This project is a finalist for the 2021 Golden GOVIT Awards in the Service category. This project was completed by Hennepin County and nominated by Sarah McNulty. 

Sealing a criminal record can help make it easier for residents to live a full life, including finding opportunities to rent an apartment and obtain employment. In 2020, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office created a new program called Help Seal My Records, which is a free process for record expungement.

The Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) team in IT’s Enterprise Development Division supported this program by creating an Adobe Webform. Residents seeking to expunge their records complete the webform on the county attorney’s website to begin the process. This webform asks residents a series of questions to determine if they are eligible for the program.

For the last year, staff working in this program have manually transcribed information from completed forms into a shared file – including linking to various documents that are relevant for a resident’s case. To make this process faster for residents and easier to manage for county staff, Enterprise Development’s FileNet Team created a new case management solution.

After this improvement, information submitted via the webform is transcribed into FileNet, eliminating the need for staff to manually populate information into a shared document. When residents apply for this program, they must meet the eligibility requirements for expungement. Many of residents applying have multiple offenses that they are trying to expunge. This new tool allows all offenses to be tracked and managed in one place, including decisions about whether an offense meets the eligibility criteria. Additionally, all documents from any court case can be attached together in the new work flow, eliminating the need to manage links in the shared document.

After a request has been reviewed by a case worker and the resident is deemed eligible for this program, a judge needs access to their case information and documents for rulings. With this new workflow, aggregating those documents can be done quickly and in bulk.

Hennepin County is an organization that strives to make data-driven decisions. Updating this process to include the new FileNet case management solution gives high-level reporting on:
• How many cases were received through a date range
• How many total offenses have been submitted
• How many offenses have been expunged

Enterprise Development’s Business Intelligence team can use their tools on the workflow to create more robust reports if needed.