The Superior Court of Delaware recognized that a management information system was needed to facilitate communication among all the agencies that support the Drug Court, and to track client progress and outcome.
Through support from the Office
of Justice Program's Drug Court Program Office (OJP), the State
Justice Institute (SJI), and the Bureau
of Justice Assistance (BJA), the Drug Court Information System (DCIS) was developed by Tidal
Technologies, Inc. (formerly Software Architects, Inc.)
The DCIS is designed to integrate information from several sources to assist in client management, inter/intra-agency communication,
support judicial decision making, and enable analysis of client information
to improve operations and to measure outcomes of the drug court.
The DCIS is structured to integrate treatment and case management
information with the Court's online case management system (CMS) through
a Windows interface created by the Court's Automated Sentencing Order
Project (ASOP). The system transfers case information from the Court,
and using Web technology, captures information related to Drug Court participant activities as the participant progresses through the treatment and justice
All the Drug Court partners can use the system to conduct
their work, to communicate, and to monitor progress, compliance, and outcomes.
Security features ensure the protection of confidential client information.
Managers can use the reporting function to monitor treatment placement
and utilization, overall operations, and to generate ongoing and ad
hoc reports. A bulletin board feature enables messages to be posted
to all DCIS users. Also, an online version of the Addiction Severity
Index (ASI) has been incorporated into the DCIS design.
Most court-based management information systems track offenders
and other court populations from arrest to disposition, and are not designed
to capture information related to substance abuse treatment or other conditions
However, much of the activity of drug courts takes place
outside the boundaries of the courthouse.
DCIS ties all this activity together to support judicial decision-making
and court management.
While the DCIS software is in the public domain, the system was
designed specifically to interface with the Delaware Court System. The
system contains many fields and screens common to most drug courts, both
diversion and post-adjudication, and can be adapted to fit the specific
needs of any jurisdiction. While it can, with modification, serve as a
stand-alone system, it is best utilized as an integrated system, giving
drug courts the ability to measure their progress in relation to broader
court functions, and reducing the need for redundant data entry.
DCIS has been developed using an open system architecture and operating
platform, which enables it to interface with mainframe, client-server,
and stand-alone applications.