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Last modified: January 03, 2007
US Office of Justice XML Standards Initiative

[January 22, 2004]   OJP Releases Global Justice XML Data Model (GJXDM) Version 3.0 Operational Version.    Together with the U.S. Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative (Global), the US Office of Justice Programs (OJP) has released the first operational version of the Global Justice Extensible Markup Language (XML) Data Model (GJXDM) Version 3.0 to the justice community. "Developed by Global and OJP, the GJXDM is an object-oriented data model comprised of a well-defined vocabulary of approximately 2,500 stable data objects, or reusable components, that facilitate the exchange and reuse of information from multiple sources and multiple applications." The goal is to support public safety by eliminating communication delays and processing errors through automated cross-jurisdiction data sharing. "The GJXDM represents a significant milestone in the process of developing appropriate standards for expressing the baseline data needs of the justice and public safety communities and their related partners. In that sense, it will become a reference benchmark for jurisdictions in the justice and public safety communities to use, in its entirety or in part, to fulfill their specific needs. Since the first prerelease in April 2003, the GJXDM has undergone an intensive review and validation process that included an open public comment period, pilot validation projects, an online feedback and error-reporting mechanism (Bugzilla), and a new GJXDM listserv for sharing expertise and support. As a result, three data dictionary prerelease versions evolved that incorporated more than 100 modifications. Today, more than 50 law enforcement and justice-related projects have been implemented utilizing the GJXDM prerelease versions, further demonstrating the flexibility and stability of the GJXDM."

[April 11, 2003]   Global Justice Publishes Prerelease Version 3 for Justice XML Data Dictionary (JXDD).    The Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative (US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs) has provided new information on the Justice XML Data Model, including a prerelease of the Justice XML Data Dictionary version 3.0. The Justice XML Data Dictionary (JXDD) prerelease version 3 "is intended to solicit review and feedback from the justice and public safety communities. JXDD v3 has been reviewed by the Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative (Global) Infrastructure/Standards Working Group (GISWG). The XSTF development team built upon existing local, state, and federal documented data requirements, gathering source documents including XML schemas, database schemas, data dictionaries, code tables, and other documented data requirements. From these source documents approximately 16,000 data elements, types, and attributes were identified. These were analyzed and reduced to 2,000 unique data elements that were then incorporated in around 300 data objects or reusable components. The GISWG committee's XML Structure Task Force (XSTF) that developed the JXDD v3 would now like to open review to a wider audience of government and industry persons, with technical and practical expertise in the justice and public safety domain, until mid-June 2003. The XSTF will review all feedback and decide which modifications to incorporate into future prereleases." The JXDD XML Schemas depend upon twenty-some external schemas, code lists, specifications, and publications created by other groups and organizations. The JXDD release provides annotated versions of these XML Schemas. JXDD v3 is available for commercial use and does not require prior permission for its use; however, the JXDD prerelease is subject to change.

[November 29, 2001] Through its Justice Integration Information Technology Initiative, the US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs has established an XML Technology Working Group to coordinate the efforts of federal and state agencies in the design of interoperable standards for criminal history and public safety records. As of Fall 2001, the working group has successfully completed a project merging/aligning data elements used in three key specifications: (1) the 'Interstate Criminal History Transmission Specification' developed by the Joint Task Force on Rap Sheet Standardization, (2) the Regional Information Sharing System (RISS) XML Specification developed by the RISS, and (3) the 'Electronic Court Filing Proposed Standard' developed by LegalXML. The working group has published a document on the Principles of XML Development for Justice and Public Safety as well as a data dictionary with some 128 XML Schemas. The goals of the Justice XML Standards Initiative are "to facilitate sharing of justice information and integration of justice information systems among various federal, state, and regional jurisdictions; to Establish 'ground floor' information standards; to guide and assist justice and public safety information systems developers; and to further other efforts to share justice information."

