By Wayne Allen
The Scioto County Prosecutor’s Office will soon be getting a new information system that will lead to certain long-term advantages for the office and the people of Scioto County.
“This is a system we’ve been looking at for quite a while,” said Mark Kuhn, Scioto County Prosecutor. “When I started a little over nine years ago (as prosecutor) we had looked at some systems and decided we could not afford the systems that were out there.”
Kuhn said recently his office got of federal forfeiture money that is limited on how it can be used. One of the approved uses is the purchased of equipment and software.
“We looked at three systems one system is not written yet so they could not tell us a whole lot. That system is projected to be in place next year (2015) and we wanted to move quicker than that,” Kuhn said. “We looked at another system that has one prosecutor’s office in Ohio on it and a number outside of Ohio. That one we decided we could not afford, the upfront cost was astronomical. The third system is one that’s becoming more common in Ohio. It’s call Matrix.”
Kuhn said the Matrix is a system, that would eventually allow his office to paperless.
“I’m not sure I’m ready to do this, but this system would allow us to go paperless,” Kuhn said. “I think the days of electronic filing in the court of common pleas are likely coming when the state budget recovers. There has been a court commission in place for a number of years exploring that possibility and the federal counts have gone paperless through electronic filing.”
Kuhn said when the courts go paperless it will put Scioto County in a good position to do the same.
“The big selling point on this company was that law enforcement could submit everything electronically. It would save them man hours, in delivering paperwork,” Kuhn said. “They say since that could be done so much quicker it could save jail days. For us it’s all about getting someone to trial as close to the crime as we can. We do about 800-850 felony cases a year (out of the Scioto County Prosecutor’s Office), if we save one jail day per-case and the sheriff rents that space to another county for $40 a day, if I did my math right that’s about $25,000 a year.”
Kuhn said having the ability to get cases to trial quicker and the potential savings in document generation is what really appealed to him, in look at systems.
“We are still in the introduction part of the installation (of the system). We talked to them yesterday and we’ve been providing them examples of the different types of common documents we do,” Kuhn said. “They are hoping to start installation and training sometime in April or May.”
Kuhn said once installed his office will likely pick a date and start going digital from from that point.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT