Rather than manually entering new case referrals into PROTECT, Wisconsin DA offices can receive electronic referrals from law enforcement and other participating justice partners. The are reviewed in PROTECT and either accepted as a new DA case or rejected.
Reviewing and accepting an electronic referral is an automated way of accomplishing an otherwise very labor-intensive new case intake” and also reduces the chances of data entry errors as fewer hands re-key the same data.
A combination of interfaces between the PROTECT and other Wisconsin justice partner case management systems allows for the receipt of three kinds of electronic referrals.
(1) Non-Criminal, Contested Citations
Through the PROTECT-CCAP Interface.
This Interface allows for the sharing of case data between PROTECT the Wisconsin Circuit Court Access Program or “CCAP”.
In most Wisconsin counties, non-criminal traffic and other fine/forfeiture-type citations are referred directly to the courts by law enforcement, with the District Attorney’s office only getting involved if the defendant appears for court and pleas ‘not guilty’ to the charges.
These cases are initiated in the CCAP system with case data from the courts sent to PROTECT when the court case is updated with (1) a not guilty plea and (2) the District Attorney as the prosecuting agency.
Sent information includes person demographic and identifier information, citation and statute details and the court case number generated from the CCAP system.
When the DA Office user accepts this referral into PROTECT, the resulting ‘DA Case number’ is immediately sent back to the Clerk’s CCAP system. With each case management system containing the others case number, information such as court appearance date/time/location, judge and defense attorney assignments, hearing notes, charge dispositions and ultimately case dispositions are sent from CCAP to PROTECT.
Through the eReferral Interface
This interface allows for the sharing of case data between PROTECT and law enforcement agencies. Electronic criminal citations or eCitations are sent to PROTECT from the Department of Transportation’s TraCS (Traffic and Crash) software, which is not only used by all of Wisconsin’s State Patrol but is also made available to other interested law enforcement agencies in each of Wisconsin’s 71 counties for issuing citations, warnings and recording crash data.
For a DA office to receive eCitations, the referring agency must be using the TraCS software and also be enabled by the DOT to electronically submit this data via the eReferral Interface.
Currently, all Wisconsin DA offices using PROTECT receive contested citations and eCitations electronically.
Through the eReferral Interface
The final type of electronic referral is simply called an eReferral. This includes criminal and non-criminal new case referrals, sometimes called ‘police reports’, that are sent to a DA office by municipal police departments and sheriff offices.
The data transmitted electronically is the same information commonly included on the paper referrals that are manually handed off to the DA office – most of which is maintained within the law enforcement agency's records management system (RMS). This includes: incident date, time, location; defendant demographic, identifier, alias, contact information; victim and/or witness demographic, identifier, alias, contact information; referred charges, enhancers, modifiers; arrest date, agency, arrest tracking number (ATN) and any notes or incident reports.
Unlike eCitations which come only from the TraCS system and contested citations that come only from CCAP, eReferrals may come from any number of law enforcement systems, as long as the referral data from that system is able to be sent via the eReferral Interface. The eReferral Interface uses the Global Justice XML Data Model (GJXDM), a data reference model for the exchange of information within the justice and public safety communities developed by the US federal government.
Interested law enforcement agencies, or IT professionals within those agencies, can find technical specs and GJXDM subset at the below link.