Prosecutors often face issues with being able to access evidence, and without a consistent infrastructure that facilitates the transfer of files containing key evidence, it can prevent justice from being served. The inaccessibility of crucial evidence could lead to otherwise provable cases being dismissed, just as it could prevent the exoneration of those wrongfully accused of crimes.
The Majority of Digital Evidence is Unstructured
An added problem with the exponential uptick in the prevalence of digital evidence in criminal cases stems from issues with the chain of custody of this evidence. Whether this evidence is admissible in a court of law can hinge on the handling of this evidence and can be make or break for proving a case. In many cases, this evidence remains in the form of unstructured data, on DVDs, flash drives, footage from Ring cameras, as well as cell phone video footage.
A Secure Cloud-Based Solution
As a solution, many law enforcement agencies have gravitated towards cloud-based CJIS-compliant data management systems to house evidence in formats that allow local law enforcement and judges unobstructed access to these same files, while containing audit trails that detail the entire history of the handling of each piece of evidence for full transparency. As hefty fines for data breaches loom for law enforcement entities who haven’t fully secured their sensitive data, many have sought out an all-encompassing solution.
Seamless Collaboration Between Departments
In addition to the beefed-up security of cloud-based digital evidence management systems, these systems can also facilitate interdepartmental collaboration in ways that were unheard of in the not-too-distant past. By minimizing the time spent accessing documents from paper-based systems, hard drives, DVDs, and various other sources, multiple departments can have immediate access to crucial evidence in real-time, thus being able to more efficiently serve their communities.