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LinuxWorld.com: The DA's Office Goes Digital

Oct 08, 2001, 12:03 (4 Talkback[s])
"In Queens County, N.Y., the district attorney's office was running out of storage space as fast as it was running out of money to rent more. Of the 19,500 cubic feet of case records storage space available to the office, only 775 cubic feet remained. The reasons were many: an increase in the number of prosecutions, an increase in the amount of paperwork associated with the prosecutions and the reduced availability of off-premises storage space in New York City's warehouses.

The finger-in-the-dike answer was to accelerate microfilming of closed case records to gain maximal use of the dwindling space. The office also rented temporary warehouse space at $25,000 per year, using money it would rather have spent putting criminals in jail than papers in a file. Clearly, a less expensive solution was needed. Besides the cash outlay, managing a quarter-century's worth of closed case records stashed at a half-dozen sites was time-consuming and inefficient.

Many of New York City's agencies suffered from the same problem, and they were all scrambling for affordable answers. Working with a $100,000 funding allotment from the state government, the district attorney's office was the first to find one. Together with custom integrator ImageWork Technology Corp. in White Plains, N.Y., the office tried a novel approach. It used Linux for something other than running Apache Web servers."

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