The Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office (MDAO) currently uses the District Attorney Management Information Office Network (DAMION) case management system to perform a variety of tasks, including maintaining case, victim, and witness information and tracking court events. DAMION was implemented by the Massachusetts District Attorney Association (MDAA)1 for all 11 district attorneys’ offices. Each office can customize the system to some extent to meet its own needs.
In April 2018, the Governor signed Chapter 69 of the Acts of 2018 into law. Section 89(b) of Chapter 69 created the Juvenile Justice Policy and Data Board (JJPAD). JJPAD is charged with collecting juvenile offender data, including age, gender, racial or ethnic identity, and type of crime, from criminal justice agencies that have contact with juvenile offenders. The legislation states,
The board shall analyze and make a recommendation on the feasibility of the [Office of the Child Advocate, which is charged with ensuring the wellbeing of juveniles] creating and annually updating an instrument to record aggregate statistical data for every contact a juvenile has with . . . criminal justice agencies.
In June 2019, in accordance with Section 89(b) of Chapter 69, JJPAD issued a report titled Improving Access to Massachusetts Juvenile Justice System Data. In its report, JJPAD expressed serious concerns about district attorneys’ ability to use DAMION to give JJPAD all the information it needs to meet its responsibilities:
The database used by the District Attorneys (“DAMION”) is several decades old and not currently capable of tracking all of the data requested by the Legislature.
Based on these facts, if MDAA does not update its case management system, it may soon be unable to meet its operational needs or give JJPAD the information it needs to comply with Chapter 69 of the Acts of 2018. Therefore, the Office of the State Auditor believes MDAO needs to continue to work with MDAA and the other district attorneys’ offices to implement a new case management system as soon as possible.
|Date published:||June 17, 2021|