[November 29, 2001] "Justice XML Standards Initiative." Presented by Robert Greeves (U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs). Briefing to XML.GOV. September 19, 2001. ".... OJP is pulling together three major XML initiatives: the Criminal Histories, Law Enforcement Intelligence, and Electronic Court Filing initiatives. The Rap Sheet Standardization initiative is an effort to create a standard rap sheet across state and federal jurisdictions. A standardized rap sheet, when fully implemented, will provide a single, complete response in a consistent format. The Law Enforcement Intelligence Regional Information Sharing Systems (RISS) initiative seeks to create RISS XML specifications to allow dissimilar systems to communicate criminal intelligence information. The Electronic Court Filing initiative seeks to create a Court Filing Specification to provide a mechanism for attorneys and other users of the court systems to electronically transmit and file court documents in active cases... The next steps in the process are to institutionalize standards process, to establish justice standards registry program, to submit reconciled XML specs for inclusion in a registry, to identify new XML candidates for the process, and to enter XML data dictionary into standards registry program. Additionally, the group needs to incorporate standards activities into OJP/Global Web site, to promote the XML standards program, to continue to support the development of information sharing standards with an emphasis on XML, and to publish and disseminate the XML reconciliation report..." Contacts noted: Program Manager: Pat McCreary +1 (202) 616-0532; Senior Policy Advisor: Bob Greeves +1 (202) 305-9317; Standards Expert: D.J. Atkinson/NTIA +1 (303) 497-5281. See the summary in the Federal CIO Council XML Working Group Meeting Minutes, September 19, 2001. [document also in PowerPoint, cache]

[November 29, 2001] "Principles of XML Development for Justice and Public Safety." By US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs. Draft 0.3. August 28, 2001. 10 pages. "A number of efforts are underway to develop XML -based data exchange specifications within the Justice and Public Safety (J/PS) community. The Office of Justice Programs (OJP) recognized the need to create interoperability between the emerging specifications and selected three emerging specifications with which to begin the process. The emerging specifications are [1] the 'Interstate Criminal History Transmission Specification' developed by the Joint Task Force on Rap Sheet Standardization, [2] the Regional Information Sharing System (RISS) XML Specification developed by the RISS, and [3] the 'Electronic Court Filing Proposed Standard' developed by LegalXML. These organizations are attempting to accomplish dissimilar missions with their specifications, which makes this effort somewhat more difficult. However, an understanding of those missions not only enables progress, it broadens the utility of the proposed standard by making it applicable to multiple taxonomies accomplishing a variety of objectives... While this document addresses the principles of XML development for the justice and public safety communities, it sets the stage for confronting similarly compelling issues associated with interoperability and information sharing among local, state, and Federal entities... As detailed investigative work centered on the analysis of different XML specifications (or more precisely, implementations of the World Wide Web Consortium's XML Standard), it was obvious that three excellent efforts had been undertaken independently. It was also clear that each practitioner group aimed at satisfying its own mission and functional (operational) requirements. Naturally, therefore, the XML implementations specified for the Rap Sheet, the Regional Information Sharing System (RISS), and the Electronic Court Filing Standard would not be compatible. For example, tagging conventions were different, as well as the data elements themselves (and how they were used). Principles and procedures were established, and agreed to, by all participants in the 'XML reconciliation' process. It was recognized from the outset that the needs of the individual practitioner groups were of the utmost importance during technical discussions. Therefore, one practitioner group will have strong feelings about a particular technical approach in one functional area, but not have a preference for the manner in which other functions are performed via XML. That observation allowed technical compromise, and gave the participants the ability to dissect the whole effort and operate on it in 'pieces'. One unforeseen by-product of using principles and procedures for dealing with XML development was the emergence of "best ideas" during technical discussions. With three sets of developers looking at information sharing from a new perspective, there were suggestions to choose approaches that were developed by others as the common approach. Essentially, the best ideas were picked from the three implementation specifications, regardless of who developed them. This concept alone would be attractive to any other information sharing efforts among different practitioner groups..." [source .DOC]

OJP XML Technology Working Group. XML Collaboration: Enhanced Information Sharing Benefits All Involved. "In recent years, with the absence of a common mode of data exchange, many justice agencies have forged ahead developing their own specific, disparate standards and databases for collecting and sharing information. In March 2001, to explore XML facilitation of justice information sharing, the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), began holding XML Technology Working Group Meetings. Participants of the Working Group are data exchange experts from three XML justice information sharing projects: the Joint Task Force Rap Sheet Standardization Project, LegalXML Court Filing Standard Initiative, and the Regional Information Sharing Systems (RISS) XML Data Exchange Specification. Through the efforts of the Working Group members, over 128 XML data tags (a step which helps identify data element content) have been reconciled between the three specifications. As a result of these outcomes, the information-sharing capabilities among the represented projects have been enhanced, and a blueprint for related efforts has been established." [From the OJP IT Fall 2001 Newsletter

Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) / Global [Criminal Justice Information Network] XML and Standards Initiative. "The primary objectives for establishing an XML Standards Initiative are to quickly facilitate increased sharing of information, provide a way to link existing legacy systems in a cost effective manner, provide guidance to developers of integrated justice information systems and establish the kind of ground floor standards needed by practitioners faced with the responsibility of implementing systems in the near-term future. Global has been engaged in building a process for assessing and assimilating a variety of XML-based standards that are appropriate for use in the justice and public safety communities. Their recent recommendations to the Global Advisory Committee have resulted in actions aimed at establishing a Standards Registry that will be web enabled. It will facilitate the proper vetting of proposed standards among the various interested jurisdictions that are justice related. A formal report has been produced through the collaboration of the following groups: the Joint Task Force for Rap Sheet Standardization, the Regional Information Sharing System (RISS) group, and the 'Electronic Court Filing Proposed Standard' Legal XML group. This document contains processes, lessons learned, principles, procedures, guidelines and a resulting dictionary of 128 data elements. The next steps in the Standards Initiative will be to institutionalize the recommended process, kick off the Standards Registry Program on the OJP IT Initiatives Web site, begin submitting candidate standards (starting with the 3 XML Reconciled Specifications), begin reaching out to identify new candidates for inclusion in the process and begin adding to the initial XML Data Dictionary..." [From "An Overview of OJP Bureaus, Offices, and COPS Information Technology Initiatives", 2001-11-29]

"Lessons Learned through Collaboration. Enhanced Information Sharing Benefits All Involved." Global Advisory Committee Infrastructure/Standards Working Group, XML Working Group. September 2001. 13 pages. "Through the efforts of the XML Technology Working Group members, over 100 XML data tags (a step which helps identify data element content) have been reconciled between the three specifications. Participants have also distilled important lessons learned and standards development principles, such as 'agreeing not to conflict' to ensure a single tag does not mean different things across systems wishing to share information. These lessons and principles, as well as a brief history of the XML reconciliation effort, are available in this document... The effort described below was one part of a larger program designed to allow the entire justice and public safety community to effectively share information and to communicate that information among the thousands of justice/public safety agencies at the local, state, and federal levels. The specific product detailed in this document was one of the five results of teamwork focused on developing XML standards... the XML Work Group of the ISWG (Infrastructure/Standards Working Group) developed a common XML standard that is stable, so that it can be relied on, but not so rigid that it cannot evolve as community requirements change..." [source .DOC]

Regional Information Sharing Systems (RISS) XML Specification. "During 2000, the Regional Information Sharing Systems (RISS) Program developed an XML specification to allow law enforcement agencies to more easily share criminal intelligence information with a maximum of flexibility at a reasonable level of development effort and cost. The RISS XML specification has several features that facilitate and enhance data sharing between different agency criminal intelligence databases: (1) Certain criminal intelligence systems are required by law, regulation, or funding guidelines to be in compliance with 28 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 23, which contains criminal intelligence system operating policies. The RISS XML specification is in compliance with applicable federal law and regulations governing the storage and dissemination of information in online criminal intelligence databases. Where compliance is not required, the RISS XML specification allows the 28 CFR Part 23 portions of the specification to be ignored. (2) The RISS XML specification supports four different levels of information exchange: a query, a query response to allow a 'picklist' to be generated, detailed information about a picklist record, and submitting officer contact information. (3) The RISS XML specification is designed to provide support for legacy systems to allow data sharing without major changes. Systems can share their data by the addition of an interface that communicates according to the XML specification. (4) The RISS XML specification can be easily modified to allow for additional elements and functionality as additional or revised needs are identified." [From the OJP description]

Technology Considerations in The Development of Integrated Justice Data Exchange Standards." IJIS Industry Working Group. May, 2001. 4 pages. "During the past 30 years, the lack of standards for linking justice information systems has been responsible for a substantial part of the high costs involved with information exchange and has contributed significantly to the associated difficulties of exchanging information between justice agencies... The IJIS Industry Working Group, among others, has forcefully concluded that the vision of integrated justice information systems is that of a virtual system rather than a monolithic host computer under which agencies must sub optimize their system designs to accommodate the lowest common denominator in satisfying user agencies. As we seek to encourage and promote the integration effort in conjunction with the vision of virtual systems, the emerging web based technologies will play a key role in shaping the future... There are three emerging technologies that are shaping the work of most of the nation's future system software. These technologies should be used as a basis for building new standards unique to the justice industry. They all fall under the general category of using XML as a basis for intersystem communications and data exchange. These three important trends are:(1) the use of XML schemas to reflect the definition of data types, (2) the use of emerging XML protocols for defining the envelope for interchange, and (3) the introduction of web services as a model for integrating systems..."

