A quick search of state and county websites for PDFs often returns a wealth of results. Anything from DMV forms, to records requests and background checks, are available. It seems reasonable that one would use the form to communicate with the state or local organization. It may appear to be an automated process because it’s a file versus a printout, but it’s broken. The other consideration is the cost of automation. Does it matter if the individual interacting with the PDF form or the website doesn’t like the experience? (For some research on the PDF user experience check out this study https://www.nngroup.com/articles/avoid-pdf-for-on-screen-reading/) It may not matter to your organization, and that’s OK. The reality is that the organization is reliant on a broken process too. The customer fills out the form, only for it to arrive in nearly the same state as a paper document. Extracting the information or initiating the next steps (or workflow) automatically is an achievable benefit that is not addressed by posting a file on a website. The duplication of work costs an organization money. On average companies and organizations miss half of the automation available to them by partially addressing broken processes. On average a full-time employee spends 20% of their time duplicating the effort of someone else (https://bit.ly/2plDdVK), costing the employer about $14k per employee per year.
Rural justice solutions touch many areas of social policy and concerns from a state and local level. There’s no clear answer to replacing a retiring workforce in a rural community or providing consistent law enforcement, but there are policies and clear technology strategies that can leverage funding effectively improve access to justice.
for county courts through the state, but leaving day-to-day operations to the
district allows for more consistent spending on infrastructure and staffing (Reengineering Rural Justice in Minnesota).
Connecting Systems from other community and state organizations is critical between juvenile courts and tribal justice. The Federal Indian Child Welfare Act requires communication between the courts and tribal services to determine the best course of action for a juvenile offender. Telehealth and other community service programs and court systems/law enforcement records can be shared in real-time which can help offset poor internet access and bandwidth in rural areas.
Reducing or Eliminate Paper – If the process requires paper to move with the case or individual, it is inefficient and wastes time and too many man-hours in and out of the courtroom. A document capture solution, converting paper to electronic, searchable content is the foundation of automation.
E-filing and Case Management – Your organization may have court
automation in place. Does it extend to your most rural locations? Can a case be
filed, referenced or a sentence carried out electronically? Regardless of your
current system, this extension of technology is available. If there’s a case
number and a paper form, automation and improvements to access are possible. A
case number can populate an electronic form automatically with all relevant
information. A decision in the courtroom can automatically generate the next
workflow. This is a great example of enhancing an existing system with electronic
forms in the courtroom: ILINX at
Remote Access – Most experts agree defendants and defense attorneys should be in the same location, but they could be remotely engaging with the courtroom, or the courtroom could be mobilized. Although internet access in remote areas is an ongoing challenge, many document-driven interactions can be secured to locations like a library or post office with adequate bandwidth via either a kiosk or personal device.
ImageSource and our ILINX platform
can extend your courtroom and legal interactions to remote counties. Our ILINX
platform can engage with an existing system like Tyler, IBM or something homegrown.
ILINX can enable a remote courtroom and facilitate equal access.
Can we talk in more detail about your rural justice initiatives? ImageSource is providing a one-hour complimentary assessment of your current courtroom automation and delivering recommendations for improvement. If you are interested, please follow this link to sign up. We will contact you promptly to schedule the time.