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The Buffalo Drug Court wanted a computerized information system but didn't have a lot of money to build one. Using minimal resources, staff designed their own system using an off-the-shelf program. The result, built with Microsoft Access, is an effective, efficient tool that captures all data important to a medium-sized court, from screening information about participants to administrative information about the day's calendar. The screening information, including a social service needs assessment, helps the court make informed decisions about treatment and adjudication. The Drug Court Data Management Information System (DCDMIS) also allows users, such as case managers, the judge, assistant district attorneys, defense attorneys, and treatment providers, to obtain information quickly by making specific queries -- for instance: How many participants are in treatment? How many have dropped out? What's the status of a particular case? Who's coming to court today?

The DCDMIS was developed by Jose Ferrer and Hank Pirowski of the Buffalo City Court and the New York State Office of Court Administration. The system was built in conjunction with Anna Gray of the Jacksonville, Florida Drug Court. Support was received from the Drug Courts Program Office, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice and the OJP Drug Court Clearinghouse and Technical Assistance Project at American University.

 


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