DOJ Press Release letterhead

Thursday, March 30, 2006
Office of Justice Programs
Contact: Sheila Jerusalem
Phone: (202) 307-0703
TTY: (202) 514-1888


            WASHINGTON - The Department of Justice announced today the release of its newest resource for technology and information sharing: Sharing Justice Information: A Capability Assessment Toolkit. The Capability Assessment Toolkit consists of detailed standards and guidelines, which provide law enforcement and criminal justice practitioners a step-by-step process to assess their respective agencies’ information-sharing capabilities. The toolkit helps identify risk and risk mitigation strategies and highlights what information is needed to improve information sharing.

            "Information sharing initiatives are extremely complex, so agencies must constantly assess their organizational and technical capabilities," said Regina B. Schofield, Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs (OJP). "The toolkit can save time and money while providing a necessary and user-friendly guide for justice information sharing among agencies. In some cases, an agency could complete a mini-assessment of certain system components in as little as an afternoon."

            The toolkit also helps agencies reduce and prevent common information sharing challenges, including stovepipe systems, which are detrimental to information sharing. It also eliminates expenditures on prematurely designed or incompatible systems while focusing resources on systems that truly meet agencies business needs. Additionally, law enforcement and justice agencies can save resources on costly outside assessments by following the toolkit guidelines established by government and industry experts.

            State and local agencies are often faced with tough decisions about how to proceed when developing new or enhanced information technology capabilities. The Capability Assessment Toolkit provides a justice professional with the necessary guidelines to assess the current information sharing environment and then assists with the decision-making process when analyzing new implementations.

            The Bureau of Justice Assistance of the Office of Justice Programs, partnered with the Center for Technology in Government at the State University of New York at Albany to create the toolkit.   More than 30 professionals and experts in criminal justice information systems from organizations such as the National Governors Association, National Association of State Chief Information Officers and the Justice Information Sharing Professionals helped develop the self-assessment toolkit.

            The toolkit is available in two formats. The toolkit’s paper version, available at, is a workbook that can be easily duplicated and distributed to users.

            The Office of Justice Programs (OJP) provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice and assist victims. OJP is headed by an Assistant Attorney General and is comprised five component bureaus and an office: the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; and the Office for Victims of Crime, as well as the Community Capacity Development Office, which incorporates the Weed and Seed strategy and OJP's American Indian and Alaska Native Affairs Desk. More information can be found at