2022 is a big year for ImageSoft, and it’s only just begun! As a thought leader in the Justice space, we are thrilled to announce our newest product, Vault. If you’re involved with the Justice System, you likely know first-hand that managing evidence is proving to be a more challenging task year over year. Vault is a state-of-the-art Digital Evidence Management platform designed to make handling large amounts of evidence convenient and simple. Vault aims to solve the most common problems surrounding evidence and exhibit management at the state and local levels.
What are the Challenges with Managing Evidence?
Too Much Stuff, Not Enough Space: Back in the day, it was not unheard of to make a conviction on very little evidence. Why? Well, in short, the evidence available was extremely limited. Back before cameras, technology, DNA testing, etc., cases relied on witness testimony, physical evidence left at the scene, and circumstantial anecdotes that swayed the jury one way or the other. Thankfully, as time went on and new tools became available, evidence expanded to include things like photos, blood samples, security footage, texts and emails, audio recordings, DNA analysis, and more. As you would imagine, the compounding evidence helped the Justice System come to more accurate conclusions in both civil and criminal cases.
While the change was obviously for the better, it did put quite a strain on the system. Prosecutors, Attorneys, and Judges went from analyzing and presenting a handful of exhibits, to now having access to hundreds of pieces of relevant evidence. Our team saw first-hand how heavy of a burden this became – literally; we saw lawyers walking into court with assistants in tow to carry in box after box of exhibits. We also witnessed first-hand a legitimately overflowing evidence storage room that was in a state of complete disarray. Relying on busy Justice System personnel to maintain evidence properly without misplacing anything seemed like a gamble. In high-stakes situations like the court, those are risks you don’t want to take. If an exhibit is left back at the office, or is missing from storage, it cannot be presented, which could make or break your case!
All Formats Are Created Differently: In addition to the sheer volume of evidence that needs to be managed these days, the other issue we came across was the many formats involved. Pictures, videos, documents, sound bites, and other exhibits clearly don’t exist in the same way. If we were to somehow lay them out on a table, you would be able to distinguish between them based on how they are presented (DVD, CD, USB, physical paper, etc.). As you almost certainly know, these different formats cannot be played back in the same fashion either. The more formats you have, the more devices you need in order to present those exhibits. It can be very time consuming to set up a VCR, swap to a DVD player, plug in a laptop, and finish off with a cassette player. Imagine a world where all files can be played back from a laptop, no questions asked! That was our goal with Vault!
Considering the aforementioned struggles (as well as some others we heard about through the grapevine), the ImageSoft team developed Vault. In essence, it’s your one-stop-shop for Digital Evidence Management. We worked closely with Justice System personnel to ensure that the final solution tackles the problems at hand and makes the process more streamlined. Vault includes some incredible features that are beneficial to everyone from law enforcement to clerks to lawyers to judges. Here are a few of the features you’ll be excited to put to work in your courts:
- Intuitive Uploading: Users can easily upload files into the Vault portal from nearly any device. Tag and organize files by name, case number, or description for easy retrieval later.
- File Normalization: Vault automatically normalizes files into formats that can easily be shared and reviewed. In just minutes, your videos, audio recordings, documents, and other files will be transformed into easily digestible digital media. Store them in a centralized location and switch between files without switching between devices.
- Secure Sharing: Encryption and other safeguards protect all files at the highest level. Share with authorized users to ensure that all parties are privy to the most up-to-date exhibit list and evidence library.
- 24/7 Access: No longer bound to the office, Justice System personnel can access Vault from anywhere thanks to the Microsoft Azure Government Cloud. Securely review files at night while relaxing on the couch, or work on-the-go from a business trip out of town.
- Seamless Playback: Because all files are stored and managed in the Vault platform, playback is seamless. With no device other than a laptop, you can playback all exhibits in court. Leave the dusty VCR and DVD players locked away in the AV closet and don’t waste valuable presentation time fiddling with out-of-date tech.
- Automatic Auditing: It’s extremely important to keep track of every interaction with an exhibit. Vault automatically tracks views, shares, notes, and changes so that you can look back and instantly know the entire history of the evidence.
Who Does it Help?
Vault has features that benefit everyone within the Justice System who handles evidence in any capacity. Easy uploading helps out clerks who need to input a lot of files at once. Prosecutors and Attorneys can visit the platform 24/7 to work on discovery, review, and case building from anywhere. Judges can view Vault from the bench instead of shuffling through stacks of physical documents. They can also approve or deny evidence during the discovery phase to keep the process moving. The Public benefits from faster turnaround, more accurate cases, and greater accessibility to all involved. Even law enforcement can benefit by uploading files, making notes, and sharing new evidence in real-time. Regardless of your role in the Justice System, we guarantee that Vault will be a good match for you!
If you’re interested in Vault and want to learn more about how it can make your day-to-day evidence tasks less chaotic and disorganized, please visit our Vault webpage. Take a look at the additional features and highlights of the platform, then reach out for a free, custom demo with our experts. We also encourage you to read some of our Digital Evidence Management blogs to delve deeper into some of the pain points we’re working to solve with Vault. Our team is happy to answer any questions or offer additional information on Vault.