CCMS Needed for Public Safety? Not so fast….

Posted on June 19, 2011


A little more than a week ago, Justice Ming Chin set out to write an op-ed to rescue his beloved boondoggle in the Sacramento Bee. He attempted to state the case for a modern case management system in the Judicial Branch as a cure to a computer system problem in the Executive Branch.

The CDC had created a computer system to provide risk assessments and to classify offenders. Offenders deemed non-violent would be eligible for no-parole releases under this program that was started just last year.

Among the many things Justice Chin failed to disclose is that this was a data input problem at the local level across the board, that resulted in not enough information being provided to the CDC’s risk assessment system. Arrests for violent acts went unreported. Probation and Parole reports referencing the offenders being violent or violated for being violent went unreported. Some criminal records went unreported. Basically a series of business process failures across the board from numerous different entities would contribute to CDC’s risk assessment computer failure and the failure of that system to identify violent criminals. The computer system suffered from Garbage in/Garbage out.

While this amounted to a failure of business process amongst a swath of justice partners based on either a failure to input or otherwise communicate information, it seemed like the perfect time to make a case for that spruce goose that after ten long years of development has yet to take to the air.

Justice Ming Chin set out on his CCMS editorial trying to scare both the public and the legislature into the need for a computer system in the Judicial Branch to correct a widespread data input and communications problem located primarily outside the judicial branch as the cure for a computer system in the CDC.

Say What?

We read this op-ed. It went well beyond intellectual dishonesty.  It was an outright lie, a fraudulent misrepresentation of the facts being produced by the chair of the court technology advisory committee and a sitting supreme court justice. How could a sitting supreme court justice use a public forum to outright mislead and lie to both the public and our legislators?

Would anyone buy what a Supreme Court Justice was telling them? That’s a whole lot of weight to be tossing around. Justice Chin was also the chair of the Court Technology Advisory Committee, who up until five other committees were formed to spare his ass from certain flames over his own role in oversight mismanagement, owned CCMS oversight and had dismally failed those duties as the CTAC chair. And here he was touting the virtues of his own personal version of “mission accomplished”. Laughable if it weren’t sadly true.

Needless to state we sliced and diced and stuck that whole argument in a Cuisinart. We got wind that someone else might be more graceful about it with a dueling op-ed.

We took no prisoners and carpet bombed “truthiness” as just another part of “the big lie”. We knew that someone else would provide a more graceful response.

And so it came to be…..

Judge Maryanne Gilliard in this mornings Sacramento Bee. – Computers are a boondoggle.