- Office of the State Auditor
Media Contact for Audit Warns Cape and Islands District Attorney’s Office Not Equipped to Provide Data on Juveniles Involved in the Criminal Justice System
Boston — In an audit released today, State Auditor Suzanne M. Bump warned that the case management system used by the Cape and Islands District Attorney’s Office (CIDA), and all other district attorneys in the Commonwealth, is not equipped to provide critical data about young people involved with the criminal justice system. This information is required under the 2018 criminal justice reform law. The audit examined the period of July 1, 2018 through December 31, 2019.
The 2018 criminal justice reform law created the Juvenile Justice Policy and Data Board (JJPAD), which is charged with collecting data from criminal justice agencies that have contact with juvenile offenders, including district attorneys. This data includes age, gender, racial or ethnic category, and type of crime. JJPAD uses this data to provide recommendations to improve outcomes of young people involved in the criminal justice system.
Bump’s audit notes, CIDA’s current case management system, known as District Attorney Management Information Office Network (DAMION), is not capable of tracking all of this data. DAMION is used by all Massachusetts district attorneys’ offices. This issue was initially highlighted in a 2019 report from JJPAD. DAMION was implemented by the Massachusetts District Attorney Association and is used by all 11 district attorneys’ offices.
“The well-being of young people involved in the criminal justice system is far too important to be stymied by outdated and ineffective technology,” Bump said. “This is a solvable problem. The Massachusetts District Attorney Association must make the technological upgrades and investments necessary to ensure district attorneys from across the state can begin tracking and reporting this important data and the Juvenile Justice Policy and Data Board gets the information it needs to do its job effectively.”
The audit also examined CIDA’s Youthful Diversion and Victim Witness Assistance programs and found no deficiencies with either of these programs. This is the latest in a series of audits of district attorneys’ offices administration of these programs.
CIDA is one of 11 district attorneys’ offices in the Commonwealth. Its jurisdiction covers Barnstable, Dukes, and Nantucket Counties, which include the islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. At the end of the audit period, it had 59 employees, including 22 prosecutors and assistant district attorneys, 13 victim witness advocates, 2 staff members in its diversion programs, and 22 other staff members who aid in the operation of the office.