OJP and Legal XML: "Office Of Justice Programs is partnering with standards setting organizations and justice agencies to identify and adopt standards critical to information exchange and maintenance. A formalized adoption process will be developed and recommended for future standards. Additionally, OJP is supporting the efforts of the National Center for State Courts (NCSC), the Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA), and the National Association of Court Managers (NACM) to develop functional court automation standards in the criminal justice and juvenile justice areas, and is supporting the efforts of their joint technology committee on the development of the legal XML standard for court filing. Finally, OJP is supporting the development of architectures through an architecture collaboration and software reuse project with the State of Missouri and architecture technical assistance through the National Association of State Information Resource Executives (NASIRE) and State Chief Information Officers. Further information on these projects can be obtained by contacting Mr. Robert Greeves at 202-305-9317."

Principal References

General: News, Articles, Papers

  • [January 03, 2007] "The Justice Reference Architecture (JRA) Specification." Working Draft V 1.3. December 4, 2006. United States Department of Justice, The Global Infrastructure/Standards Working Group (DOJ Global). 49 pages. Members of the United States Department of Justice GISWG Executive Architecture Committee (EAC) have announced the release of the Global Justice Reference Architecture (JRA) Specification Working Draft Version 1.3. The document is now available on U.S. OJP's Technology and Global Web Site, and is open for public comment through January 16, 2007. The Justice Reference Architecture (JRA) was developed through a collaborative effort of the Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative (Global), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). JRA is an abstract framework for understanding significant components and the relationships between them within a Service-Oriented Architecture. It lays out common concepts and definitions as the foundation for the development of consistent SOA implementations within the justice and public safety communities. This document states a set of requirements for justice interoperability and then describes the Justice Reference Architecture (concepts, relationships, and high-level components) Specification that satisfies those requirements. The document then illustrates the architecture through a set of actual scenarios. Finally, the document provides an initial elaboration of some of the concepts and components in the architecture... This report is intended as a resource for a technical audience, including Global Justice XML Data Model (Global JXDM) implementers, architects, developers, system integrators, and other justice and public safety technical practitioners. It provides the background and concepts — a strong foundation — required for the implementation of SOA. Justice Reference Architecture is a new term coined for the justice community, and it is derived from the OASIS Reference Model for Service-Oriented Architecture 1.0 (SOA-RM1). The reader should refer to the SOA-RM for more detailed information about many of the concepts in this document. JRA is intended to facilitate your SOA implementation by establishing a common language that can be used to exchange data with partner organizations..." Note: Based upon a communication from Tom Merkle. Although this document is the product of Global and its GISWG membership, it was adapted primarily from the technical reference architecture developed by the state of Washington, and sincere appreciation is expressed to Mr. Scott Came, State of Washington and SEARCH, The National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics, for his guidance and leadership. In addition, parts of the architecture were derived from the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) Reference Model for Service-Oriented Architecture 1.0 (SOA-RM). Other major contributors include the OASIS Court Filing Technical Committee, OASIS SOA-RM Technical Committee, and the Messaging Focus Group. [source .DOC, cache]

  • [March 01, 2005] "DHS, Justice Work on XML." By Dibya Sarkar. In Federal Computer Week (March 1, 2005). "Homeland Security and Justice department officials have a new partnership to enhance development of an Extensible Markup Language (XML) model that could save federal, state, local and tribal agencies billions of dollars as they improve their computer systems to share information with one another. Officials said this represents a significant step in broadening the use of the Global Justice XML Data Model, which was started about three years ago, across the federal government. It could mean future partnerships with other departments, such as Transportation and Health and Human Services, and the intelligence community, which used the model as the basis for a schema to share the terrorism watch list. The partnership could provide the leadership for further deployment of the XML data model among state, local and tribal law enforcement, public safety, and emergency management agencies, which are desperately seeking federal guidance, several officials said..."

