a media release.
“We have streamlined and improved information sharing among Victoria Police, Corrections Victoria and the Parole Board to make sure these agencies are better able to work together in the interests of the community,” said Corrections Minister Edward O’Donohue.
The RedCrest system currently being trialled was developed internally by the Victorian Supreme Court and the Department of Justice in 2011. It gives approved users online access to electronic court files, and acts as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for all documents and court communications for end-to-end case management.
“Hosted in a secure cloud environment, all case files including associated documentation will be uploaded to a secure site with access limited to appropriate parties from any location, 365 days a year, providing more convenient access and reducing costs,” said Technology Minister Gordon Rich-Phillips.
The pilot will run across 5,000 users and around 1,400 cases.
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