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Saturday, May 20, 2017

State’s attorney attempts to take office into 21st century


The advance of digital solutions to analogue problems has been transforming the way social interactions, business relationships and governmental structures have worked for decades, and as costs continue to fall for things like data storage, efficiencies continue to emerge.

The criminal justice system in Worcester, for example, continues to be heavily reliant on paper — with the exception of the courts, which have recently migrated to an online-only system. All but gone are the days when the clerk of the court hands the judge a bulging oak tag folder containing an entire case’s history and in its place is a monitor.

That change has not yet trickled down to the lawyer level, and as some court cases are months-long or even years-long affairs, the problem of what to do with it all moves to the forefront.

This year as part of ongoing budget negotiations, Beau Oglesby, Worcester’s State’s Attorney and Phil Thompson, treasurer, are hoping to partner to begin digitizing some of the old files. Part of Thompson’s staff includes a team dedicated to copying and scanning old files, and Oglesby hopes to access these employees to process some of the old case files that are overflowing filing cabinets, lining the walls and taking over precious office space.

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