  • "Interstate Criminal History Transmission Specification. XML Version 2.01. By Joint Task Force on Rap Sheet Standardization. June 2001. 137 pages. ['This document provides an extensive background into the project as well as the usage and specifications of HTML and XML in the standardization of rap sheets. It also provides a detailed structure and XML schema.'] "A [US] national task force, the Joint Task Force on Rap Sheet Standardization (JTF), composed of members representing the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services Division (CJIS) and its Advisory Policy Board (CJIS APB), the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (NLETS), SEARCH, the National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics and state and local criminal justice agencies was formed to address [certain interoperability problems such as (a) different criminal history codes used by US States and the FBI, (b) inadequate principles of data atomization, (c) inability to combine data records from different sources.] The Joint Task Force on Rap Sheet Standardization has accomplished three major objectives: (1) Developed an XML based standardized criminal history transmission format; (2) Developed a standard presentation format utilizing the XML transmission format; (3) Developed a concept of operations which combines criminal histories from multiple sources into a single criminal history. The specification has been divided into an Executive Summary, five sections, and seven appendices. The Executive Summary provides a high level description of the XML national sstandardized rap sheet project. This summary gives the reader an understanding of both the history of the project, the reasons for its creation, and the anticipated benefits. The sections following this detail specifications for the implementation of the XML national rap sheet." 1.0 The 'Introduction' Section presents a brief background of the project since its inception. It also provides an abbreviated history regarding an earlier ANSI/NIST version. The section 'Concept of Operations' provides a general overview of the project and a detailed description of the process for using XML to support the exchange of rap sheets. It also describes how criminal records are merged and delivered. The 'Element Dictionary' section describes all of the data elements and their XML tags for the national rap sheet. The Section on 'Rap Sheet Definition' contains the full rap sheet definition including the structure of the rap sheet and the XML schema definition of the root rap sheet element and all its child elements. Section 5.0 'Example Rap Sheet' presents an example of an XML rap sheet. Appendix A 'XML Transformation' provides a brief primer of the XML conventions adopted for use in defining the rap sheet. Appendix B 'XML Application' provides a technical description of methods to use the XML rap sheet once it has been received by the state. This may include excerpting data and creating a presentation of a rap sheet for display. Appendix C 'Example Style Sheet' supplies an example of an XSLT style sheet that transforms the example rap sheet in Section 5 into HTML..." [cache]

  • Justice XML Data Dictionary. Version 1.1. May 10, 2001. 53 pages. Compiled by Tim Sweeney (Executive Director, NLETS. 2930 E. Camelback Road, Suite 160, Phoenix, Arizona 85016; +1 620-224-0744). Based on the Interstate Criminal History Transmission Specification Version 2.0 of the Joint Task Force on Rap Sheet Standardization which can be found online (alt). "This dictionary provides the reader with a standardized set of justice data elements and accompanying XML tags. There is also a set of rules that govern the creation and inclusion of these data elements into this dictionary. Regarding the format, the dictionary includes four pieces of information for each data element; 1) the XML tag and whether it is a child element or a complex element, 2) the name of the element, 3) a description of the element, 4) and the document the element was originated within. The dictionary is made up of child elements and complex elements. A complex element will have child elements beneath it; the child element may or may not have child elements beneath it..." [cache]

  • [November 29, 2001] "Law Enforcement Groups Try to Get Standardized on XML to Share Data. Finding funds and support could mean up to three years' wait for a nationwide standard." By Patricia Daukantas. In Government Computer News Volume 20, Number 33 (November 19, 2001), page 28. "The [US] Justice Department's Office of Justice Programs has proposed using the Extensible Markup Language to help law enforcement agencies and courts at the federal, state and local levels share data... About 30 agencies, including public safety organizations, Interpol, the National Conference of State Legislatures and the National Governors Association, are taking part in the Global Justice Information Network, program manager Pat McCreary told the XML Working Group at a September meeting in Washington. An XML group within GJIN has been meeting since June to designate consistent names for data elements, said Robert Greeves, an OJP senior policy analyst. The group includes representatives from the Joint Task Force Rap Sheet Standardization Project, LegalXML Court Filing Standard Initiative, and Regional Information Sharing Systems Project. The three bodies had already started their own efforts to tailor XML tags and schemas. The rap sheet and RISS groups had defined a tag called subjectName that was similar to the court filing initiative's personName tag, Greeves said. The GJIN group standardized on a personName tag that will identify the same kind of data in all documents adhering to the network's XML standard. The working group has drafted a dictionary of 128 standardized data elements and sample schemas. Greeves cautioned, however, that it might take two or three years to get the funding and widespread support for a nationwide implementation of the standard... The first step is to get representatives from the criminal justice, law enforcement and intelligence camps to feel comfortable working together... Those at the meeting suggested inviting the Customs Service and the Immigration and Naturalization Service to participate, as well as the Agriculture Department's Food and Nutrition Service, which administers the food stamp program. Since Sept. 11, the participating justice agencies 'have a whole new set of motivations,' said Owen Ambur, a systems analyst with the Fish and Wildlife Service and an organizer of the XML Working Group."

  • See also: LegalXML Integrated Justice Workgroup Website

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