With heavy caseloads and increasingly high standards, even the most scrupulous prosecutor could use a little help. Here are 6 ways a prosecutor case management system can help you perform your best, improve your entire team, and keep you out of the doghouse:
1. Send information securely
When you’re sending discovery documents to opposing counsel, it must be done in a timely, thorough, and secure manner. Fumble one thing, and your entire case could be in jeopardy.
That’s why top prosecutors are turning to case management tools to help them share documents properly.
First, tools like Filevine help you put your documents in the right format. Professionally redact sensitive information, combine documents, and give them a Bates stamp. Prosecutors also use these tools to manage version control and lock the final product into place.
Secondly, case management tools allow you to securely share your documents, through online portals and secure share links. The system ensures that the right people can access your documents at the right time, and keeps a record of exactly which items were shared with whom, when.
Case management software is also a lifeline during appeals, when case information must be transferred to the appellate prosecutor. Rather than risking an incomplete or jumbled transfer of case data and documents, users of case management software quickly and seamlessly transfer all information, in context.
To support this work, automated task flows and deadline chains help managers to delegate tasks effortlessly and with confidence that nothing will fall through the cracks.
2. Receive and manage discovery information
Everything is riding on the documents you collect. Case management software is the preferred tool to improve the way you receive, access, and store those documents. It also allows you to track exactly who created, accessed, and shared any information.
Whether you’re receiving discovery information from opposing counsel or incident reports from law enforcement, case management tools have you covered. Crucially, tools like Filevine offer full OCR capabilities (optical character recognition). These allow you to index and search PDFs and scanned documents.
3. Stay on top of growing caseloads
Prosecutors’ offices are often overwhelmed with work. But they also have a constitutional duty to move trials forward in a timely manner. Technology is their best ally in ensuring the team meets high standards—and protects work-life balance—even as their workloads grow.
With case management software, prosecutors can quickly review case progress, from the first charge referral through all your post-adjudication follow-up tasks. The systems are designed to automate time-consuming work and eliminate redundant data entry.
For example, automatic document generation pulls information already in your case files to help you create charging documents, subpoenas, warrants, extradition documents and more, with just a click of a button. They also empower you to obtain digital signatures, send and receive texts, and even send and receive faxes from the system.
Automation reduces the errors in the products you make, and makes it easier to comply with speedy trial standards.
4. Manage court dates
With heavy caseloads, prosecutors and their staff must always remain a step ahead of events and deadlines. Case management tools help you manage the schedules of your entire team by creating automatic deadlines and deadline chains, and integrating with the most popular calendar tools.
5. Collaborate effectively
The most powerful prosecutors are the ones who know how to collaborate effectively with their wider team. Case management software helps you delegate tasks, oversee task status, and catch problems before they grow.
Assign investigators to specific cases, integrate with your calendar system, and track time your staff spends on certain tasks to better manage office activities.
Most importantly, all of your work can be securely held in the cloud. When you’re in court, your laptop connects you with all your case information, and allows you to assign new follow-up tasks or events to your team.
Case management systems also allow you to communicate more effectively with victims and witnesses. The system helps send timely notices to victims and witnesses about critical events, and track their travel and lodging expenses.
6. Analyze your data
The data held within your case management system is centralized and organized—and it holds the secrets to improving your own process, and also enables you to comply with the demands of inquiring agencies.
The data analysis tools of Filevine can show you the average length of time from filing to disposition, the average number of days in trial, conviction rates for different kinds of charges. You can also compare trial outcomes for individual prosecutors. All of these can be formatted in compelling graphs and charts.
The data you’re collecting is also crucial for more extensive analysis of the criminal justice system. Combined with other data sources, case management information can help analysts better understand differences in recidivism rates, the success of different crime reduction efforts, and the long-term cost of various strategies for administering justice.
As a prosecutor, you perform an invaluable role in your community. With modern case management software, you can increase your effectiveness while ensuring you comply with all requirements.