Accurate disposition matching requires the cooperation of multiple independent government entities. Good governance in disposition reporting and criminal history record sharing requires stakeholder involvement from all three branches of government even though no one entity controls all functions and processes.  While check and balance principles require independence, cooperation among independent entities is essential to improving the quality of justice. 

Governance bodies at each level must establish or improve linkages among stakeholders at all branches and levels. While governance groups are frequently found at the national level, they are often missing at state and particularly, local levels. Key stakeholders at all levels must be actively engaged in the governance process. 

Individual employees within justice stakeholder organizations can champion governance efforts, but do not have sufficient authority to establish policies that cross organizational lines.  A governance group empowered by statute or mandate can make actionable recommendations to revise processes and develop solutions.

Accurate disposition matching requires effective communication among multiple jurisdictions at all levels across both the executive and judicial branches of government. If stakeholders do not understand their roles in the accuracy and completeness of criminal history records, they may fail to report some decisions or actions.  Fostering better communication can lead to notable improvements in data quality.

Case study: Pennsylvania's Path to Improved Disposition Reporting 

All dispositions and related data should be reported to the criminal history repository in a timely and reliable manner, including dismissals, no files, diversions, etc. Such reporting should be mandated thru legislation that clearly defines time requirements and establishes stakeholder responsibilities. 

Resources: Disposition Process Flow 

Any legislative mandate requiring an entity to report dispositions should be accompanied by an appropriation to the entity to provide funding to support the initiative. The governance group may be empowered to allocate program funds among justice stakeholders, particularly at the local level.  Federal grant funding may be available to initiate projects or enhance existing technology.
Case study: Assessment of Wisconsin's PROTECT System 

Resources: BJS Funding (NCHIP/NARIP)

Technology and Innovation

Work to streamline intra- and inter stakeholder interfaces, obstacles to efficiency, points of failure, and outdated laws. Leverage improvements already implemented by other jurisdictions. Creatively adapting standard solutions will reduce the cost of implementation. Ensure the governance group and technical personnel stay current with national justice initiatives and technology standards.

Policy and Standards

Good governance includes revising policies, establishing priorities for all stakeholders, making the case for funding priorities, and seeking federal grant support where available.  Craft policies that encourage communication among stakeholders and enable technical interfaces.