IJIS Institute History
In the first half of 1999, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) through its Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) engaged members of the service and solutions providers community who focused on justice information technology (IT) and invited their participation in national-level discussions about integrated justice and how it is designed, specified, and procured. The Justice Department also sought industry input on issues such as IT technical and functional standards employed by justice agencies. To answer this call, industry leaders formed an advisory group of representatives from firms with strong criminal justice expertise, who could serve to make industry’s viewpoint known in a variety of areas. This group was known as the Industry Working Group (IWG).
In July 1999, the first meeting of the IWG was held with approximately 20 participants representing companies that design and implement information systems within the Justice community. After the initial meeting, the number of companies participating in the IWG grew to over 130. The IWG engaged in a number of activities: prepared a white paper on procurement practices; developed an outline and presentation for the design of an integrated justice information system; offered a series of courses on project management; and participated in standards development effort at the national level through its participation on subcommittees of the Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative.
In April 2001, the IWG formed the IJIS Institute as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation. The reasoning for forming an independent organization was to undertake the many activities in the justice area that an ad-hoc group such as the IWG could not participate in because of its lack of a legal structure. It had become apparent that there were a number of activities that members would like to engage in that required a more formal organization.
In January 2005, the IWG was abolished as a separate entity and organization, and its committees were fully transferred to the IJIS Institute with the intention of having a single voice of industry in the development of new standards and practices in the public safety and justice information technology world. An eleven-member Board of Directors elected by the membership provides oversight for the IJIS Institute’s activities.
There are three classes of membership in the IJIS Institute. Member companies pay dues, which are graduated and based on a firm’s annual revenue. In addition to standard membership, the IJIS Institute offers companies with international and influential standing an option for Sustaining Membership. Member company representatives are eligible to run for the IJIS Institute Board of Directors, and are given reasonable preference in assignments to national committees, and in the delivery of technology assistance. Affiliate companies, the third category of IJIS Institute membership, pay no dues and are eligible to serve on project and advisory committees and participate in technology assistance projects subject to the reasonable preference given to Member companies. Affiliate companies are not eligible to serve on the IJIS Institute Board of Directors or on Board committees. Both Member and Affiliate companies receive the benefits of the dissemination of important information on national trends and standards through the IJIS Institute Knowledge Management System.
Membership to the IJIS Institute is open to companies who provide information technology related services and products to public safety, corrections, homeland security, emergency management, and justice agencies.
From the initial 14 charter members, the Institute has grown to include (as of March 2012) a total of 162 Member companies, 19 Affiliate companies, and 32 Alliance Partners. The IJIS Institute assists governments with information sharing and its implementation by leveraging the knowledge and experience of its member firms.*
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