The state of North Carolina lacks a complete and effective statewide repository of criminal processes, including warrants and orders for arrest. Several counties maintain their own local repository. Some use a manual process, such as a collection of the paper warrants in a central location. Others are automated. The NCAWARE system provides an automated, web-based statewide warrant repository to maintain and track criminal processes and offender information. A primary goal of this project has been the migration of the existing Magistrate System from a client-server platform to a web browser-based environment, providing secure, broad access to all of the criminal justice and law enforcement communities. Initially the system will be populated by data from both the existing Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) Magistrate System and the Automated Criminal Infraction System (ACIS). The completion of the NCAWARE system provides increased compliance with AOC’s new technical architecture and completes a significant part of the many modules that together will make up the AOC’s modernized Court Information System (CIS). The goals of the NCAWARE system are to:
The benefits of the new NCAWARE system are to:
NCAWARE User Advisory Committee and Subcommittees
The NCAWARE User Advisory Committee is made up of a representative group of magistrates, clerks, law enforcement officers, district attorneys, and one judge. The purpose of the advisory committee initially was to help define and confirm the scope of the project and later to approve system business flows and screen prototypes. During the early stages of the project, the committee was broken down into three subcommittees: the magistrate subcommittee, the clerk subcommittee, and the law enforcement subcommittee. The purpose of each of these subcommittees was to assist the NCAWARE analysts in making decisions regarding business logic and process flows in their respective areas of expertise. The NCAWARE analysts held working sessions with each of these committees to define and confirm functionality that would be included in the system. The NCAWARE User Advisory Committee continues to be an integral part of the project as they provide input on the definition and prioritization of new features.
Distributed Architecture – With the help of the Gartner Group, AOC’s Technology Services Division has embarked on a strategic initiative to move all supported applications to a distributed architecture built around a central enterprise server. NCAWARE is the first major AOC project in this initiative and will set the groundwork for other projects.
Development – NCAWARE has been developed as a multi-tiered J2EE web application. The design separates the logical layers of User Interface, Business Logic, and Data Access that are characteristic of n-tier systems. The advantages of using the N-tier approach for NCAWARE are as follows:
NCAWARE interfaces to external applications are compliant with the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) XML standard. NCAWARE was developed using JAVA programming language, JAVA Server Pages (JSPs), and STRUTS development framework. Additionally, the team used WebSphere Application Developer (WSAD) and Rational requirements management and defect management tools.
Deployment – The NCAWARE system is deployed on the AOC Enterprise Server (IBM Mainframe) and runs on IBM’s WebSphere Application Server. The database is DB2, and the messaging component is WebSphere MQ Series, also running on the Enterprise Server.
Security – Login security is handled by AOC’s single sign-on process, using LDAP managed by RACF on the mainframe for user authentication. Once authenticated, user permissions are granted using DB2 table-based rules.
NCAWARE Project Update
NCAWARE is currently successfully implemented in 45 of the 100 counties. The team implemented Orders for Arrest enhancements, Probation Violations, and Involuntary Commitments. The team is aggressively implementing the remaining counties and working on Phase 1 of the generic interface to local law enforcement agencies.
Major Enhancements and Statewide Rollout Schedules
After successful implementation of the top five (5) major enhancements, the AOC will develop additional system features and other interfaces.