In a move that might prove extremely useful to federal prisoners, the Federal Bureau of Prisons has published a solicitation notice for “inmate electronic discovery,” or “eDiscovery,” seeking information relating to support services, hardware, and software that would allow prisoners to view electronic discovery documents used in court litigation.
The formal Request for Information issued by the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ Information Technology Planning and Development Branch specified that the project is merely in the planning stage and that no formal bids would be accepted yet.
Currently, BOP inmates have access to a LexisNexis legal database that includes court decisions, BOP regulatory documents, and several treatises. The “TRULINCS Electronic Law Library” is a stand-alone system with no connection to the Internet or court databases (i.e., PACER, the federal court’s public access system). As such, in most cases, when a BOP inmate is involved in criminal or civil court litigation, only paper case-related documents are available to them.
Allowing inmates to access systems like PACER through a secure network like TRULINCS would not only permit inmates better access to the courts but would also have several other benefits, such as eliminating the substantial expense of requiring government agencies and other litigants to serve inmates with discovery documents and other media in paper form (with the related mailing costs). Such a system would also improve security, fewer inventory concerns, and reduce expenses for the BOP.
To learn more about this developing story, read FCW’s article “Bureau of Prisons mulls eDiscovery computers for inmates” or “Request for Information.”
Published Jul 22, 2014 by Christopher Zoukis, JD, MBA | Last Updated by Christopher Zoukis, JD, MBA on Jul 30, 2023 at 6:40 pm