The Protection Order Registry Advocate Access has become a vital tool for domestic violence agencies throughout Indiana. As of February 22, 2010, over 988 petitions have been created utilizing the Registry’s Advocate Access. Domestic violence advocates in 42 counties are assisting their clients by completing the on-line petition and confidential form that will be filed with the Clerk’s Office in their respective counties. Advocate Access gives the Clerk’s Office the ability to import the required data needed to initiate a case within the Protection Order Registry. Importing this data significantly minimizes the amount of time and data entry for the clerk staff.
This past fall employees of Fayette County’s CASA/Victim Assistance program received training on the Public Access application for the Protection Order Registry, which allows domestic violence advocates working with victims to complete necessary forms for a petition for a protection order online. Getting the data processing completed quickly is important – but their antiquated computer equipment with its poor screen resolution and processors that were slowing down or coming to a standstill altogether, made accomplishing this work a major challenge.
On December 8, JTAC made its final 2009 presentation to the monthly stakeholders meeting held at our office in Indianapolis. The presentation highlights the milestones in court technology that have been achieved this year, including the continuing implementation of the Odyssey case management system in the counties as well as enhancements to the software application, and advances related to JTAC’s many other technology projects.
The Herald Bulletin of Anderson had an interesting editorial last week entitled “Protective order program should be used statewide”. The editorial starts off with:
Across Indiana, there are 52,000 active protective orders against individuals accused or convicted of violent acts against another person.
Most orders are obtained by victims going to a county clerk’s office and filing a petition. Sometimes they have to wait in line before a staffer can help them complete the paperwork. The process can be unnerving, adding frustration to the trauma they’ve already experienced. Victims can feel powerless.
Last Tuesday, JTAC held the August Stakeholder meeting. Representatives from the Department of Corrections, Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, the Indiana Judicial Center and Judge Jeff Dywan, Lake County, were in attendance.
Mary DePrez provided an update on the ‘Public Access’ pilot for the Protection Order Registry and recent grant awards. She also mentioned two recent awards: A ‘First Place’ Best Practices Award by the Association of Transportation Safety Information Professionals; and the Peter K. O’Rourke Special Achievement Award for JTAC’s positive impact on traffic safety. Both awards were a result of the successful partnership with Tyler Technologies, Inc., the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, the Indiana State Police, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and numerous judges, clerks and local law enforcement agencies for working together to make the eCWS/Odyssey/BMV data exchange model a nationally recognized model.