OHIO: Those individuals appearing before County judges in Ohio will have their arrest records made available from other jurisdictions. New rules coming in to force requires every court state wide to engage with a single database which will be case related. This will be known as the OCN (Ohio Court Network). The OCN is looking to be fully functional by 1st July 2016. The platform will include 88 counties, 385 courts which will handle over three million cases per annum.

Partners of the justice system and courts will benefit from the data. Judges know more about the individual standing in front of them with comprehensive information and data. The enhanced access to arrest records data leads to more informed decisions, sentencing, bond conditions and ultimately public safety.

Critical information can be shared via the OCN by law enforcement agencies and the courts state wide. This information is typically arrest records, court records, prison records and driving records. The data plays a vital part within criminal history reviews. Also pre sentencing data, prison records, protection and warrant orders, pre custody and background checks.

One court (of 311) already sharing data via the OCN is The Tuscarawas County Court of Common Pleas. Others being the New Philadelphia Municipal Court and the Southern District Court. The system is in daily use and currently serves as a great tool to judges, bailiffs and clerks. The OCN system has been in use since 2008. Asides from using the system for bond hearings and pre trial the data is also used for judicial release hearings via the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction records.

No releases will be granted unless a clean institution record is confirmed. The OCN is relied upon for and rule infractions and or write ups. Arrest records and a criminal’s background can be used at an early stage of proceedings. Information before the OCN was fairly restricted until the community corrections program had prepared a pre sentence investigation report. There remains a shortfall of 50 courts yet to report to OCN. 19 are currently in the throes of connecting while technical issues have been cited for some courts not connecting. Twenty courts have opted out however none are in Carroll, Harrison or Tuscarawas counties.