Prosecutors Don’t Have Enough Digital Storage Space. Here’s Why It Matters.
In offices across the United States, prosecutor teams are in the midst of nationwide conversations surrounding best prosecutorial practices and criminal justice reform initiatives, all while striving to mitigate dwindling prosecutor retention rates.
For example, some districts, such as those in Colorado, are rolling out public-facing data dashboards, designed to promote transparency and accountability. Other states, like New York, are aligning on new discovery laws designed to promote the right to a speedy trial, while also trying to not overburden already overburdened prosecutors. These examples are only two of the prevalent considerations (and only represent two states out of the entire) United States.
Modern Times, Antiquated Tools
As legislators continue to consider these high-level shifts, many prosecutors and clerks are trying to stay afloat, parsing through extensive paperwork, lengthy backlogs, and heavy caseloads. Most of these offices, too, are performing these tasks with outdated technology at best, if any technology whatsoever.
Simultaneously, industries across the world are continuing to harness the latest technological advancements to improve their workflows and efficiency.
All of this considered what are prosecutors largely asking for?
Surprisingly? Storage space.
This storage space is digital storage space for the exponentially growing digital evidence that over 90% of criminal cases now include.
If prosecutor offices are relying on dated, legacy technology, many of their existing solutions aren’t solutions at all, and they may actually cost users more time, money, and energy.
Prosecutors’ Challenges with Digital Storage
Storage space, ease of upload, and streamlined access to digital evidence matter. Currently, these challenges are impacting prosecutors’ ability to quickly upload, navigate, and utilize digital evidence.
Storage Capacity Limitations
Insufficient storage infrastructure can quickly limit prosecutors in their ability to efficiently manage and upload digital evidence. Considering that a single case can potentially involve thousands upon thousands of pieces of digital evidence, files can quickly accumulate. Worrying about storage space can lead to restricted data uploads and prevent prosecutors from maintaining all their necessary information within a single platform, therefore requiring prosecutors to toggle between multiple systems, storage drives, and often, boxes upon boxes of physical files.
When working on a case, prosecutors will likely have to interact with various file formats. While utilizing outdated software platforms, different file formats may be incompatible with dated software systems making it challenging to open and view digital evidence across various devices and platforms. This lack of interoperability between different technology tools can impede prosecutors from quickly accessing, gathering, and reviewing digital evidence in a centralized source.
Data Organization & Retrieval
Inadequate organization and categorization systems for digital evidence make it difficult for prosecutors to quickly locate specific files or information. Particularly, outdated software platforms can leave prosecutors frustrated, as users have to grapple with insufficient search functionalities that can ultimately hamper the speedy retrieval of relevant evidence.
Data Security Concerns
Since insufficient storage space can force prosecutor teams to store digital evidence in multiple online locations, it can introduce challenges in cybersecurity. Without storing digital evidence on a centralized, secure platform, users will likely have to share, upload, and access information through more vulnerable processes, risking the potential integrity and confidentiality of evidence.
As prosecutors continue to accumulate more and more files and documents digitally, it can be challenging for offices to scale storage infrastructure. With existing limited storage space, it can be overwhelming for prosecutors to manage the exponential growth of digital evidence, particularly considering the typical costs associated with added digital storage space. Also, as mentioned above, users may be concerned about adding additional storage space because of compatibility concerns among different platforms and file types, as described above.
CivicDocs: The Digital Storage Solution
The challenges above can significantly impact prosecutors’ ability to effectively upload, access, and manage digital evidence, potentially leading to delays, inefficiencies, and compromised integrity of the legal process.
So, what’s the solution? How can prosecutors manage the continued influx of digital evidence?
Cloud-based, modern digital evidence management platforms can ultimately help prosecutors mitigate these challenges and focus on what matters—pursuing justice and serving victims. CivicDocs, CivicEye’s digital evidence management system, allows prosecutors and law enforcement officials to access evidence anytime, anywhere via a CJIS-compliant, secure infrastructure.
Specifically, the features below enable prosecutors to save time on document management and file searches, all while ensuring admissibility within the discovery process and collaborating with necessary stakeholders.
Multiple File Formats
CivicDocs allows users to upload multiple file formats with ease. Instead of worrying about whether the system will accept a specific type of file, users can simply click, upload, and carry on.
Advanced Search Functionality
Instead of spending valuable time digging through countless files, CivicDocs’s advanced search filters and tools allow users to quickly narrow down results and find the information they need, when they need it.
CivicDocs is designed to grow with your office and public safety agency, and users aren’t inhibited by the limitations of network-based systems. Offices can easily expand their storage capacities as needed, all while centralizing their digital evidence in one secure database.
Futureproofing for New Tech Advancements
From any device, users can safely access the CivicDocs platform, integrating other necessary digital tools through a secure application programming interface (API). This feature gives users the freedom to update and expand their existing technology whenever, and however, they need to.
While criminals can use advanced technology features to commit crimes every day, many prosecutorial offices are relying on antiquated processes and systems.
By embracing emerging technology, prosecutors can maximize workflows, increase efficiencies, and, ultimately, enact justice. Technology offers the potential to support prosecutors in their necessary work, through timesaving, security-enhancing tools.
To learn more about how platforms like CivicDocs can revolutionize your prosecution team’s daily work, click below.
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To learn more about CivicDocs and schedule a demo, click here.