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Using Intalio in Pennsylvania’s Criminal Justice Systems


Dan Oneufer talked about the use of Intalio BPMS in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Justice Network has been established a long time and manages many aspects of the state justice system. However the counties are not well integrated into this network. Allegheny County, his example, is about 10% of the state and pretty rural. It has 50,000 criminal cases a year and 11,000+ arrest warrants. The Allegheny Standard Arrest Program (ASAP) was the pilot for the program.

The basic county-level problem is:

  • 8 different participants required to prepare a case
  • Communication is by paper, telephone or personal contact
  • Different procedures depending on the person involved
  • No accountability or transparency as to where someone is in the process

Add to that state-wide problems like

  • Prison overcrowding
  • Legislation for timely processing of offenders
  • Utilization of resources
  • Public safety

The proof of concept was to coordinate all tasks around the criminal complaint and affidavit of problem cause. ASAP was designed to expedite the required paperwork, eliminate the 18 different forms, electronically share information and reduce delays during pre-trial – traceability was key. This went well – a .Net solution with SQL Server and Crystal Reports – with 160 police departments used and a number of areas worth improving were found.

Although this went well, had to now support the other 57 counties and support their way of doing things. In addition, the reports were not real-time but historical so decided to expand the proof to build a country-level integration environment that was standards-based and reusable while supporting secure real-time processes. They made a number of decisions including:

  • BPMN
    Selected as an open standard with a strong notation and mapping to BPEL. Allowed the wide variety of diagrams to be brought into a single form that could support collaboration between business and IT.
  • Intalio
    Open source so low cost (important to poorly funded counties), standards to support integration with partners and different government levels, systems and people treated the same, web services focus and had integrated BAM.

The expanded proof included an application for the electronic management of the information, a flow diagram of the process, a dashboard and more. The team had legacy and client/server experience and they added a project manager (Dan) and a business analyst. Intalio helped them do some of the discovery work. Initially they focused on the creation of the criminal complaint -a small but important part. They also realized that they needed some XML experience for the forms component and added someone.

The resulting system diagram was over complex and too driven by the legacy mindset. The original system was too complex, making mapping data expensive and testing time consuming. Change, therefore, was not welcome. Realizing that this was a problem they got a subscription with Intalio and got great support – individualized, rapid, proactive. Now re-working with professional services and more training from Intalio/a business partner. They have updated the skills on the team and have revised their modeling approach to be more layered rather than linear. They adopted Intalio’s business process framework to support this. This is now getting ready to roll-out into new counties. They estimate about 3 months work to make it work for the second county. Conducting readiness assessments on counties before rolling out as counties cannot be hurried.

Future plans include adding more support for things like sentencing and parole as well as integrating bail bonds and other agencies. Better BAM to show effectiveness and more counties require additional funding which has been requested.

It’s a pity there were no hard results to share but it sounds like they are getting some good qualitative feedback from folks. For instance, a remote municipality really valued the elimination of unnecessary trips to court that take officers off the street. An interesting story in terms of the need to do more than just adopt the technology – you need to also change the mindset and design skills.


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Dave Wright June 19, 2008, 6:15 am

    Now, this is  interesting, including the domain. What jumped out at me was how they focussed on a couple of ‘work packages’, the complaint and the affidavit.
    And you said Intalio is open-source now? really? I wonder what their business model is, i.e. what’s their revenue? services?

    • James Taylor June 19, 2008, 8:18 am

      There’s a description of Intalio’s business model in the post called “Intalio 2.0”

  • Dave Wright June 19, 2008, 6:17 am

    Oh, and the BPMN and BRMS integration, that is the meat of it all. Anyone else at the conference doing the same thing?

    • James Taylor June 19, 2008, 8:18 am

      Well it was an Intalio conference so no other BPMS vendors were there….